Deloraine and districts have played host to the Tasmanian Craft Fair, showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in Tasmania, for the last 31 years. It is the largest working craft fair in Australia and promotes not only Tasmanian artists and craftspeople, it also displays works from mainland states and international exhibitors. Run by the Rotary Club, all of the funds raised go to local, national and international Rotary projects.
Tasmanian Craft: Deloraine to the World
The event attracts visitors from throughout Tasmania, interstate and overseas. It’s a large event spread over 15 venues and a fleet of free buses continuously shuttle people from venue to venue, making the transition between venues a bit easier. If you’re feeling energetic you can walk and take in the lovely surrounds of Deloraine.
Humble Beginnings for Cottage Industry
In the late 1970’s the Deloraine region saw the arrival of many artists and craftspeople. The senior Rotarians of the time wondered how they could showcase the work of these talented people who had decided to make Deloraine their home town. The Rotary President suggested a Craft Fair where people could not only look at it, but also buy Tasmanian craft.
The inaugural event took place in 1981 and it was called the Tasmanian Cottage Industry Exhibition and Craft Fair. It had 34 exhibitors and ran for two days attracting 3,000 visitors. Over time the Tasmanian Craft Fair has expanded both in the number of exhibitors and the number of visitors who arrive in the town to experience this event.
This year’s Craft Fair was as popular as ever with many visitors arriving in Deloraine for the day or longer. There is so much work on display and for sale…
- handmade jewellery
- blown glass
- metal craft
- leather art
- paper art
- alpaca and merino wool items…
and the list just goes on. Another exciting form of media on show was the work of glass artist Lucy Vanderfeen from Vanglas. Her beautiful work included plates, platters and jewellery all made from glass in the loveliest of colours.
If you are a lover of fine foods you will love the selection in the Gourmet Pantry venue, where you’ll find a wide selection of foods such as cheeses, olives, sauces, small-goods, jams, relishes, smoked salmon products, biscuits, fudge, chocolates, honey, cakes, wines, beers, whisky, teas and more things to excite your taste buds.
Hartzview Vineyard had a very interesting array of ports and liqueurs, which included their Blackcurrant, Blackberry, Cherry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Tasmanian Cassis, Spiced Apple and Honey Liqueur Mead.
The Tasmanian Craft Fair is held every year and runs for four days. If you missed 2011, be sure to mark your diary… one of the important things to do for next year. It is a brilliant event. You don’t have be in Deloraine just during the Craft Fair to see works of art and craft on display and for sale as there are a number of galleries and studios throughout the town open for you to visit and enjoy any time of the year.
Michelle Kneipp Pegler was a guest of the Tasmanian Craft Fair in order to write this article for Think Tasmania. She also writes her own blog called Leven River Farm about the ups and downs of her Good Life and occasional forays delving into the lessons of the past.