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Undercurrent Market: celebrating a decade of beautiful design

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This weekend, Undercurrent Design Market will celebrate 10 years of beautiful design with 64 stalls and 70 makers across 22-24 November.

A decade ago, when Undercurrent Design Market was first held at the National Portrait Gallery, could co-founder Rich Baz have imagined it would be the behemoth event it is today? Apparently not.

“It started as an idea that we weren’t sure would be well received,” says Rich. “The first year was a really heartening response—and every year it’s grown.”

“We’re passionate about supporting artists in every which way, and this is one way where artists can come and sell direct their handmade craft—whether that be jewellery or a piece of ceramics of glass or clothing.”

Rich and partner in everything Mel O’Hanlon founded design haven The Curatoreum—the couple starting Undercurrent in 2009 as a way for homegrown creatives to come together in an all-weather space across two whole days.

“Buying directly from the maker is part of the fun of Undercurrent—there’s something magical about that,” says Rich. “Meeting the people that actually assemble these items—the item is so much more special.”

Rich adds that he has some of long-time Undercurrent stallholder Harriet Schwartzrock’s glasses as drinking tumblers at home and sees immense value in appreciating beautiful design every day.

“Harriet is one of our longest stallholders and we drink out of [the tumblers] every night. They’re really beautiful, they’re not mass-produced and we know the person who made them.

“Supporting an artist directly is something we all should be doing because they make our world more beautiful and—a lot of the time—they’re not recognised as much as they should be.”

It also goes without saying that Undercurrent’s late November date makes it the perfect opportunity for Christmas shopping, with stalls offering a plethora of gifting options—from jewellery to ceramics, papercraft, prints, cushions, clothing, Canberra-themed paraphernalia, glasswork and toys and much more.

We’ve already revealed which new stallholders you can look forward to meeting at Undercurrent 2019 (click here to read), however, ahead of Undercurrent’s tenth market this weekend, we’re taking a look back on some of the makers who have been with Undercurrent since 2009—the greatest hits of Undercurrent Design Market, if you will.

ALL THE KING’S MEN

“Bags aren’t normally made in Australia—but these are all made here,” says Rich of All the King’s Men’s bespoke leather goods. “They’ve been at Undercurrent for the whole 10 years, which is quite remarkable.”

Remarkable is also the perfect word for All the King’s Men’s sleek range of bags and satchels—all handmade in Australia in timeless styles.

ALISON JACKSON

Credit: Karina Sharpe.

Alison Jackson’s name is synonymous with Canberra’s flourishing jewellery scene. Her clean silver lines, looped styles and diverse sizing has made her pieces popular across Canberra and beyond with pieces from tiny elegant stud earrings to statement necklaces.

Did we mention she does tableware too? As one of the most popular stalls at Undercurrent each year, we encourage you to check out Ali’s work sooner rather than later.

BOP DOTZ

With a muted tones and smooth, simple shapes, Bop Dotz ceramics are the perfect gift for…anyone, really.

With kitchen and homeware essentials across a neutral palette that will suit every home, these are perfect as a secret Santa or a build-your-own set.

EMMA KIDSON

Jeweller Emma Kidson draws inspiration from Australian flora and natural shapes, making her delicate rings and earrings embellished with pops of colour the perfect gift for anyone with a love of the bush or native blooms. We’ll take one of everything, thanks!

the essentials

What: Undercurrent Design Market 2019
When: Friday 22 November: 5–8 pm, Saturday 23 November: 10 am–5 pm, Sunday 24 November: 10 am–5 pm
Where: National Portrait Gallery, Parkes
Cost: Free entry
More information: Via Facebook 

Feature image: All The King’s Men

This editorial was created in partnership with Undercurrent Design Market. For more information on sponsored partnerships, click here

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