Burnie has managed to incorporate many functions into one striking building on the beach front. The Makers Workshop is the city’s Tourist Information Centre; that part is clear. But there’s also an element of museum, art gallery, retail space, cafe… and that’s without stating the obvious.
What is the Burnie Makers Workshop?
Big and Bold in Burnie
The Makers Workshop doesn’t just display delicate arty pieces, either. You’ll have to forgive my vague description here, but on loan to the Centre when I visited was this hulking piece of mining equipment. Apparently, this machine was made in Burnie and designed to work underground without a driver. So it’s the biggest remote-control toy ever! It’s very impressive, but I did zone out a little on the specifications.
No, not really! According to other tourists (and I’m taking them at their word) it’s a remnant from the former Burnie paper mill. They mentioned printing, and it does look like it could press a pretty big roll of paper. Or pastry.
Creative Paper Tasmania
At the Burnie Makers Workshop, anyone can test their artistic talents with Creative Paper Tasmania. Starting life as the Creative Paper Mill in the mid-1990’s, the organisation has had to persist through financial stress. A fire even destroyed a brand new building before the grand opening, and a planned move to the waterfront was delayed.
But Creative Paper has survived and goes on to reflect the history of the paper industry in the North West Coast city. Vital to the development of Burnie Tasmania, many local residents were employed by the Associated Pulp and Paper Mill. Part of the community since 1937, production ceased in 2010 when the local mill closed.
Hopefully this supplier of hand-made specialty papers can now enjoy a long and successful future. It seems a great fit with the focus of the new and improved, environmentally-friendly Burnie. Creative Paper Tasmania produce papers for art, scrap-booking and stationery using a mixture of strange ingredients.
Work Out: Makers Workshop
The Makers Workshop showcases art work from a range of artists: from jewellery to hats; from glassware to paintings; and everything in between. You can see the work in progress as well as exhibitions and static displays.
There’s a fantastic retail space; looking more like an art gallery than a shop. Even makers not usually classified as artists are given coverage, like Hellyers Road Distillery. And then there’s a cafe section selling good coffee and fresh, local food. I have no doubts that Burnie-made cheese would feature somewhere on the menu. And maybe some chocolate and whisky truffles?
So will a visit to the Makers Workshop unleash some creative passions in you? Or maybe you’ll just appreciate the view over Bass Strait with a cafe latte in hand, wondering why so many talented people have made Tasmania (and Burnie in particular) their home.
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