Meet the makers at the Mining Exchange

May 5, 2022 BY

Silversmith and jewellery maker Rachel Grose will be returning to the Mining Exchange of Heritage Fest’s Craft Lab 22.

FOLLOWING its successful debut last year, Craft Lab will be held again at the Ballarat Mining Exchange over two weekends next month on 21 and 22 May and 28 and 29 May.

Part of the Ballarat Heritage Festival, Craft Lab 22 brings together a selection of the finest makers from Ballarat and surrounding regions to demonstrate their heritage trades, fine arts, traditional practices, cultural rituals, lost skills and contemporary methods.

There will be 17 practitioners displaying in the alcoves of the Mining Exchange, openly sharing their skills.

This includes weaving, ceramics, natural dyeing, knife making, silverwork and upholstery, to musical instrument crafting and traditional first nations crafts from Australia and the world.

Craft Lab 22 curator Amelia James explained that the event was all about celebrating the ongoing practice of craft, and the use of traditional skills and techniques in a contemporary practice.

“Think things that are no longer part of the mainstream,” she said.

As well as being able to meet the makers in person, there will also be a central display showcasing additional Ballarat region practitioners with a theme of ‘The Long Shared Table’.

“This evokes the idea about the things we share together and the intersection of function and form, because that really is what crafting is, something utilitarian but elevated to another level of enjoyment,” Ms James said.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to buy some of the makers’ works and participate in weeknight workshops.

Silversmith Rachel Grose will be demonstrating her jewellery‐making and will also have her current collection on sale, which features turquoise, and pieces inspired by native botanicals.

She has been honing her craft since she fell in love with the skill at a jewellery class at the age of 15.

“I love silver, I love how you can manipulate and rework it, and I also love sourcing gemstones,” she said.

Grose said she was excited to be a part of the craft lab for a second year.

“People are really interested in the process and appreciate the time and effort people have put into things, and appreciate the durable, long‐lasting aspect to these crafts,” she said.

“It is also lovely to be exposed to different crafts and mediums people are using around town.

“Everyone is very generous with their knowledge.”

To complement the exhibition, workshops, talks and panel discussions are scheduled throughout the week.

“There is a lot to take in in one visit, people will be delighted,” Ms James said.

Craft Lab 22takes place from 10am to 5pm on 21, 22, 28 and 29 May and the Mining Exchange, Lydiard Street North, Ballarat. Entry is Free.

For more info visit ballarathertiagefestival.com.au.