Meander Valley Gazette

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Tasmanian Craft Fair

Find your family at the Tasmanian Craft Fair

Community, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Mike Moores  Josh and Ashley Porter with Ella, Arlo and Abby, all dressed up. Tara Badcock generously assisted with the loan of costumes courtesy of Deloraine Dramatic Society.

Photo by Mike Moores

Josh and Ashley Porter with Ella, Arlo and Abby, all dressed up. Tara Badcock generously assisted with the loan of costumes courtesy of Deloraine Dramatic Society.

A NEW York Times columnist once reported, ‘If you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.’ (Bruce Feiler, 15 March 2013).

This year’s Tasmanian Craft Fair will include a new exhibit to help people do just that.

Hosted by the international genealogy non-profit organisation FamilySearch, the exhibit will include free one-on-one help to enable visitors to start or grow their family tree.

Simple and innovative online tools, tips and displays will enable interested family historians to share their family stories in fun and engaging ways.

The official opening on Saturday at 2pm will feature a 40-minute cultural presentation from the Tongan Youth Dance Group of Tasmania.

In addition to the daytime activities, visitors are also welcome to enjoy family movies on the big screen on Friday and Saturday at 6pm.

On Sunday at 6pm, Child Safety Services will deliver a special presentation on how you can offer hope and healing to families in our own community through foster care.

Gallery 1 is located at the FamilySearch Centre at 153 Emu Bay Road and will be open every day of the Craft Fair. Take the bus or park onsite. All activities are free of charge and suitable for people of all ages.

Guests can also access fresh drinking water, clean toilets, indoor and outdoor seating, and a large outdoor fenced area which is great for picnics!

For more information 0n the weekend’s activities, contact Liz Walker on 0428 072 010.

Quamby Fly Fishers Annual Open Day

EventsJoanne Eisemann

QUAMBY FLY Fishers Club Annual Open Day is at Meander Hall on Saturday 21 September 2019 from 10am–3pm.

This year, funds raised will support junior anglers.

A warm invitation is extended to anyone currently involved in fishing and those who would like to get involved in the wonderful experience of fly fishing.

Tasmania will host the World Fly Fishing Championships from 30 November to 8 December 2019, showcasing our unique wildlife and natural fisheries.

The Meander River will be a sector for competition in the Championships. Some members of the club will be involved as volunteers, controllers and competitors.

Quamby Fly Fishers Club is based at Deloraine on the Meander River, forty minutes west of Launceston or east of Devonport.

Fly tying is a valuable fly fishing skill.  Photo by Mike Moores

Fly tying is a valuable fly fishing skill.

Photo by Mike Moores

Huntsman Lake is 15 minutes away and the Central Plateau Lakes in the Highlands are only an hour away. Brushy Lagoon, Four Springs Lake, the Meander, Esk and Mersey Rivers are all within easy access.

The club has fishing outings around the lake and river fisheries regularly, offering guidance, encouragement and sharing of ideas within a very social environment.

Monthly meetings and workshops feature an informal atmosphere, with shared practical sessions and ideas from experienced members that are valuable for all.

The Open Day is designed as a taster day. Those attending will be able to obtain information from experienced club members about fly fishing at any level from the beginner to the experienced angler.

All members of our club are passionate about fly fishing and several members have competed in international, national and state level competitions, so there is a wealth of knowledge to draw on.

Demonstrations and advice will cover casting, fly tying and entomology, knots, gear selection, cleaning and filleting, as well as where to fish, when to fish and how to fish.

There will be opportunity for patrons to practise some of these activities under expert tuition. Quamby Fly Fishers Club Open Day offers something for everyone so come along and enjoy a relaxed and informative day.

When: Saturday 21 September 2019 Time: 10am to 3pm Venue: Meander Memorial Hall, Meander Cost:

gold coin donation Lunch: food for purchase Raffle: prizes for fishing, winners being drawn at the Fly Fishers site at the Tasmanian Craft Fair in Deloraine on November 4.

