For almost 40 years this state’s November long weekend has been devoted to all things craft, with thousands converging on Deloraine for the annual Tasmanian Craft Fair.
This year, like so many before, Deloraine became a hub of activity as Tasmanians joined mainlanders and international visitors at the fair.
This event is the largest working display of arts and crafts in Australia, attracting more than 200 artists and artisans, and 15,000 visitors for the town’s biggest weekend of the year.
These visitors enjoy fine art displays, craft stalls, gourmet food, entertainment and working craft displays, which showcases what Tasmania has to offer as a creative and productive state, but also introduces Tasmanians to national and international artists.
Of the 201 craft exhibitors at the 2018 event, 134 (67 per cent) were Tasmanian, 50 (25 per cent) came from Victoria, 11 (five per cent) originated in NSW and six (3 per cent) came from South Australia.
During the four-day event these artists become a community within the Deloraine community, with many coming back year after year.
This year’s Tasmanian Craft Fair Premier’s Award for Excellence winner Jean Swinyard said the support was one of the main reasons she came to Tasmania from Sydney each year.
“I really appreciate the support because for any artist the affirmation is what gives you the confidence to keep going,” she said.
And after this year’s success, Swinyard can’t wait to come back again in 2019.
“People go out of their way to reassure you and help you, anything you need it’s just amazing the community feel is priceless,” she said.
This type of event is exactly what showcases our state’s community spirit at its best, but it goes beyond feeding our creative side for a few days.
The Tasmanian Craft Fair funds a myriad of community projects, which extends that goodwill and support beyond Deloraine to help others within the state, country and even internationally.