Townsville, Queensland, Australia
July 2, 2001
Situated in the main street of town, this is an Aladdin’s Cave of quality art and crafts. The business is a co-operative venture by 19 local artists and craftspeople and the range of product is very diverse. The common theme, however, is a desire for quality, some unique designs, and an emphasis on good value for money.
Some of the well-known artists and craftspeople with works on display are Andrew Nolan (pottery), Janice Hahn (knitwear) and Jim Gordon (woodwork). There is also art and craft work made from bone, shell, fibre and leather. My wife fell in love with some of the designs in Janice Hahn’s sweaters but I convinced her they were not really suitable for the tropics. She then transferred her attention to some unique jewellery.
We met Gordon Wells in the shop. He is one of the 19 owners and is a jade carver. He has been honing his craft since 1979 and now makes sculptures, carvings and jewellery. Gordon is known locally as the "mad Kiwi" and revels in his web page link. His enthusiasm was infectious and I knew we wouldn’t leave the shop without one of his free-form pendants. How right I was. They start at NZ$10 and my wife proudly wears it on every possible occasion. It’s a great memory of a real character and a lovely part of the world.
While in Hokitika, I suggest a visit to the West Coast Historical Museum in the imposing Carnegie Building (admission NZ$5). The same building also houses the Information Centre and the Carnegie Gallery with its art collection (free).
From journal West Coast Magic