indie art & design blog

perth's market frenzy

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 | by Carolyn Price
Flyer for Made On The Left Market in Perth 12.7.2008

Local Perth designers will be making their mark this year with the launch of two exciting new designer markets: Made On The Left (which is on this weekend!), and Perth Upmarket (being held in September).

Perth Upmarket screenshot

The lineup for both markets is looking great - there is a long list of designers who will have stalls this Saturday (12.7.2008) at Made On The Left and the lineup for Perth Upmarket is growing every day it seems!

Enthusiasm for handmade crafts & locally designed products is bubbling over in Perth. There are already lots of gorgeous retail boutiques, but up until now there has been a distinct lack of markets specifically for designers' products. It looks will be following hot on the heels of established design markets in other states such as Hope Street Markets (Sydney) & Rose Street Artists Market (Melbourne).

I Dream of Boab Trees Three by Dara Clemens

"I Dream of Boab Trees Three" by Dara Clemens, one of the driving forces behind Made On The Left

To get a feel for the market mood in Perth, I quizzed a selection of organisers & stallholders... I asked DARA CLEMENS (of Made On The Left):
"Made On The Left was founded by a number of Perth designers. How did you find each other & what motivated you to to launch the Made On The Left market?"

"The Made on the Left committee is made up of Sarah, Jacquie, Ali J, Rosanna and myself. We met on the Perth forum thread at and setting up a designer art and craft market along with a complimentary website came up in conversation. To make a long story short we came together to make it happen!

Open Mines by Dara Clemens

"Open Mines", a triptych by Dara Clemens depicting the open cut mines that are spreading like wild fire throughout WA. Each canvas measures 255×255mm and the work will be availble at Made On The Left Market for AUD $200.

Between the 5 of us we have an amazing variety of skills and have managed to do everything from the press releases (5 different local papers and hopefully a few state ones this week), poster design (Ali J and Jacquie for graphic and Jacquie put the whole thing together), administration (forms, liaison with venue etc) and promotional distribution (leg work around town plus a whole lot of emailing).

Our motivation...I guess we all feel that Perth desperately needs more avenues in which local designers, artists and crafters can display and sell their wares. And that it would be great to have a website that brought together information from around WA, an easy link between sellers and those interested in buying either as an individual or retail."

Limited Edition Bibs by Perth's Oli B Designs

Limited edition bibs by Oli B Designs, who will have a stall at Perth Upmarket. (AUD $14.95 each)

JUSTINE BARSLEY is responsible for launching Perth Upmarket. The Market will make its debut on Sunday September 14th at the Perth Town Hall. She is looking forward to making it a regular event, so Perth shoppers are in for a treat! (You can also keep up-to-date with Upmarket happenings at their blog). Justine is also the talented work-at-home-mum behind the label Oli B Designs & makes limited edition kids wear such as the funky little bibs pictured above. I asked Justine:
"Having moved to Perth just 2 years ago, what do you think is unique about the Perth design scene? How will this be reflected in the Perth Upmarket?"

"Having only moved to Perth two years ago I have found that there are lots of creative people, but they can be a bit hard to find. What I think is unique about Perth is the diverse mix of creative people and the openness of designers to work together. Whilst there are a few quality annual events, Perth has lacked a quality market where designers can showcase their designs on a regular basis and encourage repeat business. Perth Upmarket will bring Perth's talented artists, craftspeople, designers, stylists and gourmets all under one roof."

Felt Skull Hairclips by The Tiny Little Girl

Felt Skull Hairclips by The Tiny Little Girl (label of Perth designer Beth Wachla). Beth will have a stall at Made On The Left Market.

I also asked a few of the stallholders, "What are you most looking forward to with the launch of the new markets?"
BETH WACHLA who creates the friendly, creepy faces above & below for her label The Tiny Little Girl answered:

"I'm most looking forward to meeting fellow indie designers and sharing our hard work with the lovely people of Perth. I think the markets are a sign that Perth is moving forward in having our own identity on the Australian art scene, and that’s a really great thing."

Felt Skull Pin Cushions by The Tiny Little Girl

Felt Skull Pin Cushions by The Tiny Little Girl.

You simply can't go past felt skulls when they're this cute - I feel like jumping on a flight just to grab one for myself next weekend! I'm sure there will be many, many to choose from, but my favourites from the photos above would have to be the orange skull with white moustache hairclip and the blue pin cushion with the white sad face skull. Which ones do you like the best?

Owl & Kittie Cushions by Lisa Max

Owl & Kittie Cushions by Lisa Max, (AUD $20 each). Lisa will have a stall at both Made On The Left and Perth Upmarket.

LISA MAX is a designer who will have a stall at both upcoming designer markets in Perth. She makes the gorgeous animal cushions pictured above, and answered my question as follows:

"Everything! Designing and selling things is a completely new experience for me and I am not quite sure what I'm doing yet... I'm very much looking forward to meeting other designers and craftsters to see how they work and hear about their ideas and experiences."

Badges by Ali J Art

1" Badges by Ali J Art, (AUD $3.50 each). Ali will have a stall at both Made On The Left and Perth Upmarket.

ALI J (Alicia Rosam) is a freelance illustrator. She creates products based on her gorgeous & very distinctive illustrations of characters with red rosy cheeks & wild crazy hair. She answered my question as follows:

"This is such a difficult question as I don't have enough fingers to contain my excitement at being able to display my work at these new events. I think what I am most looking forward to is meeting new people and finding some subjects who I can use in future illustrations. I am also looking forward to being inspired and challenged by fellow designers and proud to see how much of the public will come out and support independent handmade design."

Pocket Mirrors by Ali J Art

Pocket Mirrors by Ali J Art, (AUD $8 each).

Felt Skull Badges by The Tiny Little Girl

Felt Skull Badges by The Tiny Little Girl. I thought these guys should have the last laugh...

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