Beyond the vitrines of richly fruity fruitcake, cake decoration (green is big this year) and hand knits, Australian craftsmanship is coming into its own, and unexpected, category. Leather tooling, or more specifically saddlers and harness makers are exhibiting a range of skills at the leading edge of this bespoke category.
What makes this interesting is not necessarily the saddles, which are amazing, but the fact that the skill set is transferable to any leather application, where precise hand finished work is desirable.
Blue Ribbon winner Mathew Murray’s inlayed leather and piping or perfect top-stitching for example is readily transferable to furniture. The excellence of Australian whip-making has similarly transferable skills, with precisely turned thongs delivering myriad patterns, strength and flexibility.
Of course, the funny cakes are always worth a look, with the Day of the Dead cake a white ribbon favourite.
When: 10–23 April, 2014
Where: Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park