Ancient Crafts

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Domestic Arts Header

The 2023 event presented:

Wool, wheat, & fibre weavers:

Basketweaver – Basketry artist Julia Kitto combines nature’s inspiration, imagination and the beauty of raw plant fibre with traditional basketry techniques. Her woven works are mainly created from locally sourced plant life such as lomandra, philodendron, cordyline, palms, cats claw, jacaranda, agapanthus, lilies, banana, flax and more, creating and playing with a wonderful mix of fibres and natural dyes. Julia is an award-winning artist who enjoys sharing her craft through tutoring, exhibiting and also commissions Australia-wide.


Corn Dolly Making (Wheat Plaiting) – The art of Corn Dolly making goes back thousands of years, when it was thought that a “Spirit of Fertility” lived in, and protected the cornfields. To preserve this spirit at harvest time, and ensure the success of next year’s harvest, a corn dolly was made for the spirit to take refuge in over the winter months. Today, it is nearly a forgotten art.

Accomplished craftswoman, Shona, taught herself this ancient craft, also known as Wheat Plaiting, while living on a wheat farm in the 70s… all her materials were right at her door!

Over the years, she mastered a variety of techniques, including checkerboarding, twining and rope-making, and now is in great demand as a tutor and demonstrator. Her achievements include repeated guest appearances at a number of Bribane’s Chelsea Flower Shows, and a guest spot on a Channel 10 documentary.


Spinners & Weavers – Ros Evans, the Foxy Felter, is a keen spinner and weaver, using wools from her own alpacas raised by hand on her Gympie property. Interesting mixes of wools create lovely soft weavings, like the scarf pictured below made from alpaca and bamboo.


Eco-Dyeing – Using a natural eco-dyeing method, felt textile and mixed media artist Rhonda Rettke (RR Creations) produces the most stunning silk scarves and notebooks with local flowers, leaves and plants.

Rhonda will be demonstrating the techniques used in eco-dyeing  onsite at the event – it’s a fascinating process with a WOW result!

There is always a surprise element in eco dyeing, with so many variables that affect the outcome. It is like opening a present at Christmas as you never know what will emerge from the pot. Come and join Rhonda thoughout the day to see the process and the unveiling of the eco dyed cloth and marvel at the colours and prints that nature provides. Expect to see beautiful examples of botanical alchemy.

I: Rhonda Rettke (@rhonda.rettke)

Natural Hand-Dyeing, Hand-Printing – Founder of Imprint Corner, Susan Sinclair, based on the Fraser Coast, is passionate about ecological sustainability, slow fashion, slow living and slow food. Through Imprint Corner, Susan aims to promote and to continue to evolve her artisan-crafted ecologically sustainable textile homewares.
All of Susans’s designs are handprinted on natural fabrics, using Australian made, water based ecologically safe inks, with only one or two colours in a minimalist style.
She also hand-dyes fabrics, using natural dyes (particularly indigo), incorporating shibori and Katazome techniques to provide unique products.
Come and see Susan at work, hand-dyeing onsite and be inspired to create, learn, laugh, explore, share and celebrate slow living.
There could even be a cheese-making demo or two!



Lacemakers – with it’s exact origin in dispute, historians at least agree that the late 16th century marked a rapid development in lacemaking, when lace came into it’s own, dominating trendes in both fashion and home decor. The Fraser Coast Lacemakers will be exhibiting and demonstrating this exquisite art form all weekend in the Pavilion.




AND! RIVERBEND MEDIEVAL SOCIETY – in the Domestic Arts venue, come and see the Riverbend area, with demonstrations of inkle weaving, cordwaining, candle making, leatherwork and Viking wire weaving (called Trichinopoly) and lots of medieval merriment!




AND! a Cafe – put your feet up and feed up here for some R&R at the Heart of Gold cafe – with coffees, soups and slices!



Where to find the Domestic Arts:


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