Market Facts & Figures


On 11th & 12th June, Handmade presented 220 stalls to Canberra’s discerning shoppers. And over 20,000 visitors tasted, tried and bought the best in Australian design and produce. We’ve already told you that the market is beautiful and well-attended, but did you know quite how much? The attendance at the last market was equal to the total crowds at the mid-June Brumbies and Raiders games combined and the daily attendance at Handmade was greater than the total daily attendance at Enlighten’s 2015 ticketed and non-ticketed events!

That was last month, but there are only eight weeks to go until we open the door for September’s market. Save the dates, as we will be back with our usual mix of unique artisan products that are handmade only in Australia. One-off designer fashion and jewellery pieces, homewares, gifts and gourmet produce will all again be represented.

Handmade is also a great community organisation. Our door charities raise $40,000 each year, and our stall charities have reported extraordinary figures. Thanks to your amazing donations, the Vinnies blanket drive allowed the night van to operate fully stocked for the next two months of Canberra’s bitter Winter.

Founder Julie Nichols reckons “we could wrap the Telstra tower in the donations we received for Vinnies at the June market! Blankets, coats, sleeping bags and other warm items will go direct to the people who need it most at this time of year, and people were also generous with toiletries and sanitary items to help Canberra’s homeless through the Winter”.

We would like to thank everyone who brought donations to the market, and with the recent chill, we know how valued these items are.

Our gourmet food hall is growing in popularity and attendance. Two coffee carts, three wineries, two juice stalls, nine sweet offerings and seven hot food kiosks kept visitors fed and watered at the last market, and judging by the applications for September, we’re in for another gourmet treat! Watch this space for details.

We guess that you are making good use of your larder items from last month, with sauces, chutneys, spices, chocolates and sweet treats all going into your shopping bags. Again, we are excited to be welcoming new foodies in September and will give you all the details over the coming weeks, along with their stories and maybe even their secret recipes!

And the applications are revealing some beautiful new designers of homewares, fashion, jewellery and children’s items. We’ll be talking to them in the next few weeks to find out what they’re bringing for you in September, so you can start your list-making.

Creativity by the Barrel

Four Winds Barrel Competition

Handmade Canberra and Four Winds Vineyard are teaming up to bring you the Four Winds Barrel Art Competition.

This is your chance to transform a wine barrel into something fun, something useful, something interesting or all three. Entry is $100 and includes your wine barrel. Pick up your barrel from Four Winds Vineyard’s cellar door, turn it into a creative masterpiece and bring it along to The Handmade Market for display over the weekend of 10 & 11 September, where the entries will be judged by a public vote. The winner will receive a mixed case of Four Winds Vineyard’s wines. You are welcome to sell your creation at the market.

So here are the key dates:

  • 1 July – competition open. Register here
  • 1 September – Photo of entry submitted
  • 9 September – entries delivered to EPIC for the Handmade Market
  • 10-11 September – display and judging at market
  • 11 September – 2pm voting closes, 3pm winner announced
  • 11 September – 4pm all entries to be collected from market

Head over the the Four Winds Vineyard events page to register. We started the competition with 22 barrels, and three have already been taken, so you need to register soon! Good luck, and we can’t wait to see your creations.

The End of an Era

After six years, one month and one day, Shop Handmade came to the end of an era and closed on 31st May 2016. As part of the regeneration of Canberra’s CBD, the building is being knocked down to make way for exciting new developments.

Rather than relocating in the current format, the Handmade team has exciting new plans to be part of the city’s renaissance in an innovative way, through The Local Larder, a café, store and cellar door in the heart of the city.

However, Shop Handmade holds a special place in the hearts of thousands of Canberrans. With a unique bustling atmosphere and beautiful handmade goods and produce, Shop Handmade has been Canberra’s one stop shop for design-led products. Since it opened in 2010, Shop Handmade has stocked, mentored and supported 578 Australian designers, forming a unique relationship with local and national small businesses and bringing high quality artisan products to the Canberra public.