Inquiries: Eve Berne, 03 63695121 / 0427 695 121; Mark Sutton; 0409647966 Website:

Heart and soul in Hong’s unique crafts

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann
Hong Ma, at the Deloraine Community shed, with one of her newest creations, a small wooden box inset with translucent green resin.  Photo by Mike Moores

Hong Ma, at the Deloraine Community shed, with one of her newest creations, a small wooden box inset with translucent green resin.

Photo by Mike Moores

By Lorraine Clarke

THE 2019 Tasmanian Craft Fair will honour the craftsmanship of Deloraine Community Shed artisan Hong Ma this year.

After reviewing examples of the woodwork articles that she creates with great flair, skill and love for our local timbers, it was determined that her work is of such a high standard that it deserves to be shared with the many thousands of visitors who visit the Fair.

Hong is delighted to have been chosen as the 2019 Emerging Artist, and to be invited to present her work in a central venue from November 1 to 4 this year.

The Tasmanian Craft Fair website quotes Hong’s passionate feelings about her art:

‘I love the natural beauty of wood. I feel sad to waste even one piece of it. I often use what other people consider as firewood. Many times, projects of mine have started by saving a piece of wood. Sometimes I have to wait a while for the timber to talk to me.

‘In my mind, wood is not the only beautiful part of the tree. Seeds, leaves and flowers can also be very pretty. So, in my work I like to experiment to display them together.

‘The using of resin has become very important to me for combining all these elements together.

‘Often, I will use colour pencils, woodturning shavings, food ingredients, or whatever else I may find to enrich my work.

‘I don’t like repetitions, so I always think to do something different, something unique. Every year I try to use different techniques or elements to come up with something different to what I’ve made before.

‘I love woodwork. It allows me to express my spirit.’ artist

Cambodian carving

Arts and Reviews, FeatureJoanne Eisemann

By Sharon Webb

COOL TEMPERATURES during the Tasmanian Craft Fair were a new experience for four visiting Cambodian artists and sculptors demonstrating their skills at the Deloraine event this year.

Accustomed to the 30C-plus temperatures of their homes in Siem Reap in Cambodia’s north, the artists rugged up with scarves and jackets to combat cold November winds.

Their manager, installation artist Svay Sareth, said the four were having an outstanding trip to Tasmania; stone sculptors Rath Phun and Chab Khchao had never been out of Cambodia before he said.

“We are staying in a stone cottage in Dunorlan and loving it,” he said.

“It was arranged for us by the Deloraine Rotarians; we have never stayed in such a place before.

“We are interested to see the support for young artists in Australia; in our country to be an artist is to take a risk.”

Svay, whose large installation art was not being exhibited at the fair but can be seen in Hong Kong, South Korea, Berlin and New York, spoke for the two stone sculptors who have workshops at Artisans D’Angkor in Siem Reap.

There, tourists can see Rath and Chab and other craftspeople at work, using their ancient skills to make replica sculptures to rejuvenate the 9th – 15th century Angkor temple complex on a 162 hectare just outside Siem Reap – temples only uncovered from the jungles in recent decades and which are now Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction.

The fourth Cambodian, Nguon Savann Melea, is communications director at Artisans D’Angkor and showed fair-goers stunning silk scarves and handbags made from fabrics created at Cambodian silkworm farms and their attached weaving mills.

Svay described bringing large slabs of stone to Tasmania, used by Rath and Chab to sculpt an elephant and an ancient Khmer king during the craft fair.

But he also spoke to Rotarians in particular about the precarious political situation in Cambodia and the impact of China on the world economy.

These subjects are embedded in Svay’s contemporary art, some of which has been collected by the National Gallery in Melbourne. Having grown up in a refugee camp in Cambodia during the 1970s and 1980s, a time of the notorious communist government of Pol Pot, the themes of war and resistance are always present in his work.

Announced Contemporary Asian Artist of the Year in 2016, Svay’s message is ultimately positive: “Artists have the possibility of power to change things for the new generation,” he said

Visiting Cambodian artists displayed their unique talents at the Deloraine Craft Fair this year. Photo by Mike Moores

Visiting Cambodian artists displayed their unique talents at the Deloraine Craft Fair this year. Photo by Mike Moores

Revving up for Craft Fair

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment



THE NEW Tasmanian Craft Fair Director, Lesley Dare, opens the throttle on this year’s Fair with new exhibitions that offer something for everyone.

