OUR mission statement

MADE ON THE LEFT was founded in 2008 by independent designers to support Western Australian creative talent. We hold bi-annual handmade craft markets to showcase local designers.

Being on the left hand side of Australia no longer

means you'll be at a disadvantage.

Our aim is to support all creative designers and events showcasing independent labels. MOTL is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation. You may wonder why we promote other markets besides MOTL; it’s because it’s not about us, its about you; the buyers and sellers of indie wares. Here at the blog, you’ll discover up to date information about our latest market, the low-down on some of Perth’s emerging talents, other opportunities for artists and designers and a little bit of fun stuff too. It’s all right here… welcome!

Saturday, June 28

What to bring to your craft fair

Getting ready for a craft fair is a daunting task, especially if it’s your first. I had my first craft fair earlier this year and was constantly agonizing over what to bring, how much stock to take and whether I had everything organised

Thankfully Made on the Left is at hand to help. We’ve put together a series of articles to help you keep things as stress free as possible.

Preparation Is KeyOne great way to get ready for your craft fair is to write out a list of everything you need to do beforehand and when you’d like to have them done by. Setting goals and deadlines will help motivate you so you’re not spending the week before in a frantic rush to get everything ready. I blogged about getting ready for my first craft fair, listing everything I was planning on making and how it was going. Putting my goals out there made me feel more accountable and motivated me to finish things. I even listed my stress levels which really helped me keep perspective.

Don’t feel you need to have a whole new collection of stock for your show. Most people coming to the market will not know you from your online presence and will have no idea you had a particular item out two years ago. It will be all fresh and new to them. Additionally don’t discount something because it isn’t selling on Etsy/Madeit/your online shop, some stock just won’t sell online but will do really well at a market where customers can see it up close.

Ideally you’ll have completed your stock well in advance and will be able to spend the last few weeks on marketing your business so people know you’ll be there. Sometimes this isn’t possible, you’ve been really busy, you just sold a bunch of stuff elsewhere or deciding to do the market was a last minute decision. However, you can still get everything finished; it just takes getting super organised.
So make a list of everything you still need to do to get your stock ready in time and set goals to get them done.

Talk To PeopleReaching out to your peers for advice is the easiest way to gain knowledge and have any queries or problems answered. The crafting community is enormously friendly and you’ll find many people willing to answer most questions you have. This blog was started to help the many people we meet on a regular basis who are just beginning their crafting business or doing their first craft fair and needed a place to get information and advice.

If there is a particular artist or crafter you admire try emailing them for counsel. You’ll be surprised how happy people are to answer questions and offer advice. They won’t tell you specific secrets about their business or where a lot of their sources are from, those are closely guarded secrets but most people are flattered by someone asking about their expertise and if they can’t answer a question will generally be able to introduce you to someone who can.

What To PackYou'll need a list, and it’s a pretty long one at that. Some of the items listed will not apply to you and reading the list may remind you to add items not included. The best thing to do is to copy the list into a word document and modify it to suit your particular situation. Also don’t forget to take a copy of the list with you to the craft fair and use it as a kind of inventory so you don’t forget anything when packing up.

In addition don’t forget to label your items. It will eliminate any problems at the end of the day when you’re tired and can’t remember if you packed one or two double adapters or which white tablecloth is yours and which was supplied by the organisers.

Indoor Craft Fair Packing List
MerchandiseEnough merchandise for the day (how do you know you have enough? A good rule of thumb is to pack twice as much as you think you’ll sell)

Display/PackagingSignage or banner
Product information sign
Shelves, clothing rack, jewellery displays, mirror for customers
Backdrop if you have a partition wall
System to hang stock if you have a partition wall – ‘S’ hooks/fishing wire
Own partition wall (optional)
Table cloth if you want something besides white
Extra price tags, string
Care instructions for textile items
Bags, paper/bubble wrap, boxes for sold items
Lighting, double adapters and extension cords if you have a booth with power
Duct tape to tape the cords to the floor
Spare light globes

Business cards and holder
Catalogue or flyers to use as bag stuffers and handouts
A newsletter or contact information list so people can sign up to your mailing list
Copies of your latest newsletter
Information about you/other shows/exhibitions you’re in
Wholesale catalogue with wholesale and consignment policy
Wholesale order form
Custom order form
Media pack
Something to make during slow times (customers love to watch an artisan at work)
Free samples (optional, sometimes good for customers that spend a lot of money)

Receipt book
Small safe, cash box or apron for holding cash
Change (at least $50 to $100 in a variety of denominations)
Ability to accept credit cards (optional) and credit card authorization number

Needle and thread
Safety pins
Pens – red one for discounts
Sticky tape
Paper clips
Thumb tacks
Elastic bands
Baby wipes
Rubbish bags
Glass cleaner
Mobile phone
Clip board with spare paper (especially good for taking notes about the show)
Inventory list with prices
Something to pack all of this in...preferably with wheels

For YouJumper/jacket
Snacks – don’t bring chewing gum, no one wants to see you chewing behind your stall
Comfy shoes
Pain relievers
Emergency contact numbers
Make up
A friend to help you
A good attitude

Thursday, June 26

Faces behind Made on the Left - Part 2 - Ramsden Designs

Okay back to getting to know us! There are five of us behind the scenes - we met in the Etsy forums! Last time you all got to meet Dara...