Rachel Evagelou, co-owner of Shop Handmade, is sad the the doors have closed for the last time, but very staisfied with what the shop has brought to the city. “Through Shop Handmade, we have succeeded in nurturing the talents of many local designers and put Canberra on the map in terms of design. We are so grateful to all of our wonderful customers, but promise that our new plans will not disappoint them. Follow us on social media for news on The Local Larder.”

While Shop Handmade ceased trading at the end of May, the Handmade Markets continue to grow and flourish. At the forefront of the market scene in Canberra, the market launched 8 years ago, and now attracts 220 local and interstate exhibitors (50 of whom are exclusive to Handmade in Canberra), a long wait list and an attendance of up to 27,000 people at each event. Visitors enjoy the combination of stalls and gourmet food hall, and in doing so, they are supporting Australian small businesses. Dates for 2016 are September 10th & 11th and December 10th & 11th.

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Then and now: Rachel & Julie on Shop opening day with shopgirl Robyn and on closing day with Mr Trevor Dickinson.





From the Market

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Wow, what a great weekend!

You turned up in your thousands, buoyed on by the glorious blue sky and Winter chill, and shopped ’til you dropped. And who wouldn’t? With the range of fabulous designs, wonderful food, friendly Australian artisans and an electric atmosphere, it would be hard to walk away empty handed.


We know that there are many Canberra homes with new designs taking pride of place this week. The homewares range included ceramics, furniture, textiles, pictures, decorative accessories, candles, flowers, terrariums, glassware and clocks. We really hope you are enjoying what you bought.

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And perhaps there are a few more brisk walks or trips to the gym planned for this week after the weekend’s indulgence? Our food vans and stalls were delighted that you brought your appetites to the market and tried the whole range of international fayre, coffees, drinks and sweet treats. You’ll also be busy planning your menus at home, safe in the knowledge that your larders are better stocked with sauces, chutneys, spices, jars and delicious treats.


We were also delighted to see that many families had come for an outing. Once of the great things about EPIC is that even though the crowds were big, there was still plenty of room for strollers and prams, and plenty of stalls to excite the little ones. Dolls, cars, toys, teepees, cushions, mobiles, blankets and plenty of warm clothes were available for children from tots to tweens.


We also noticed huge crowds around the fashion and accessories stalls at the weekend. From intricate knitwear and crafted coats to delicate jewels and statement hats, there really was something for everyone. The boys were also catered for with ties, cufflinks, skincare and wallets all in the mix.

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Finally, we would like to thank the hundreds of you that dropped off blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothing and toiletries to the Vinnie’s van. We’re yet to hear the final numbers, and will report back when we do, but in the meantime, we know that the homeless of Canberra will be sleeping a little more comfortably as a result of your magnificent generosity. THANK YOU.

And that’s it for June. We hope that you crossed all the items off your shopping list. And if you didn’t, don’t worry, because you only have to wait another three months before we do it all again! The next Handmade Market will take place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September. Put it in your diaries, and we’ll see you then!

Food, glorious food

Are you ready? Have you made your shopping list? Handmade is only days away, so we thought we’d help you with your pantry stocking and menu planning.



You might want to stop by Elfred’s of the Peninsula while you’re at the market. With tried, tested and natural sauces, chutneys and jams, you have the choice of flavours from all corners of the globe. Moroccan dishes are raised to the next level with Elfred’s Harissa, and that spag bol wouldn’t be the same without its secret ingredient, Quince Paste. Honestly, it takes it to a new level…

While we’re on dressings, your dinner guests will rave over your salads if you incorporate something from the Sticky Balsamic range. Try the Pear Balsamic Vinegar with a blue cheese and walnut salad. You will never look back!

The Original Smoke & Spice Company is famous for its smoked salts and garlics. And with good reason. The smoking process adds sweetness to the garlic and the flavour combinations in their salts are mouthwatering. Add them to your list of places to try before you buy. While you’re trying, please don’t miss out on The World’s Best Nuts. Chilli macadamias and caramel peanuts top the bill, but find your favourite amongst the wonderful displays. Inspired by the Australian drover, Stockman Sticks Beef Jerky is handmade in the shadows of the Brindabella and Snowy Mountains using 100 per cent local Australian grass-fed beef.

