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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Work-Shop Expands with Crafty Retail Space The Makery

Get freshly maked goods at the creative's ultimate shopfront.

By Jasmine Crittenden
February 05, 2014
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Work-Shop Expands with Crafty Retail Space The Makery

Get freshly maked goods at the creative's ultimate shopfront.

By Jasmine Crittenden
February 05, 2014
  shares

If you've been in the DIY-doldrums since Work-Shop disappeared from their Broadway premises, we’ve some excellent news for you. They’re back. And they haven’t merely moved. They’ve expanded their crafty crusade across two brand-new premises – The Makery, at 106 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, and the official Work-Shop HQ, at 80 George Street, Redfern.

The first is the creative’s ultimate shopfront. Every single item has been crafted by a local artist. Hand-poured soy candles with names like ‘black bamboo + lily’ and ‘black raspberry’ line the shelves. Dioramas in vintage tins hold impossibly tiny scenes of striped lighthouses and motorcyclists and families. Reflection-based photographic portraits of surfers shimmer on the wall. There are hand-blended teas, detailed jewellery, painted skateboards and individually designed garments.

Here’s how it works. Independent artists, designers and artisans 'rent' one of the shop's display environments — be it a wall or corner or shelf — for a minimal weekly fee. That's where the vendor's costs end. The Work-Shop Makery facilitates sales, devoid of commission or mark-ups. It’s a chance for creative types to display their wares, without the expense of through-the-roof rent, the scariness of approaching galleries and/or the hassle of risking inclement weather at markets. Not only do they get their very own space, they can also take advantage of Work-Shop’s increasing popularity, marked social media presence and the sheer volume of foot traffic on Oxford Street.

"We work with City of Sydney a fair bit and they approached us with the space," Work-Shop co-founder Matt Branagan explains. "We wanted to create a space where we could give young makers and designers and artists a proper shopfront. It’s also a grassroots place, where people can meet and connect.”

At least once a week, The Makery hosts ‘Meet the Maker’ sessions. The ‘makers’ head into the shop and spend some time painting, sculpting, stitching or doing whatever it is that they do. Anyone can drop in for a chat. “We often go into a shop and buy things,” Matt says. “But we don’t know much about the process of how or why it was made.”

Workshops are also planned, with 3D crochet happening on Saturday, February 8, and Knitting 101 for February 15. There’ll also be various parties, events and launches. Pozible is scheduled to pop-up for a week in March, and a bunch of Etsy vendors are planning on organising regular meet-ups. “We want to create a community of people, just sharing and bouncing off each other, meeting other people who inspire them to take their path in a different direction or help their business,” Matt explains.

Meanwhile, the spacious 80 George Street site has been turned into the Work-Shop HQ. Forty-five people turned up on February 1 for the first Work-Shop — typography with Gemma O'Brien. All kinds of new classes are on the menu — hula hooping, African drumming, robotics, foraging and swing dancing — and, in about a month's time, a cafe will be in operation, serving caffeine hits from 6am. You can even get in on the action semi-permanently by renting your own deskspace.

The Makery

The Makery

The Makery

The Makery

The Makery

Work-Shop HQ

Work-Shop HQ

Work-Shop HQ

Images by Lindsay Smith.

Published on February 05, 2014 by Jasmine Crittenden

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