Saturday, 7 October 2017

A great event to visit ~ Lost Trades Fair

This weekend the Cobb and Co Museum in Toowoomba is the venue for the Lost Trades Fair and I believe it is the first time the Fair has been held interstate. I was in the long queue at the door when it opened this morning and I can assure you it is well worth visiting if it is ever in your region. For those who live in our area it is still on tomorrow (8th October) and I can guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy seeing all the craftsmen and women at work.

Lace Making

According to founders  Lisa and Glen Rundell 'The Lost Trades Fair was established with a vision to acknowledge and promote fine craftsmanship, traditional skills, rare trades and decorative arts. Our aim is to promote artisans pursuing traditional trades as a career with authenticity and an integrity that validates what they do and acknowledges their dedication to preserving and passing on traditional skills and knowledge.'

On walking into the venue you can hear lots of banging going on and, if you follow the noise you will come across....

 ...the blacksmiths. Just as well it was a cool drizzly day and not the 35C temps we had recently as those fires looked very hot.

There was an old time saddlery. I can remember one of these in the main street when I was growing up. I didn't appreciate the smell of leather in those days.

Then there was the absolutely stunning furniture which was so popular that it was hard to find a space to take a photo. Everyone was drooling at that wood. 

 The majority of the presenters were outside and I couldn't go past the pleasant man with the mechanical organ playing a lovely tune. He will probably have RSI by the end of the day from turning the wheel.

 There were some locals showing their crafts at the Fair and I came across a familiar face. It was our very own Simple Living Toowoomba co-ordinator, Margy, who was explaining the ins and outs of keeping bees.


 Another lady who lives in the area was making straps for a bag on her loom. She plans to cut out a bag from the woven piece she is holding and the straps in the loom will be the handles. I loved the colours she is using.

Another local was making lace. She said she will probably make a doily out of what she is working on. Behind her was a bigger project which is featured in the first photo....

 ...and behind that again was lace featuring the bobbins which were used many years ago.

 There was another blacksmith ~ Rob Scully from Wivenhoe Blacksmiths.

 Lots of work goes into making these rocking horses.

 This was the craftsman who featured on our local TV ads for the Fair. According to the website his name is George and I thought it was George Cooper but apparently a Cooper is a person who makes utensils, barrels etc. usually out of wood that has been steamed.

Here is some of his handiwork.  

 The Hemp Building Company had a very interesting display. Check out their website and see what they can build with hemp-lime. Amazing!

 Also there was  McMillan Heritage Plastering which has recently refurbished our city hall's art deco theatre. I can't wait to see it when it opens.

How would you like a bassinet like this one? That brought back memories.

I didn't plan on buying anything at the Fair but I was quite taken by some of the handcrafted biscuit and scone cutters made by BISK-ART from Ballarat. I had been to the Farmers' Market beforehand and had spent all my cash and I couldn't tell if you could pay by card so I left it. However, after I got home I starting thinking about how cute they are and would be a nice little something to tuck inside a gift so I went back this afternoon and bought teapot and cup cutters. Cute eh? 

So I would highly recommend going to the Fair if it is ever in your area. I believe the next one will be held in Kyneton where it is usually held and that will be on the 10th and 11th March. I was told it is twice the size of the one here. However, it will be back in Toowoomba next year on the 6th and 7th October 2018 so don't miss it!

We are very fortunate to have the Cobb and Co Museum in Toowoomba and there are always very interesting events and exhibitions being held there. Coming up on the 30th November is Handmade Under The Stars which is open from 4-8pm. We are spoiled for choice here aren't we? :-)

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. How utterly engrossing. There seems to be a resurgence in interest right across the world in forgotten arts and trades. No wonder lace used to be only for the rich ...imagine the sheers hours required.

  2. Oh Chel, what an interesting event. I would love to attend one like that.
    I remember we had several of those bobbins at home, used by my paternal grandma. She knew how to make lace. I never got to see her as she passed way before I was born.
    love that bassinet too. :)

  3. Hi Chel, I popped over to have a look at your post after you mentioned it on the forum. We have promised ourselves for years that we would go up to that show at Kyneton, but unfortunately with Ken's health, he wouldn't be able to walk around for very long. It sound fascinating, and your photos are terrific!

  4. Oh my I had no idea about this at all and it is so close to home. I’ve already looked at the site to purchase tickets for March next year.
    I think it would be good for the kids too.
    Thanks for sharing and I’m so happy you enjoyed it.

  5. Chel this is another Toowoomba event that I am going to have to add to the list to attend. Thank goodness for Brothers with big back yards to accommodate big sisters and their even bigger caravans.

  6. Golly, all that is awesome! I recognised Margy too. And such cute biscuit cutters, for morning or afternoon tea, cuppas. :)

  7. What a great event to go along to, Chel. Aren't people just so talented! The lace-making photos reminded me of the last time I saw lace being made. We were in Venice and an elderly lady was sitting just inside her doorway and working away on the lace. At her feet was a basket of little tiny lace butterflies that she was selling. I brought one home with me because I couldn't go past having a tiny reminder of such a beautiful craft. I hang it on our Xmas tree very year. Meg:)

  8. How beautiful that some of our older and more traditional crafts are being celebrated and continued. My grandfather was a blacksmith.
    I'm glad you went back and purchased those cookie cutters Chel, so cute!

  9. What a wonderful idea! It sounds fascinating seeing people working at crafts/trades of older times. We often think of those skills as being in danger of being lost, so it's so good to read about The Lost Trades Fair.

  10. Wow that looks so interesting. I think it would be great to take my daughter to something like this. So educational for children (and adults) to see how things like this are made and to give them a deeper appreciation of the skill and time involved. Will keep that in mind for next year! I do love the cookie cutters too!

  11. I'd love to see something like that! I can't get over the lace making and all those little spools. So beautiful. I have a friend that's pretty handy with old-timey crafts. She can weave, tat, basket weave, & blow glass. Her home is like a mini museum to me!

    Thanks for sharing!


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