Friday, 31 July 2009

Clothes Lines and Artisan Markets

As promised in response to some comments recently, here is my clothes line. Just an ordinary clothesline - although I do believe it folds up - not that it ever has! The bucket is for my pegs - it's tied on, so has to be tipped out when it rains and fills up with water. We are mid-winter here, so no snow, just cold weather some grim looking clouds. Sometimes there are cows over the back fence, but not today.

It appears from comments I received, that having no clothesline is a bit of an American phenomenon. It seems that many people aren't happy with the way clotheslines (full of clothes) look. We Aussies tend to tuck clotheslines out in the back yard, or in higher density areas they might be a retractable set up. So they're not really that obvious in the big picture.

More and more people are thinking 'green' and energy conservation, so the use of a clothes line makes good economic and environmental sense, providing its not raining or snowing outside. I believe this is a driving factor behind the "Right to Dry" groups in the US.

I personally do not and never have owned a dryer. If it's wet for an extended period and I really need what's still dripping on the line, then I get it off, respin it and hang it around the house for a day or so! The wind is pretty strong here since we're situated right atop the Great Dividing Range, so delicates tend to be hung on a rack in the laundry all year round, otherwise they'd either get damaged from the excessive flapping or end up down the paddock where they might get eaten by a cow!

A few of my friends do own a dryer, but they tell me they rarely use them - only on those occasions when they've forgotten to wash something they need for the next day (and its already 10pm) or if something is not quite dry after a day on the line in winter. In my case, I just have to find something else to wear!

When I lived in Sydney (too many years ago to admit) in an apartment, there was a laundry on each floor with a washing machine and dryer that was coin operated. Although they still did have a clothesline tucked away in a corner of the grounds :)

I'm finding this topic rather fascinating, so do let me know what you think about clothes lines, if you have one, if you've ever had one, or even if you want one!


Getting on to other things, I admit to being in a quandary about the lack of good artisan markets anywhere close by.

A few months ago I found that Canberra has Handmade - a quarterly market for artisans, designers and artists to show their wares. I was thrilled to see this - its the closest one yet! Perth is blessed a similar market and Sydney has the established Paddington Markets for new, hip, indie and handmade.

Yesterday while cruising around my blog list, I saw that Margarent of Konstant Kaos is attending her first Sisters Market and she also linked to Made n Thornbury - both handmade markets. How wonderful!

Now I know I live in the middle of nowhere (or everywhere?) so I've been looking at the major nearby towns with reasonable populations. There are plenty of galleries, but they only want 'art' and then at the other end of the spectrum there are general markets that have either imported goods or craft. It seems to be a case of And never the twain shall meet.

I appear to be falling through a gap in the market place. I have a great clientele and many admirers of my work, but I still have to get it out there and be seen to attract new clients.

So, what to do? I can see a need for something in say Mudgee - it's a good size town with wineries that attract a lot tourists all year round. But they very much have the gallery/market divide. As the town isn't that huge I wouldn't see a need for something frequently - but even a Christmas Designer Market would be fantastic. There are some very talented artisans in the district that surely could benefit! Am I the only one that sees this gap, and if so, do I REALLY want to be an events co-ordinator!?

OK, enough with the deep & meaningfuls! Think I'll look for a pretty picture instead to brighten my mood....

Ahhh much better :D Till next week!

(Rose quartz and amethyst sterling silver handmade bracelet with freshwater pearls in pinks and purples!)

Ooops, almost forgot to add - I've got 100 followers - YIPPEE! Thank you to Natalee of Raising Normal Kids for being number 100 :)
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