From working displays involving master artisans in stone and wood carving from Cambodia, to rediscovering the story of Hydro wood. Plus there will be masterclasses from top Tasmanian fine timber artisans and displays of their magnificent crafts.

You can learn how to fly fish with top Tasmanian Fly Fishers, try a new craft or join in the conversation on creating a ‘Beyond Blue Farmer’. Along with parades of wearable art and costumes from the local dramatic society, you can watch glass blowers in action.

This year’s Craft Fair, from the 2nd to 5th November, offers a great opportunity for the entire family to experience Australia’s largest working Craft Fair, organised by the Rotary Club of Deloraine.

Photo | John Dare

$14,000 in prize money

News, Arts and ReviewsJoanne EisemannComment

February 2018

APPLICATIONS FOR exhibitions in the Tasmania Craft Fair (TCF) are now open.

This is an opportunity to be part of Australia’s largest working display of arts and crafts, gourmet food and entertainment. The TCF is staged across 7 venues and attracts over 20,000 visitors to Deloraine for four days in November.

Prize money in excess of $14,000 will be awarded over the weekend, including the opportunity to win the Premier’s Award for Excellence, sponsored by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, which amounts to $10,000.

This year, its 38th, the TCF will feature a special display of stonework from Cambodia.

If your work is created by, designed by and/or made by you, then the TCF is looking to hear from you. Exhibitor applications close on 31st March 2018.

For more information visit

Creative Craft Fair delights

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment


A WESTBURY dad and daughter team will front up two of the new taste sensations at this year’s Tasmanian Craft Fair.

For sweet-toothed patrons, John Wisby from Swirlies Gourmet Icecream will be serving up berry icecream and brandy baskets with icecream, berries and chocolate.

And Jo Da Silva, from Sailor Food Truck, will cater for the fish and chip freaks with her salt ’n pepper calamari and beer battered flathead & chips.

Sailor Food Truck is brand new, having had its first outing a few weeks ago on a Friday night at Rotary Park in Deloraine – with Dad alongside in his Swirlies Gourmet Icecream van.

“We had 165 customers and sold out in two hours,” Jo said. “We hope to do it every Friday.”

Not to be outdone, John plans to serve up a Craft Fair special – strawberry with Tasmanian pepperberry.

“The customers choose their berry – strawberry, raspberry or blueberry – and I blend the berries with vanilla icecream on the spot,” he said.

Craft Fair director Tim Biggs said organisers aim to cater for all food tastes, with food for those who want to try something new – and food for those who just want the good old favourites such as hamburgers and pies.

New food opportunities at this year’s Fair include:

Haddo’s Hot Dogs – gourmet hot dogs (including vegetarian) from Adelaide: get them at the Showground.

Yodel Yums – German-style doughnuts with choc centre or chocolate, raspberry or caramel topping: get them at Rotary Park.

Raw Dealer – cakes (pictured) and slices free from gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugar, including white chocolate and berry, chocolate and peanut butter, and coffee flavours: get them at the Community Complex.

Swirlies Gourmet Icecream - berry icecream, brandy baskets and toasted waffles with berry icecream: get them at the Community Complex.

Sailor Food Truck – salt ‘n pepper calamari, beer battered flathead & chips: get them at the Community Complex.

Photo | image supplied

Josh Foley Craft Fair featured artist

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment

OCTOBER 2017 | Sharon Webb

IN NORTHERN Tasmania Josh Foley’s major claim to fame is winning the Glover Prize for landscape painting in 2011.

In southern Tasmania, he could be known arguably in future years as the guy who painted the splashy four-storey wave that wraps a Derwent-side Taroona High School building.

This year, Josh will be the Featured Artist at November’s Tasmanian Craft Fair in Deloraine.  Another notch in the belt of a home-grown artist who seems determined to absorb the State’s history and landscape for translation into his creative style.