Thirst will be bringing the flavours of Bangkok to your table. Locally made green, red & massaman curry pastes and pad Thai sauce make cooking at home easy. Or if you have a Japanese obsession, please don’t walk past Saori Japanese Sauce without stopping to ask for recipe advice.

Sweetness is brought by our three chocolate companies. Jasper + Myrtle will be bringing their award winning blends, while Cicada have a vast range of flavours to suit any palate. And welcome to newcomers, Origin, whose organic chocolate is sure to delight.

Marshpillows will have the kids and adults alike flocking around, with flavours from salted caramel to passionfruit and strawberry to vanilla bean. Black Horse Fine Foods will be serving up the perfect marmalade, so grab a jar to take home. And if salted caramel sauce is on your list, try, Salted Caramel Sauce! These jars of deliciousness will not hang around for long…


Street Food

For snacking on the day, you have a big choice of stalls to visit. There will be no fewer than seven hot food vans, serving up savoury deliciousness. I can never leave Handmade without having indulged in a free range pulled pork burger from Free Range by Burra Berkshires. Please leave one for me! International cuisine is provided by food from all four corners of the earth. Join the queue for a tasty German Bratwurst from Berlin Bangers. From Peru, Mr Papa’s Street Food will be providing atmosphere, spiciness and, most importantly, satisfied tastebuds. The Philippines are represented by Kusina, who will be preparing unique street food, and East Street will be representing the Orient with Vietnamese Feasts. For curry and spice, try a plate from Tikka Stand. Tikka means “bits” or “pieces”, and you will want to indulge in these pieces of marinated magic. Scotts Food Van will provide tasty baked potatoes and nachos.



Breakfast in style with a Frensh-style crêpe from Le Petit Breton (and indulge in their whipped cream, on top – trust me!), or take away a waffle on a stick from C3 Waffle. If you really love your chocolate warm and sticky, head to Loose Gourmet Churros, with their freshly made churros dipped in the good stuff. Mr Frugii will be serving up his usual cold delights. Salted Caramel, Vanilla and Dark Chocolate will be complemented by some specials – check them out and try a popping mouthful before you decide which one to put in your cone.

Cakes and biscuits are the perfect snack to nibble on while you’re browsing the other stalls. Choose from melt in your mouth cookies from Babic Biscuiteers, delicious guilt-free treats from Veganarchy, iced and filled donuts from Donut Papi or fruit pies made with home grown fruit from Montrose Berry Farm. Or take home some cookie dough from Baked by Mum for later.



Thirsty? Grumpy’s will be peddling their ginger beer – get in early before they sell out. Krave Juice will be serving up freshly squeezed juices and refreshing blends of lemonade, so hydration definitely won’t be a problem for you this weekend.

List complete? See you there!





Waking you up at Handmade


With days, if not hours to go until your next Handmade fix, let me tell you about another fix you might be pleased about. The morning coffee fix. So pleased were we that Handmade’s two coffee companies served you the good stuff quickly and deliciously in March that we’ve invited them back again.

Both halls at EPIC will play host to coffee vans and we couldn’t be happier with the people serving them or the blends they’re serving!

Two Before Ten will be back in the gourmet food hall with beans and smiles. With a bricks and mortar cafe in Aranda, pop ups around Canberra and guest coffee in some of Canberra’s finest cafés, Two Before Ten is definitely on the up. They’re now offering hands on roasting experiences on Saturday mornings, so chat to the guys about when and where, and enjoy the results.


My Sweet Alice will be holding the fort in the other hall from the vintage van they call, well, Alice! When she’s not at Handmade, Alice travels around Canberra helping people to have beautiful and unique events. Chat to your barista if you are planning an event, from a wedding to a school fête, because they’d love to hear from you. And in the meantime, try one of the yummy handmade treats on offer.

My Sweet Alice

Winter Handmade Magazine

Winter Magazine Cover

The latest edition of Handmade Magazine is now out. With useful information about the June market, a review of what’s new and a full directory, it contains everything you need to know about the event. And if you’re planning your weekend around the market, there are some suggestions about what to do in Canberra over the long weekend as well. Read all about it here.

