Ancient Crafts

Inside Pages Pic Hmf Under Construction

Our new website is currently under construction.

To be kept in the loop, register to receive our newsletter by emailing

– with the message “Add me to the list”

HERITAGE LANE with Qld Hydro web

Take a walk down heritage memory lane, showcasing a host of skills of traditional artisans of heritage craft, for one great weekend 5 – 6 July, 2025, in and around the Pavilion, Gympie Showgrounds.

The Makers 2023:

Traditional artisans of heritage craft gather to showcase their skills, share their knowledge and their passion in their craft. They will be demonstrating throughout the event.

Plus Craft Beer: A range of craft beer to discover, taste and enjoy!

Plus Artisan Heritage Markets: Most of the exhibitors will have their handmade wares for sale onsite – a chance to pick up a unique, handcrafted and quality gift – for yourself or someone special! – straight from it’s creator.

Meet the heritage makers, keen to share their trade and their passion in all-day demonstrations:

The Smiths:

Meet the Silversmith – The oldest known piece of tooled or silversmithed silver dates to 600 BC – and many of the tools used in ancient times are still used by the silversmiths of today: tongs, hammers, blow pipes with clay nozzle, used to shape drinking and eating utensils, jewelry, armour, vases and artpieces. Meet the silversmiths from Gympie’s Gem Club and discover the addictive – and ancient – art of silversmithing. The Club’s lapidarians will also be there, cutting and polishing stone. With it’s roots in prehistory, early humans began fashioning stone tools and weapons. In time, these techniques were also used for items of personal adornment. Lapidary today encompasses four art forms: tumbling, cabbing, faceting, and carving, using stone and gem materials. Meet the lapidarists from Gympie’s Gem Club, catch their enthusiasm – a dedicated group with a wealth of knowledge to share.



The Coppersmith, Martin the Black – In the Middle Ages, the various metalworking trades were divided from one another, Blacksmiths worked with iron, whitesmiths with tin, and the copper worker was referred to as a red smith. Copper is malleable, and can be easily worked with hammers and snips.

Martin the Black is primarily a blacksmith, using copper to add decorative embellishments. He will be offering projects to “have-a-go” at coppersmithing at the event, for adults and children.



and also working over the flame, meet the Glassworker: Lampworking, is a form of making glass beads that dates back to the 5th century BC, when beadmakers used the flame of an oil lamp to heat glass so that it could be moulded into shapes.

When Michele Bevis discovered lampworking about sixteen years ago, she was mesmerised, captivated by the viscous glass. She knew she had found a method of creating her own glass beads for her bespoke jewellery designs.

Now under the name emubeads, Michele’s handmade glass beads are individually forged by layering heated glass, shaping, mixing glass with metal and powder inclusions, sometimes combined with her hand forged silver components, all combined with exquisite artistry.



Tinsmith – From buckets to cans, pots to watering jugs, Rebecca Morgan has made them all. Tin is quite pliable and easy to cut and shape – with know-how. Rebecca is one of the few practising tinsmiths in Australia, having served apprenticeships as a Tinsmith, has taught Industrial Technology & Design for over 30 years – she has the knowledge!

In 2017, Rebecca was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship to travel to Ireland (the home of the original “tinkers”, the UK, Canada and the USA to study the nearly forgotten art of tinkering ie tinsmithing. In her hands, this sill will live on – she is committed to sharing her skills, inspiring and educating new generations.


Fashioning with fibres:


Hart’s Harps – Ziko Hart, of Hart’s Harps, is a creator of bespoke hand-made specialist instruments, crafted from a combination of traditional and modern durable materials such as hemp composite. His unique designs are inspired by instruments both ancient and cutting edge, from all corners of the globe. He dreams of producing diverse and eclectic rhythms, reminiscent of other cultures, that step outside the conventional Western musical range. Passionate in researching traditional and vintage harps, Ziko is involved in their restoration.

Ziko and his display of instruments, including his latest creations – hemp bodied harps – can be seen in the Pavilion.



Caneweaver – A colourful mix of seagrass, cane, rattan webbing, fibre rush and basketry materials hang from the ceiling in a small shop in Tanawha, Sunshine Coast. This is the workshop of And Woven Cane, where Ron and Cathie not only repair antique cane furniture exquisitely but also create traditional Australian split cane and seagrass furniture – chairs, tables, daybeds, lazyboys, children’s cots and a host of other unique pieces.

With nearly 40 years experience, this duo specialise in wickerwork and quality hand weaving, as found on bentwood chairs, and have a repertoire that includes all the fancy weaves, reweaving rush seats and danish cord seats.




Saddler – Breatihing new life into this dying trade, heritage saddler master Peter Castles started making saddles nearly 50 years ago, learning and mastering age-old techniques. He’s a proud traditionalist, still using authentic tools and skills to produce exquisite one-off unique pieces – that is, when he’s not taking time off to travel the country inspiring audiences, demonstrating his art.


Whipmaker – Over 20 years ago, Bill Glasgow strolled into a saddler’s shop to buy a plaited belt. He walked out with a Ron Edwards hand book on belt plaiting, a pair of nickel rings and enough lace to make a 36inch belt. Two years later, he branched into whip making, using Edward’s book to plait his first four strand red hide whip. He went on to work closely with expert Maurice Doohan,  gaining invaluable experience and an understanding of good whip work and what goes where –  he continues to pass on helpful tips to his students. Now, with several awards including a Dame Mary Durack Award, under his beautifully crafted belt, Bill demonstrates his skill and exhibits whips and belts at heritage fairs nationally.



