Finders Keepers Part.1

Introducing a brand NEW feature at Studio Home! For the very very first time we are working with some talented guest contributors who can peep in the back door of their local hot creative spots and offer first hand reporting at events simply out of my geographical reach! Breaking the way forward we have Sally providing the pics and Erica bringing you the words in a two part series on last weekends Finders Keepers in Melbourne. Read on dear design enthusiasts!

Brain child of Sydney-siders Brooke Johnston and Sarah Thornton, the Finders Keepers design markets was kicked off back in 2008, established with the goal of bridging an invisible gap between ‘the local weekly style markets and expensive trade fairs & exhibitions … providing affordable opportunities for designers to gain exposure and experience interaction direct with customers and the community.’ (Finders Keeper’s website)

This year Melbournites were lucky enough to revel in the bi annual market over two days, held in one of the city’s most beautifully restored historical relics – The Royal Exhibition Building parked up on the city’s cusp in Carlton.

Clockwise from top left: Sally Goodall and Erica Keppel going deep undercover,  The amazing Royal Exhibition Building, Brooke Johnston from Finders Keepers, visitors pumped on the event and the grand building filled to the brim!

Chatting with Brooke Johnston we learn that Finders Keepers has slowly evolved since inception, into a creative being complete with its’ very own pulse and breath. Despite clear vision and laborious co ordination by the dedicated founders, Brooke and Sarah reside as purveyors to an independent creative phenomenon which now resides among the most anticipated events on Australia’s Design calendar.

Finders Keepers is pure brilliance – and at once, refreshingly sincere. Johnston explained that locking in the Carriage Works venue back in Sydney marked a pivotal point to the emergence of the ‘real’ Finders Keepers. What was always intended as a thoughtfully curated experience, and a design orientated market place for independent artisans and enthusiasts alike to interact in the flesh. When asked what has been the greatest of challenges to date, Brooke suggested that this year’s event in Melbourne sticks out as an impressive feat.

On entering, we realise that this is no sleepy country market place selling last year’s cucumber pickles,  this is in fact a cutting edge platform from which many of Australia’s finest creative talent have sprung into wide acclaim.

There is an intimacy here. A sense that the Finders Keepers Markets is a safe hollow for a community who have been quietly (or not so quietly in the case of more established brands) working away to perfect their own cog in the larger creative wheel. These budding artisans have joined in hoards, all bright and bold, eager and engaging, in a show case of design wares, art, music and food.

Though it’s tricky business short listing such an extensive ream of artisans, we aimed to capture a snapshot of what Studio Home readers would enjoy. We snapped and swooned until we could no more, taking breaks only to share in Melbourne’s finest in mobile street food from the Taco Truck and Beatbox Kitchen … and again with Mr Nice Guy Cup Cakes!

Left to right: The Taco Truck, Erica breaks into a Mr Nice Guy Cup Cake, the Beatbox Kitchen

To begin, it was impossible to ignore how massive the independent stationary niche has become. Where humour presides as a common pulling factor (Game & Able and TMOD spring to mind), old world processes have been lovingly revived by brands such as Truth be Told and Bespoke Letter Press – whose pieces combine lusciously strung sentiments such as “loving you is easy because you’re beautiful” while paying due homage to traditional typeface and letterpress techniques.

Left to right: Able & Game cards, the Truth Be Told stand, sweet words from Bespoke Letterpress

A Happy Death is the cleverly marketed brand under which Sydney based Kara Town has spun her own tune to the mix tape era along with some beautifully re-coloured vintage postcard prints. A very cool stationary line indeed.

All images: A Happy Death

Next up was an intriguing conversation with the talented Torunn Higgins behind Sydney born Herbert & Friends. Not only does this clever creative, fashion beautifully detailed soft creatures – including a friendly dungaree wearing Sloth and a rather razzle-dazzle version of your everyday Mountain Yeti, she also dabbles in the odd piece of furniture made entirely of felt. That’s right, Torunn has managed to wrangle an iconic 1980’s telephone  from a combination of cardboard, felt and thread over a three day sewing bender. I was ecstatic to hear her repertoire was not limited to woodland creatures and novelty tele-communications, and that Torunn also boasts amongst felty achievements, a modest typewriter – and wait for it – a Synthesizer. Craft Crush. Amen.

All images: Herbert & Friends

Just as my mind began to ponder the many ways I could serenade my lover with this big, soft synth … I was distracted by the works of Melbourne based Illustrator Emma Leonard, who turns out to be just as gorgeous as her prints. Emma uses mixed mediums, including ink and water colour to produce wonderfully expressive and feminine sketches. On chatting with Emma, we learn she is just as excited about her work as her fans!

All images: Emma Leonard

Right! Pop back for round two of the Finders Keepers report tomorrow!
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3 Responses to Finders Keepers Part.1

  1. Ed says:

    Love, love, love xxx,… oh to go back to the big M for a day! thanks always Ju for this great new feature 🙂
    Hope your autum is marvelous!

  2. Renee Anne says:

    So many of my favourites featured in one post!! Too much awesomeness!!

  3. “Finders Keepers Part.1 | Studio Home” was indeed a great article,
    can’t help but wait to look at much more of your blog posts.
    Time to squander several time on the web hehe.
    I appreciate it ,Monserrate