Form & Function


Kim Aitken will be attending June’s market with her unique ceramic pieces. While she hasn’t been at the market for a year, her little ceramic masterpieces were a constant feature at Shop Handmade and her popularity stems from having something for everyone’s taste and colour scheme. Combining colour, texture and pattern is one of Kim’s favourite decorative techniques and her inspiration comes from a range of sources. “Anywhere there is movement, shape, colour and texture. Flower gardens, the built environment, the coastal landscape. Fresh fashion and textiles also interest me,” says Kim, who sees the influence of colour and pattern everywhere she looks.

Having worked full time in her ceramics studio for the last six years, Kim still finds intrigue in clay, which challenges her both artistically and scientifically. “It is physically demanding yet somehow meditative. Working with clay requires patience and knowledge and there are variables within the process you cannot control, so it is a wonderful feeling when work is completed with success.

Most of Kim’s work is slip cast using plaster moulds. She tends to incorporate some hand building and slab building techniques and occasionally throws her creations on the wheel. “I was very lucky to have some great teachers when I studied so am able to put my hand to a few different techniques.” Where Kim uses patterns to enhance her pieces, they are produced using transfer papers and the colours are so true as a result of the Australian white clay she works with, fired to 1240 C degrees. This makes the clay strong, which suits Kim’s practical nature. It’s no wonder then, that the majority of her pieces are functional tableware.

New to the June market will be some larger pieces, and some use of a darker clay and new glazes to complement Kim’s signature range.

Based on NSW’s Central Coast, Kim loves coming to Canberra for her Handmade weekend. “To be a  part of the Handmade market is such a privilege and takes some of the stress away from the challenge of making my work, combined with running a small business. It is a wonderful event where the opportunity can be limitless as a maker.

She also sees Handmade as a place to showcase, test and sell her work to a wide audience, and to spend time with like-minded people and swap ideas, not to mention the shopping! “I think a person or persons who create, teach, promote and believe in the sustainability of a handmade ethos are to be truly admired.  There is a strong energy that goes into the support and promotion of this ethos at the Handmade Market and I for one feel very lucky to be part of that energy.

We’re lucky to have you Kim, and can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us at the market.


Wining & Dining at Handmade

Image: Visit Canberra

Image: Visit Canberra

If you haven’t visited the gourmet food hall at the Handmade Market, save the date for June 11 & 12. If you have experienced the sights, sounds and scents, we’re sure you’ll want to make a return visit, as the selection of fine food, wine and larder supplies grows with every event.

Our food stalls offer a great cross-section of what Canberra and Australia has to offer. Herbs & spices, jams & chutneys, oils & vinegars, chocolate & ice cream are all represented, as are three of the Canberra and NSW region’s wineries. We’re bringing the cellar door to you at Handmade, with all three wineries offering tastings and advice, selling their unique cold climate blends.

Quarry Hill is a boutique, family owned and run vineyard situated just outside Canberra and is part of the Canberra cool-climate region, with elevations ranging from 630m up to 655m. Established in 1999, it was named after a section of the property that provided rock for the construction of the Barton Highway. It has a diversity of geology including granite, quartz, limestone and shale and features terraces that have been cut into the steep slope of the hillside, providing excellent morning sun exposure and controlled afternoon sun. The vineyard’s four and a half hectares are largely devoted to Shiraz with small blocks of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot, expanding in 2006 when Tempranillo and Savagnin were added.

They’ll be featuring a few special wines at the next Handmade Market, including their young-style Tempranillo that won wine of the month in Gourmet Traveller and their brand new Pinot Gris (that will have been bottled on the Wednesday before the market). However, they are particularly proud of their North Block Savagnin / Sauvignon Blanc blend. The main grape is Savagnin making up about 80% of the blend, with 20% Sauvignon Blanc. While Savagnin sounds like Sauvignon Blanc (and its full name is in fact Savagnin Blanc) it’s an entirely different grape with its own very distinctive flavour profile and palate.  This is the 3rd vintage that Quarry Hill has made of this blend, and with each wine, they’ve increased the proportion of Savagnin as they’ve come to understand how it behaves in the vineyard and the winery. “We are kind of on our own when it comes to this wine, since as far as we know, nobody else in the world does this blend” says Russell Kerrison from Quarry Hill.