Meet the makers of heritage arts:

Amrita Park Meadery – Mead has own it’s own distinct category, somewhere between beer and wine. Like craft beer, this age-old beverage, dating back to around 7000BC, is versatile and can be flavoured with fruits, spices, grains, vegetables – mead makers can really get creative and experimental!

Maker Andy continues a long family tradition of quality boutique mead making. With his partner, Nicola, he has created Amrita Park Meadery, located in Pomona in the Noosa Hinterland – Queensland’s first Meadery, Cellar door and tasting room. They are strong believers of the benefits of Mead and together, they are in the forefront of Australian Mead Makers.

Amrita Park Mead flavours include Avocado Honey, sweet Caramelised Banana, spiced Citrus & Chai, Ginger & Lime, Passionfruit, Semi Sweet Jaboticaba, Semillon Pyment and now, Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Mead…. wow! can’t wait to sample one or three at the event!


Ceramicist – Ceramicist Kay Wright has a passion for experimenting in alternative-firing techniques, using  locally sourced organic matter – gum leaves, bark, fruit peel, sawdust, banana tree leaves, hay, feathers, seaweed, macadamia nut shells, egg shells, pandanus fruit, palm leaves, anything that she find lying on the ground on her Lake Weyba property – mixed with minerals and oxides in the firing process, The serendipitous nature and uncertainty of this process means the results are often unpredictable, sometimes surprising but always unique.

While inspired with saggar firings, she finds the process of Raku firing equally as exciting, unpredictable and dynamic – not knowing what the outcome will be drives her to keep going with her craft. 



Papermaker – A chance introduction to the art of papermaking in 1978 sparked a life-long passion in Dion Channer, then based in Italy. There, he practised this ancient craft, learning the traditional methods used over thousands of years. His skill was further honed in mills around Europe and Tasmania, and then the opportunity to work in a Japanese mill making paper for calligraphy and traditional paper screens perfected his craft. He has even mastering the making of papyrus, as the ancient Egyptians did. Now a master papermaker, Dion has exhibited his exquisite papers around the world, finally establishing his studio near Gympie Queensland, where he can often be found sourcing and preparing his raw materials, using various types of cellulose, plant derived, fibres – stripping mulberry bark for pulp or shredding linen for fibre – and creating exquisite artpieces from miniatures, writing paper, paper for limited edition books to major art installations, room dividers and sculptures.



Mosaics – The earliest known mosaics were found in a Mesopotamian temple dating back to the 3rd millennium BC. Made up of ivory, seashells, and stones, these decorative, colourful pictorials laid the groundwork for this artform, establishing a craft that was to continue on for thousands of years into the future. Sue Purnell creates individual, originally designed and hand-crafted mosaic pieces, with breathtaking patterns brought to life when light is passed through each tiny handcut piece of coloured glass.



Leadlighter – With a history spanning a thousand years, leadlighting has its origins in the Roman and Byzantine eras. By the late Middle Ages, the profession of domestic leadlighter was common across Europe, and by the late 1800s, decorative leadlighting had became a very fashionable feature of most homes and public buildings.

At this time, in Australia, this medium started to feature in public buildings, with a strong focus on our flora and fauna, as seen at the Sydney Town Hall (1880s) and the complex windows of Sydney’s Central Railway Station (1901).

Nelley, a leadlighter with over 25 years experience, creates designs also inspired by Australian flora and fauna, and her love of the Australian bush – its amazing colours and textures. While incorporating as much old repurposed glass as possible, she hand selects each individual piece for a one of a kind design, using both lead and copperfoil techniques.



Ropemaker – The origins of ropemaking go back thousands of years. An early ropemaking tool, dating from 40,000 years ago, was made from a simple piece of ivory, with four aligned holes carved into it – the holes used for threading through plant fibres, the ivory then continually twisted to form rope. While rope had many essential purposes – hauling (eg the building of the Pyramids), fishing nets, lashing logs together for shelter – all critical to man’s progression, it was the rigging of sailing ships which required the greatest quantities of strong, large ropes.

Malcolm Jinkson first saw ropemaking about 10 years ago, in Biloela – “an old bloke”, he says, “using a traditional rope maker”. He copied the machine… learnt the craft… and now does demonstrations at events and festivals throughout Queensland. Plying 9 strands of bailing twine, he can make whatever length rope is needed, the only limitation, since it is all done by hand, is “running out of puff doing the winding!”




A balance between all bees

The commitment of Valley Bees is to nurture and maintain the population of all bees in the local environment. To achieve this, a community-centred network is necessary to support the individuals and groups who want bees in their locality, and this includes all bees: Honeybees, Social Stingless Bees, and Solitary Bees.

This commits us to be aware of management strategies to support the bees, to create an environment conducive to their on-going sustainability, and to focus on the nurturing of the Australian native bee populations in balance with the management of the honey bee, as all are needed to pollinate the extensive diversity in native flora, and native and introduced food plants.



Gympie Rotary's Heritage Marers Fair 2023_full page 210x297web BIELBY THIRD PAGE without image web 4xADS C COUNCIL LS

This project received funding assistance from the Gympie Regional Council’s Community Grants Program 2022/2023