City Hall, Brisbane City
Having had intentions to visit the BrisStyle markets for some time now, I finally made it to the August market at City Hall. (I did attend the Twilight Christmas markets last year in mid-December, but wouldn’t recommend them – I’ve seen calmer crowds at heavy metal concerts.)
I’d never been inside City Hall before, and it’s a lovely venue – the markets are set up across three rooms and there is plenty of space to walk around and just browse the groovy handmade wares. I found all the stallholders to be super friendly, happy to chat about their processes, products and inspirations, as well as their favourite pieces.
There’s something to interest everyone – beautiful beads, intricate jewellery (the sculptural rings by Michelle Pujol were a standout for me), handmade tote bags with lovely detail, beautiful miniature terrariums (some of which were edible!), quirky art prints and a whole lot more. The full list of stallholders are on the BrisStyle website, so you can check out the goodies (and work out your budget) before you go. Prices are very varied, even on the same stall – as with everything handmade, very different amounts of materials and time go into each item.
Among the fantastic craftspeople that I chatted to were Allie from Alliecard Creations and Kahni from Planet Pickle. Allie makes the super-cool fandom plushies on the left (I’m a huge geek at heart), from Doctor Who to Marvel & DC characters, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Kahni, on the right, makes beautiful jewellery that she describes as “silver-based silliness for carbon-based lifeforms”. Always wanted to hang a blinged-up Dalek around your neck? Eyeball bracelets? Star Trek earrings? Check out her online shop, it’s all sorts of awesome.
An unexpected highlight of my day was time that I spent with the lovely ladies from the Binky Collective’s Yarn Heart project. They very patiently taught me how to make pompoms on my fingers, though it turned out a little bit wild, as you can see! My heart, and the letter I wrote about being grateful for my community, will make its way to Darwin, where someone else will receive the heart and write their own letter. Warm and fuzzy feelings, everywhere!
The project is part of this year’s Darwin Festival, and brings communities together through the exchange of gratitude and handmade hearts. Check out the exchanges that have already been made (and make your own!) at the Yarn Heart website.
Overall, the Indie Markets were the perfect way to spend my Saturday morning – you can speed-shop the whole place in about half an hour, or spend a few hours like I did. Either way, it’s a nice atmosphere with a lot of talent and hard work on display.