“The Glover gives artists great exposure to the art-loving public and winning it surprised me.  I would have been happy just to get into the exhibition because I’d failed to do that on six previous occasions,” he said.

The back story of his winning work is deceptively simple: as Josh tells it. Living next door to the Quarry Rd site in West Launceston, he was intrigued by its growing hoard of 14 trailers and other junk and decided to paint it.

In his hands, this urban junkyard location, named after Launceston Mayor Henry Gee (who watched supply ships coming up the Tamar from there), became a brown hut nestled in a swirling multi- coloured texture of hills and river. The work described by the Glover judges as “standing out as unlike any of the other works” in that year’s prize.

Earlier this year the historical thread appeared again when Josh created a multi-media installation.  Exhibited during ‘Ten Days on the Island’ with work by three other artists at Patterdale, the homestead of colonial artist John Glover.

The installation was a different creative step for him.  His work from his 2017 intermittent residency at the Woolmers Estate (Longford) will also be different.

“I’ve immersed myself in the history of Woolmers, interpreting it in paintings and video,” Josh said. “I’m experiencing a week in each season there, and the work will be exhibited in the opening of their new centre next year.”

As someone whose creativity seems enmeshed with growing up and living in the Tasmanian environment, UTAS-educated Josh sees advantages in being located away from the world’s big cities.

“Having a sense of isolation can help ideas germinate,” he said.

“Being in Tasmania can be challenging logistically and to find audiences, but it’s an interconnected place these days.  Living here, I can develop a more unique voice.”

Photo | image supplied

Kate Piekutovsky Craft Fair emerging artist

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment

OCTOBER 2017 | Sharon Webb

THERE’S A SECRET code in Kate Piekutowsky’s art that only her friends and family know.

Her very feminine-stylised etchings are grey, their unpredictable, sometimes aggressive lines created with nitric acid on steel plates. But in each one a surprising pop of scarlet leaps out: a pair of shoes, a dress, an umbrella.

That code red, according to Hobart-born Kate, who has been selected as the Emerging Artist at the 2017 Tasmanian Craft Fair in Deloraine, reveals her second home.

“It’s a symbol of Poland,” she said simply.

“My parents moved to Australia 30 years ago, away from communism and a difficult life, and I grew up in a mixed Polish/Australian culture.

“Even in Renaissance paintings, red spoke of love, blood,war, emotions; for me it was putting a sense of that Polish homeland into the work.”

Inextricably bound with that patriotic identifier is Kate’s statement about ‘home’ through her work.  She grew up in the Hobart suburb of Taroona and inevitably romanticised her depiction of the Polish homeland.

“Everything I do is about the home, belonging and identity,” she said.

“I grew up with a beautiful, romanticised version of Poland, and a lot of my work is based on this.  I was drawn to etching by my parents who showed me etchings by the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer.  At an early age I saw art in the Louvre and the Vatican, and was influenced by European history.”

“I was obsessed with Poland.  Then I realised how much I love Tasmania and the influences of nature, plants and flowers came into my work.  I understood that I have two home connections.”

“Exploring the concept of how we create a connection with home, I’ve designed and made ceramics, prints, clothing, cushions and jewellery.  I’ve expanded to creating digital fabrics, creating the idea of home and homeland within my work.”

Visitors to the Tasmanian Craft Fair will see the seamless bonding effect of these two homelands in Kate’s work. The merging of the influences of her loving Polish family culture with an Australian environment.

“I grew up in Taroona and really belonged there. I still have the friends I made at Taroona Primary, my parents still live there, my brother has just bought a house there and I’d like to have a family there too.

“Rather than Tasmania’s beaches and bush, which I love, I believe it’s that strong sense of home and belonging that’s visible in my work.”

Photo | Image supplied

Artist Awards

Events, Arts and ReviewsJoanne EisemannComment

April 2017

THE TASMANIAN Craft Fair (TCF) is calling for submissions for its Tasmanian Young Artist Awards (TYAA) by any child in full-time education from grades 7 to 12 at any Tasmanian school or college, who is aged under 18 at the time of application.

