Bellingen Artisan Markets

By Anna Dowd

For local ceramist Ange Ryder, the biannual Artisan Market in Bellingen is evidence that beauty in everyday things, and quality over quantity, still matters. by Anna Dowd

“I love seeing all that creative juice in one place,” says Ange, the hands and heart behind Let Go Gently Ceramics, and one of the many makers showcasing their creations at the market this month.

“You’ve got to be a bit obsessed to be an artist. It’s a very labour intensive, heartfelt process and this market’s existence really shows a commitment to valuing the handcrafted over the mass produced.

“It’s a wee act of rebellion against meaningless consumerism.”

Her own work is all about small batch, slow making of everyday ceremonial vessels such as cups, bowls and plates, and is inspired by both internal and external landscapes.

“I live next to 100 acres of threatened forest and am deeply connected to my environment. The trees, the rocks, the birds, they’re really my sacred family and my work is about honouring that relationship in conjunction with the divine feminine.”

It’s this kind of insight into setting, inspiration and creative processes that makes coming to the Artisan Market so special for buyers.

“It’s a unique chance to chat to the artisans, the weavers, silversmiths, printmakers, designers, potters, about the stories behind their creative process,” says Ange, “One of my lecturers once said that “beauty is an antidote to violence”.

“And when you wear a beloved hand-woven scarf that will endure the generations, or sip mindfully from your favourite cup, you invite a little bit of beauty into that moment, a ripple effect is co-created, spreading the love!

Check out Ange’s work:

WHAT Artisans Market
WHERE Bellingen Showgrounds
WHEN Sat 10 th June | 8am-1pm