AllCommunity Newsnewsletter

Craft is Alive in the Hawkesbury

By Sophie Poredos

Caption Michelle Kistima Menser With You Are Brave Textiles Showcasing Her New Range Of ‘Illustrative Natives Craft Is Alive In The Hawkesbury
Michelle kistima-menser with “you are brave textiles”, showcasing her new range of ‘illustrative natives’

During the annual Craft Alive event in June, the Hawkesbury Showground pavilion was transformed into a crafter’s paradise, bringing together like-minded makers.

Craft Alive, operating for 33 years across Australia, is the largest craft event series, featuring a variety of workshops and exhibitors. Their presence at the Hawkesbury is welcomed year after year by visitors who participate and take home their hand-made goodies.

Within the newly-built pavilion, over 30 exhibitors on the weekend were present, including the Embroidery Guild NSW, Handweavers and Spinners NSW and Western Sydney Woodturners. At every turn, artistic abilities were displayed with mounted quilts and embroidery panels from the Online Quilt Magazine.

But visitors weren’t just persuaded to buy colourful fabric or scrapbooking supplies. Guest teacher Sandi Foley-De Vinceo featured her junk journaling class during the show, encouraging makers to reuse scrap material through a therapeutic journaling process. Guest teacher Debbie Hatumale-Uy also appeared at the event, with workshops specialising in the UV ‘Direct to Film’ fabric printing technique, allowing visitors to practise creating personalised gifts and products.

Two artists at the event I spoke to expressed their deep passion and love for creating. Blue Mountains artist Miss Leela at ‘The Maker’s Stash’, has over 20 years experience in English paper piecing and is fascinated with slowstitching projects. She shared why events such as Craft Alive are essential for online businesses to connect with their customers:

Caption Miss Leela In Front Of Her Colourful Stall The Maker S Stash Copy Craft Is Alive In The Hawkesbury
Miss leela in front of her colourful stall, “the maker’s stash”

“It’s wonderful when online customers come and I meet them in person, and I enjoy meeting new customers who haven’t yet discovered me. It also gives me the opportunity to share my particular craft and passion, and I love to inspire and encourage others to try English Paper Piecing”.

Michelle Kistima-Menser at ‘You are Brave Textile’ specialises in textile screen-printing, creating products like poplin fabrics and tea-towels. Michelle enjoys working inside her Marrickville studio but also spoke of the importance of building strong craft community:

“Often as a maker, we work alone in the studio for days or months at a time, not really engaging with many people. That’s why I love Craft Alive – I enjoy introducing people to work as a textile designer and screen printer. But more importantly, it’s just lovely to meet people who are creative themselves, and I think we can all learn from each other if we are open to listening and sharing”.

Sally Taylor, the marketing and event manager for Craft Alive, believes in the difference of leaving a community “craftenriched” through the connection of art:

“Our classes are designed if you’re trying something new or sitting down and having a natter. We’ll see generations of families walking through the door all weekend – It’s a fantastic show and we are really excited by the new faces as well as the regulars coming back.”

If you missed the show, Hawkesbury Papercraft Show will take place from the 1st- 3rd November at Hawkesbury Showground, showcasing scrapbooking and all things paper. You can apply as an exhibitor through their Exhibitor Application Form on the Craft Alive website.

Related Articles

Back to top button