For more info visit Applications close on 1st July 2017.

Sharp enough to shave with

Arts, EventsJoanne EisemannComment


DECEMBER 2016 | Chere Kenyon

THE TASMANIAN Craft Fair proved, once again, it was alive and kicking with a fascinating range of new exhibitors that included products such as the PeacePods - funeral caskets owned and designed by Mea Souris; made of environmentally friendly recycled paper and plywood.

Fashioned like a round tube they certainly do not evoke images of death, but rather draw one in to touch them.

“There is no affection for a coffin. But these PeacePods are more calming and evoke a serene feeling,” stated Mea. “There is no cringe factor.”

A celebrant for about 40 years, she has always felt that funerals should be more positive; leaving loved ones with a better feeling.

Ideal to order in advance, “you can decorate or paint [the Pods] the colours you want… [and] use calligraphy or collage”.

“They can have gold leaf or poems. The sky is the limit,” she added.

It means you can involve yourself in the process of enhancing your Pod as much, or as little, as you wish.  Or your family or friends could decorate it, making it more meaningful.

Another intriguing exhibitor was Myles Kirkman, an emerging designer of knives who is only 18 years of age.

Myles said, “Three years ago, in the shed one day, I whittled wood into a knife and Dad suggested I make a real knife.”

What began as a school project is now an exciting business opportunity of selling his knives at Elemental Artspace in Deloraine All Goods in Launceston, Devonport and the Northern Territory.

Myles is also conscious of not wasting our precious resources, while supporting local businesses.

“We use all locally sourced Tasmanian timbers for the knife handles. One person makes guitars and we get offcuts from him. Then offcuts from the knives are used to make wooden keyrings,” he shared.

An old favourite, Sheffield’s World of Marbles was once again wowing audiences with  artisan Jim Mitchell firing up a burner to craft marbles onsite.

Taking a clear rod of glass, he applied decorations, twisted and covered it with black glass; melting it into blends which would become the marble.

Jan Clay, who runs the 12-year-old business, creates glass sculptures as well.

“We are the only shop in Australia to specialise in art glass marbles,” he added.

In addition his son, Shasa Bolton, is its kinetic sculpture artist; interestingly extending their range of marble and glass artefacts.

You can contact each of the exhibitors for more information about their respective crafts.

Mea Souris via her website

Myles Kirkman via

World of Marbles via

Photo | Mike Moores

UTas students design Craft Fair entrance

Arts, EventsJoanne EisemannComment


OCTOBER 2016 | Chere Kenyon

TIM BIGGS, Director of the Tasmanian Craft Fair (TCF), in conjunction with students of the Architecture and Design School at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), have come up with an innovative drawcard for this year’s fair.

Tim felt that TCF really needed a portal to set off the main entrance to the fair, approaching UTAS to ask if its students could deliver “something that people can walk through, and be whimsical enough to engage them”.

He added, “It is a good collaboration as they are very enthusiastic and easy to work with. And it is a really good experience for them, having to project manage to a budget and to justify what they are doing.”

According to UTAS lecturer Mark Bagguley, designing a structure is a complex process, “Testing it is a mixture of digital and hands-on work.”

A plywood portal was decided because the material is cheap and flexible.

Students design it digitally in an architecture program called Grasshopper, performing many physical tests on different plywood weaves, material thickness and bending stress, and building models with each step to work out the number of laminates they will need.

“You have to understand how it is going to work from scale with the material. The main problem is the timber’s wind load: how far can the material go before it starts to fracture, de-laminate and break?” related Mark.

These real-world projects are very important for the students, as “some of them have not touched raw materials before. They get further and further removed as they advance”.

Tim added, “TCF is funding the entrance portal, but as we raise money for community projects and charities, we would like to get some assistance if we can.”

So please help fund this Rotary Club of Deloraine project. It provides opportunities for UTAS Architecture and Design students, as well as draw crowds to the Tasmanian Craft Fair.

