24 February 2013

Salamanca Market stalwarts

Hobart's Salamanca Market (Tasmania) and Eumundi Markets (Queensland) could probably be credited with the revival of the market culture in Australia.

Both started with fruit and vegetables and some local craft works targeting mainly local or district residents and occasional visitors. But both expanded to become major tourist drawcards, contributing to the revitalisation of their historic precincts in the process.

Salamanca Market recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. For about half that time my sister has been a stall holder there, selling her handmade jewellery. She uses mainly sterling silver, semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls, but in the last few years she has also incorporated some of her original crochet work to make a range of brooches and other accessories featuring fruits and flowers in a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns of her own design.

My sister's can-do partner is the engine supporting the stall's success. Hard-working and always cheerful, he builds, adapts and facilitates all that's needed to to make the operation (and their home, for that matter) run smoothly.

Both are also wonderful salespersons, well informed about all the materials they use in their jewellery and the processes by which these are produced or mined. And most importantly, they really love meeting the people who visit their stall each week. They are always ready for a chat with tourists and make it their business to be a source of useful information about all sorts of island experiences.

Salamanca Market is what market shopping should be like: local artists, artisans, crafts persons and small-scale entrepreneurs making a living doing something they enjoy. Don't miss the market if you ever visit Hobart (http://www.salamanca.com.au/salamanca_market_hours.htm). There are some 300 or so stalls, as well as dozens of small craft shops and boutiques in the neighbouring sandstone warehouses left over from the city's convict-era colonial past.

And be sure to say hello to my sister and her partner in market stall 250.

(Postscript: It's seems more than coincidence that my sister met her partner more than 10 years ago at Eumundi Markets. She was spending a couple of weeks visiting with me and rented a temporary market stall in Eumundi on two consecutive Saturdays. What began as a friendly exchange between neighbouring stallholders has now developed into a lifetime partnership.)


Red said...

Awesome stuff! Our market will be opening in about three months.

The Blog Fodder said...

Markets are a way of life here in Ukraine.

Snowbrush said...

I couldn't say hello in person, but you can tell your sister that this strange fellow that you know in America waved at her picture.

Progress Lighting said...

Really nice stuff and a and it is a one stop market shopping.

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I started this blog in 2009 when I became a full-time caregiver. My husband had been diagnosed a few years earlier with primary progressive aphasia. Over the next four years until his death in 2013, we went on a journey of discovery about this rare condition. My blog is about what I learned, how we both coped and how the journey deepened our love and appreciation of each other. Allen’s journey is over, but mine goes on.