In March this year a friend and I took a one hour train ride from Melbourne to the regional town of Kyneton (population 8000) to go to the Lost Trades Fair. It was first held in 2014 and has rapidly established itself as an event, this year attracting over 15000 people in two days.
What is the Lost Trades Fair?
“The Lost & Rare Trades Fair celebrates the art of skilled manual work and ancient and traditional trades and crafts, their special tools, traditions, languages and secrets which are now threatened by mass produced products in our modern society. Our aim is to unite people that still have these skills and reignite the significance that these trades and crafts have in todays environment, setting them on a steady path for the future, before they are lost to history. “
Read so much more about this incredible initiative at the website Rundell and Rundell
There were over eighty amazing, knowledgeable and skilled traditional tradespeople set up in white tents in the grounds surrounding the Kyneton racecourse. These artisans practiced their crafts and explained them to fascinated onlookers. It was very interactive and the people are passionate about their trades and craft. They included an armourer, cooper, fletcher and windsor chairmaker. The crowds grew during the day, but there was food and entertainment to sustain us.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my lunch sketch.
Last year I eagerly raced around, trying to take it all in, wanting to sketch everything and not miss out on seeing anything. This year I decided to focus on a few craftsmen and artisans, and be prepared not to see everything – quality not quantity. The stalls that I sketched were not chosen for a specific reason, I just happened to be there and there was a good place to sketch nearby. Sometimes the artisans did not know I was sketching them and others I chatted to while I sketched. I sketched 11 stalls. Maybe next year I will go for the two days of the long weekend.
A Country Affair – vintage coffee cart
On the day I took a while to ‘warmup’ and feel comfortable in my role as sketcher for the day.An initial wander took us to coffee. I sat down, trying to decide what to draw and what style to use. So I drew what was in front of me – the coffee caravan, In hindsight, it was far too ambitious. I should have stayed in my comfort zone and drawn my coffee, and then moved on to scenes.
I then sketched the leathergoods stall across from me.
I was also choosing which medium to use when – my watercolour pencils and my Lamy ink pen. I also brought along an A4 Moleskine watercolour sketchbook to try and draw larger, as well as my everyday 19×13 cm Moleskine watercolour sketchbook. My aim for the day was to attempt to give character and movement to a scene – capturing the moment. I was not attempting to draw a portrait (although it is always pleasing when the figure vaguely looks like the person) but some of them are such characters that they are unmistakable.
Sometimes I started sketching in pencil and capturing the moment. Once I discovered the person was going to stay still or repeat the moment I added colour and features. Here are the sketches. Note: The combination of light graphite pencil sketches and light watercolour pencil does not scan very well and I am disappointed that they do not look like my originals.
Dean the cobber – a really enjoyable time here as I sketched Dean mixing clay with an enthusiastic member of the crowd, who was really enjoying getting stuck into the mud. Her brother and then her family chatted to us . Dean builds a cob oven from clay, sand, straw and water. I was watching on and sketching but so tempted to join in. I could almost feel the mud between my toes. This was in an A4 page.
I was feeling weary so sat under a tree, but it had to be one with a view to sketch and it was the Spoonsmith.
This was the other sketch I did on an A4 page
Penny Farthing – attracting attention with the Penny Farthing Bicycles and steampunk gear. Large circles are difficult to sketch sometime so I tried to focus on the costume.
I will continue with Part 2 next week, with some more of my sketches from the day and the stories behind them.
You can see my sketches from last year
Lost Trades Fair 2015 Part 1
Lost Trades Fair 2015 Part 2