To donate to this project, please visit

Photo | Mike Moores

Fun at the fair

Arts, EventsJoanne EisemannComment

October 2016

AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST working craft fair, the Tasmanian Craft Fair (TCF), provides a chance to come and meet artists, artisans and craftspeople.

Find items you may want to buy and discover the story behind the making of them.

With 240 stalls, 70 exhibitors will be demonstrating their work on site with another 40 having a display that shows how they make their products.

This year there will be 40 new stalls, lots of entertainment (especially for children) and other special attractions.

Of special interest is 2016's emerging artist Myles Kirkman, a local lad who makes knives.

Myles uses Tasmanian timbers and upcycled bandsaw blades to create high quality items.

This year the TCF Official Charity is Giant Steps Tasmania. Located in Deloraine, it is the only specialised school for autism in the island state.

Little Woodstock

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

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October 2016 | Sharon Webb

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THE FABULOUS musical talent of Meander Valley and north-west Tasmania will be on show in Deloraine’s main street during the Tasmanian Craft Fair at the Little Laneway Fringe Festival.

Blues singer Pete Cornelius will be a highlight of the long weekend program held in the laneway between Seppenfelts and the Empire Hotel, along with Ed Tuleja of Meander.

Musical director Lisa Yeates said other performers will include band Velvet Sledgehammer, Kim Clark from Jackeys Marsh, singer/guitarist Matthew Wood and many more. Drummers and circle dancers will join in the fun.

The tempo will change over the four-day weekend as musicians are joined by Launceston poets, including Yvonne Gluyas who is renowned for her poetry grand slam performances.

Organiser Linda Pittard said last year’s first Little Laneway Fringe Festival proved a great success with dozens of musicians, poets, dancers and drummers performing and good crowds gathering to spend time in the laneway’s ambience or just pop their heads in to see what was going on.

“There was a real buzz to the main street, with visitors and locals contributing to and enjoying this vibrant sense of community and we want to do it again.

“We’re fine-tuning to make Little Laneway 2016 better than ever and we know the local community will support us by joining in the fun,” Ms Pittard said.

Calling artisans - share your skills

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment

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August 2016 | Chere Kenyon

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THE YEAR is slowly winding down so that means we are once again nearing that busy time of year in Deloraine’s crafting calendar – The Tasmanian Craft Fair.

Tasmanian Craft Fair (TCF) – the organisation working behind the scenes – is now inviting makers throughout the Meander Valley Area to demonstrate their talents by holding workshops immediately after the Fair.

TCF Director, Tim Biggs said, “The concept is not about making money but to promote the district as one of artistic excellence.”

TCF will be doing the advertising and promotion of the workshops for the fair. So there’s never been a better time to take the plunge and show others your unique talent and to open up possible business opportunities.

Tim added, “This is a great opportunity for the wonderful Artists and Artisans of Meander Valley to take advantage of the many visitors to the area, to pass on their skills and to help further the festival atmosphere of the Craft Fair.”

If you are interested in being a workshop trainer, or for further information,please contact Tim Biggs on 0488 011 284 for an Expression of Interest form.

A very long gallery

Arts, EventsJoanne EisemannComment

August 2016

POSSIBLY THE longest art gallery in Tasmania, Windows On the Arts (WOAD), is back again for the upcoming Craft Fair.

Held from Thursday 3rd November to Tuesday 8th November 2016 WOAD celebrates the work of Tasmanian professional and emerging artists.

Windows in the main street of Deloraine come alive with artworks.

The exhibition is facilitated and curated by Arts Deloraine who are now calling for artists to exhibit their work.

On offer is a unique art experience with exposure to the 20,000+ people who visit the Tasmanian Craft Fair.

The exhibition is located in Emu Bay Road shop windows and is known as 'WOAD 16 Street Gallery'.

Artists are given the opportunity to showcase their ongoing style/practice and are asked to submit the work, current or past (not previously exhibited in WOAD) that MOST represents them to the public in 2016.

Applications close 2nd September and notifications will be made by 7th October.

Set up will take place on the 2nd November with take down on the 9th or 10th November.

To apply please contact WOAD 16, Arts Deloraine in subject line.