Next in line, is the talented Jacquie Ramsden - the face behind Ramsden Designs.

Tell us a bit about yourself & your craft.
I’m a mum of two, a uni student and a huge daydreamer. After having daughters I went on a huge pink, girly crafting spree that hasn’t stopped yet. I’d love to be an illustrator but am so painfully shy about getting my work out there I wonder if it’ll ever happen. Funny enough I just did the poster for our first craft fair with Ali J, which is about to be all over Perth.

I’ve always been really creative and have so many ideas all the time it’s impossible to do even a fraction of them. I also can’t stick to one idea or style of art for long because I’ve just thought of something else I’d like to try.

I really love the mundane realities of my everyday life but I don’t think I could ever be happy if I wasn’t doing something creative every day, even if it’s just thinking of a new idea.

What do you cherish most in your life?
My boyfriend and two daughters. Honestly I’d rather live in a cardboard box with them than in a mansion without them. After them I’d have to say my good fortune in life, I am seriously one lucky girl, I wouldn’t say all, but most of my dreams in life have come true. Even ones I didn’t know I wanted.

What could you not live without?
See question above...and chocolate. I’m pretty sure I’d curl up into a ball and die without it.

What was the first thing you ever created?

When I was young, around 9ish I cut up my mother’s good quilting fabric and hand sewed a dress for my Barbie. She was not impressed to say the least. I totally did her a favour though; looking back that material was a terrible 80’s floral print and would look awful on a quilt now.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who makes beautiful art, especially colourful work or portraits. Contemporary art is pretty much a major love of my life and I’ve always liked Art Nouveau. Artists who I literally worship include Fernanda Guedes, Robert Ryan, Kurt Halsey, Liselotte Watkins and Aaron Jasinsky. But my biggest inspirations are my daydreams, I generally draw all the things I want to be or wish was around me. How that translates into conjoined twins I don’t know but they do have cool hair and are wearing haute couture.

What is the most important thing to you when you create your work?
To make something I’ll still like in a year. It happens all the time, I make something, think it’s pretty good and the next week think it’s total crap and no one ever sees it. I’ve got loads of stuff that never gets seen or is only out there for a little while before I pull it. I’m having this problem now, all my illustrations of girls I’m looking at and thinking ‘meh’ and wanting to pull them off my website and Etsy shop so I can do something else.

Is this your fulltime profession?
It will be one day. At the moment my full time profession is housewife/mother/student/creator and cleaner of mess/procrastinator. If I ever get a full time job again I’ll be so proud of myself, I’m in total awe of anyone with kids who works or fulfils their creative dreams. How do they do it?

What do you think of Australian design?

As good as anywhere else. I’m not very pro Australia because seriously good artists come from all over the globe. I don’t look at it as an us versus them kind of thing, I think we’re just as good as anywhere else.

What made you want to get involved with organising a craft fair?
Dara did. I wanted to be a part of Made on the Left website and concept but the thought of organising a craft fair terrified me. Dara just stepped up to the plate and started the ball rolling and it was either sink or swim for me. Everything is much less painful because the team is so awesome. I’m awestruck by how great they are and every day I look forward to doing something else to help make our dreams a reality.

Monday, June 23

Now on facebook & Poster revealled

We love social networks, and wanted to make sure that Made On The Left joins in on the fun.

Come and join our facebook group

Come and join our facebook event - Made On The Left Market

We will reveal our other links to myspace and flickr shortly. Be sure to tell everyone about us!

Oh - and we are excited to reveal our poster for the Made On The Left Market which is happening on July the 12th - only a few short weeks away now!!! Keep your eyes peeled around Perth for the posters!

Linking Love!

Quite a few people have asked for some little images to put on their blogs or websites to link back to us.

Now you can! We've put a range of images up for you to choose from. All are sized maximum at 125 x 125 pixels. Enjoy!

Friday, June 20

Mount Lawley – Ruck Rover

If you’re in Mount Lawley you simply must visit Ruck Rover. It’s cool, fresh and has a terrific relaxed atmosphere. Inside you’ll find clothes for men, women and babies too as well as bags, purses, jewellery and plenty more (everything I saw was screaming ‘buy me, buy me’). Ruck Rover stock independent designers from all around the world, most you won’t find anywhere else in Perth. Browse the racks and you’ll find terrific labels like Princess Tina, Moe Moe, Limedrop and Dylan Matorell and they’re always on the lookout for fresh talent for the shop.

Owned and operated by two sisters, Claire and Isabelle the shop really feels calm and hassle-free. Their aim is to create the ideal retail environment where customers are welcome to stop by to purchase something or even just chill out on the couch and type something on the typewriter. You won’t get blasted by dodgy techno music once inside as they only play music they personally listen to and it’s at a level conductive to conversation.

