The Hackett Park Craft Fair returns this year with over 60 participating vendors and 10 scheduled performers. The fair, a fundraiser for the Sunshine Coast Arts Council, is one of the largest juried fairs in the province, with artisans coming from near and far to ply their distinctive wares. While fair favourites Rock Flocks and Anthony Jamieson Designs, to name just two, will be returning, there will also be new vendors for patrons to discover.
Designers 3, comprised of fibre artists Jill Sullivan, Trisha Joel and Penny Connell, are established Sunshine Coast artists working in fabrics, creating beautiful wall hangings and other cloth based artworks. Their motivation for participating in the fair, the first for Sullivan and Joel, and only the second for Connell, came from a desire to try their hand at something different. “Making this kind of stuff is relaxing for me,” says Sullivan. “I use different skills entirely. With my artwork, I work in whole cloth and use fibre reactive dyes and stencils. The pieces for the craft fair are working with stuff that’s left over from other projects.”
Already environmentally mindful, the trio set out to make saleable goods that would appeal to discerning consumers looking for something exceptional and utilize materials they already had on hand. “That’s was our criteria,” says Sullivan. “We were not going out and buying stuff, but using stuff up that we already had in our studios or that people had given us.” For Sullivan that meant using India cloth scraps to piece together dresses, and turning her old drop sheets into attractive bags and purses. “I use canvass drop sheets when painting my artwork, and after a while, they don’t look too bad,” laughs Sullivan, referring to the drop sheets. “So I use them for bags and curtains.” The result is a stylish art bag, trimmed with leather from old coats and thrift store finds. Joel recycles bed sheets, worn linen tablecloths and other fabric scraps to create scarves, pillow covers and tops. Connell recycles and reuses reclaimed materials and found objects to create unique jewellery and fabric gift wrap.
Designers 3 is looking forward to the fair and the opportunities it could bring. “I guess I’ll find out if anyone besides me would actually wear one of my dresses,” jokes Sullivan. “It’s nice to take a break from the studio and try something new, so we’ll see how it all turns out.” The fair takes place in Hackett Park, Sechelt, August 15 and 16, 10am to 4pm. Suggested donation $3, $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 free.