1. Wrap yourself in something homemade
In the quiet little town of St Marys, tucked away in a converted service station, you’ll stumble across Gone Rustic. Here, one very crafty up-cycler, Rita Summers, creates extraordinary mixed media art, fibre and textile creations from hand selected pre-loved vintage silk and lace, which she then eco dyes with bark collected from her own property. At the studio, Rita not only displays and sells her work, she holds workshops and hosts exhibitions of local artisans and travelling displays.
2. Watch craftsmen at work
Be greeted by a distinctive Huon pine scent in a studio where creativity is encouraged, fun is harnessed and passion shines through in hand-finished timberwork. Craftsmen here come to work to have fun and you’ll often see them at a lathe, working on something, only to see it the next day on the shelves. At Wilderness Woodworks in Strahan you’ll learn about the salvaging and milling of Tasmania’s timbers, as well as have the opportunity to watch and talk with wood turners and cabinetmakers as they work.
3. Find bespoke jewellery
Designer and artist, Knut Mueller is inspired by Tasmania’s rugged beauty. Born in Germany near Hamburg, Knut moved to Tasmania in 1982 and now lives in Binalong Bay making bespoke pieces of jewellery like the painstakingly made ‘Love Tree’. Most days you can catch him at work in his studio. When he’s not there, he can be found at local east coast beaches gathering inspiration.
4. Hit a local design hub
Drop into an edgy design hub that’s been promoting inventive Tasmanian designs to the world since 1976. Better still, they’re affordable enough to take home. At Design Tasmania in the centre of Launceston, browse works of art by local Tasmania designers, and pick up a one-off platter or a Huon pine trivet for the table.
5. Pick out an original painting
An artist trained in the techniques of the School of Den Hague, has set up a showroom for his art in converted stables in the Tamar Valley. Portrait and landscape painter Pieter Zaadstra earned his first national award in the Netherlands at age 10, before migrating to Australia, where he adapted his techniques to the new Australian light. You can visit The Stables (by appointment) set on 12 acres of serene native bushland and view works that are often on show around the world. The Tamar Valley is also renowned for its cool climate wine and Pieter’s studio is just a stone’s throw from Stoney Rise vineyard, where you can enjoy a full-flavoured pinot and views across the kanamaluka / Tamar River.
6. Meet a maker on Church Street
Makers on Church St in Geeveston is home to a vibrant, local artistic community. Artisans work from their studios in an innovative, interactive and colourful environment producing specialty treasures and gifts, including woodcraft using local Tassie timbers, children’s handmade clothes, art, food and paper craft. In the gallery you’ll find a huge collection of paintings, Tasmanian timber furniture, handmade jewellery, and photographs and prints framed in Huon pine, sassafras, blackwood or myrtle. Also worth a look is Classwood in Church Street but in an entirely different town, Ross on the Heritage Highway. It’s a crafty souvenir shop, where you can pick up winter woollies and wood-turned bowls