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Celebrating its 10th year, the Undercurrent Design Markets will feature 62 market stalls from November 23-24. This is a sponsored post.

CELEBRATING its 10th year, the Undercurrent Design Markets at the Portrait Gallery will feature 62 market stalls, with 70 makers featuring their handmade creations across the weekend of November 23-24.

Organiser Richard Baz says the Undercurrent Design Market’s philosophy is to support and promote Australian designers and makers, particularly those who are local to the Canberra region.

“Artists get a hard slog. The markets are a great vehicle to help them sell directly to people,” says Richard who owns the Curatoreum shop at the Portrait Gallery and the Arboretum with his wife, Melanie.

Richard says he and Melanie love supporting local artists in their shops, but meeting an artist or designer and learning about their work in a market-style setting is like no other.

“The experience of meeting the artist and buying directly from them is a special one,” says Richard.

“When you buy from an artist or maker, you are supporting the local arts and crafts industry. You are buying a bespoke item.”

Richard says that he now has a huge number of applicants to have a stall at Undercurrent and he curates the stalls to include a wide range of items
– from ceramics, glass to jewellery and clothing. Half of the makers at this year’s markets are from
the Canberra region.

Held only four weeks before Christmas, Richard says the markets are a great way to buy beautifully created, unique gifts. The choice and variety of items for sale will be diverse.

“We will have seven fashion stalls, at least two bag and shoe makers, four glass blowers and a plethora of ceramicists and jewellers,” he says.

Local artists such as Trevor Dickinson, who has created an iconic collection featuring Canberra bus stops will be there, as well as jeweller Alison Jackson, glass blower Lisa Cahill and Richilde Flavell, of Girl Nomad Ceramics, who creates earthenware style ceramics from her studio in Holt.

The High Tea with Mrs Woo brand, which creates “beautiful linen clothing with a unique sense of cut and design”, will also be coming from Newcastle, says Richard.

“The idea of Undercurrent is to discover what is making the trend. What the trends become, what is bubbling below the surface sets the foundation for design,” he says.

The Portrait Gallery foyer area and the adjoining terrace room will host Undercurrent, which will start on Friday, November 22, 5pm-8pm, with drinks and live music. The market will run across the weekend from 10am-5pm.

Undercurrent Design Market, National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Barton, 5pm-8pm, Friday, November 22, and 10am-5pm, Saturday, November 23, and Sunday, November 24.

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