“The varietal characteristic that most people pick up from Savagnin is green-skinned apple. You get this on the nose and on the palate with some citrus and balanced acid. There is a strong presence of fruit on the palate that many people perceive as sweetness, despite this being a dry style of wine with minimal residual sugar. It has a lightly textural palate and a very crisp, clean finish. The wine is very enjoyable to have on its own, while its crisp, clean finish means it works well with a range of food – seafood, antipasti and spicy Asian dishes.” Chris Shanahan gave it Wine of the Week in the Canberra Times and James Halliday gave it 90 points, making it well worth a taste.


Mount Majura Vineyard is situated on the eastern slopes of Mount Majura, close to the centre of Canberra. Its unique site is characterised by red volcanic soils also containing limestone, producing wines of real character. Also known for a range of unique cold climate wines, the team from Mount Majura is particularly proud of the recently-released 2015 TSG – a Tempranillo, Shiraz and Graciano blend. They have been making this blend since 2008 and it is one of their best wines. “It blends some of the best varietals we grow and is a real expression of Mount Majura Vineyard,” says Cellar Door Manager, Kate Hibberson.

It is characterised by “dark blue and black fruits, savoury and gamey, with great spice in a juicy medium bodied style.” Kate would recommend that the classic match to this wine would be lamb. “A braised lamb pie with plenty of herbs and spices is a perfect match and delicious in this cooler weather.”

The TSG has recently been rated 96/100 by James Halliday and is certainly a favourite of Mount Majura’s customers.


Twisted River Wines will be at the Handmade Market for the first time in June. A boutique vineyard located on the Henry Parkes Way, halfway between Orange and Parkes, it is nestled on the edge of Goobang National Park, where coastal and western plant species overlap. Twisted River Wines focuses on producing low yielding, high quality grapes. The diverse geology of the area provides ideal soil. With a high elevation, Twisted River cool climate wines are medium bodied. The fruit flavours are more forward, which makes the wines crisp, bright and vibrant.

Their signature wine is the 2013 Shiraz Viognier. This medium bodied wine is their interpretation of the great wine from the northern Rhône Valley in France. With raspberries and spice on the nose, varietal pepper and well integrated oak on the palate, it has become their flagship red and won them several accolades including a silver medal at the 2014 NSW wine awards, gold medal and trophies at the 2014 Cool Climate Wine Show and a gold medal at the 2015 Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland’s wine show.

Twisted River


Gorgeous Floral Workshops


Gone are the days when the only floral gift you can find involves a few old chrysanthemums in a box. Beautiful flower emporiums are springing up all over our fair city, answering our call for stylish flowers at home and as gifts for loved ones. Enter The Floral Society, an innovative flower business with a shop front called the Flower Bar in Kingston where you can build your own flower arrangement, attend flower school or talk to the team about your event. But The Floral Society also has a sophisticated online ordering system, from which you can purchase your fix of in-season flowers. Each morning they create one style of arrangement using fresh, seasonal blooms and deliver same day throughout the region. You can order a one-off or subscribe to receive regular blooms, allowing you a convenient constant display of floral beauty.

We are very excited to have teamed up with Renee and are delighted that she and her team will be at next month’s Handmade Market to host some floral workshops. With three classes on Saturday 11th June and three more on Sunday 12th June, here’s what you can choose from:



10am – 10.30am Hand Held Posies $55


11.30am – Midday Floral Cuff $44.00


1pm – 1.30pm Floral Cones for Kids $44.00



10am – 11am Fresh Flower Crown $88.00


Midday – 12.30pm Hand Held Posies for Little Ones $44.00


1.30pm – 2.15pm Vase Arrangement $143.00

All flowers and equipment are provided and spaces are limited, so make sure you book soon. We can’t wait to see you there!