Claire and Isabelle are dedicated to bringing the work of unique and creative artists and designers from all over the world into the shop. They are constantly getting in new stock so come by often so you don’t miss a thing. There are new labels heading for the shelves in time for Christmas and an online store in the works so no matter where you are you can always get your Ruck Rover fix.
Shop 4, 595 Beaufort St (cnr Chelmsford Rd)
Mount Lawley
Ph: 08 9228 3502

Sunday, June 15

Mark Your Diaries- Proposed event dates

It won't be long before the dreary wet weather disappears and the sunshine returns. Which will mark a return to some of the biggest craft fair events of the year - so be sure to mark your calendar for the following dates.

Please note: Most dates announced below are proposed at this stage, and will be confirmed closer to the event date. Mark the dates in your diary, but be aware that venues and dates may be subject to change. Made On The Left will accept no liability.

Made On The Left Market
Where: Hyde Park Hotel
When: July 12th
Contact: http://www.madeontheleft.com

Treasured Craft Creations
Where: Claremont Showgrounds
When: August 23rd, 24th
Contact: http://www.treasuredcraftcreations.com.au/

Perth Upmarket
Where: Perth Town Hall
When: September 14th
Contact: http://www.perthupmarket.com.au/home.html

Kalamunda Zig Zag Festival & Craft Fair
Where: Kalamunda
When: October 26th
Contact: http://www.zigzagfestival.org/ (website not updated)
Please note - the date is proposed only and may change to October the 19th. Be sure to mark both the 19th and the 26th in your calendar just in case!

Subiaco Rotary Craft Fair
Where: UWA
When: October 26th
Contact: http://craftfair.matildabay.org/ (website hasn't been updated)
Please note - The annual fair used to be held at Mueller Park next to Subiaco Oval, but due to problems with the trees on the ground, the location is being changed to UWA. Date may change, but unlikely.

Distracted Little Market Day
Where: Leederville
When: October 26th
Contact: http://www.distracted.com.au/

Fremantle Festival / East Fremantle Festival
Where: Fremantle
When: November / early December
Contact: http://www.fremantlefestivals.com/

Treasured Craft Creations
Where: Claremont Showgrounds
When: November 21st, 22nd, 23rd
Contact: http://www.treasuredcraftcreations.com.au/

North Perth Festival
Where: Angove St, North Perth
When: November 30th

Perth Upmarket
Where: Perth Town Hall
When: December 14th
Contact: http://www.perthupmarket.com.au/home.html

Fremantle Bazaar
Where: Fremantle Arts Centre
When: (5th invite only), 6th, 7th December
Contact: http://www.fac.org.au/bazaar.php
Note: Most stallholders sell out, so be there early to get those items you've been eyeing off!!

Know of any other markets or creative events coming up? Please let us know!!

Faces behind Made on the Left - Part 1 - Dara Art

You are all probably wondering who we are and what Made on the Left is all about, so we've decided to reveal all! There are five of us behind the scenes, we all met through Etsy and have found that it is hard being an aspiring artist/designer in the almost forgotten state of Western Australia. We want to help others in the same situation and provide the resources to make it happen for you.

Now...who are we, and what do we do?!

First up is Dara Clemens, the face behind Dara Art.

Tell us a bit about yourself & your art.
Hi, I’m Dara.
30 years old. 1 partner. 2 children. 1 cat. 1 small part time job as an Administrator. 1 Etsy shop. 1 Bachelor of Arts, majoring in both Fine Arts and Classics/Ancient History. 1 Certificate IV in Furniture Design. 1 house that needs a vegetable patch. 0 love for house cleaning (but I do it). 1 studio. 1000+ bits of art stuff. Excellent sense of direction. Really don’t like flies.
I have always drawn and painted. But I have gradually come to realise that even when I am using the medium of paint, I still draw with it. The plastic qualities are amazing and I actually get very interested in what happens when paint gets old. It gives a great texture.
My subjects tend to be abstracted landscapes from urban to suburban to rural and beyond. And the main themes that always seem to return are time (age, decay, cycles), memory and mark making (as in signs, symbols, text and its precursors). My works tend to start from a personal story or memory and move towards a public consciousness.
The process and texture are important to me and how I create my works. I have been doing most of my drawings on recycled paper over the last year. At the moment I buy it, but aim to make my own very soon. It provides me with a roughly textured surface that I love. I work quite intuitively and for the moment so seeing what happens when the line I try to make is disturbed, hindered, changed by the surface I am working on excites me.
I am really interested in conserving and reusing materials. The amount of stuff that just gets thrown away concerns me. Yes, ultimately things have to be thrown away but I always try and reuse them a least once. I must admit this is something that really developed once I had my children. Over the years we have made so many box buildings and cars, toilet roll people, bottle shakers and bug catchers. I guess what I find fascinating is that very simple shapes and forms can be recognisable symbols for more complicated objects.
I resolved the question of how I was going to present my drawings at the Made On The Left market by using the reuse and recycle idea. Plastic sleeves, cardboard boxes and old franking machine labels, all otherwise being thrown out. The labels hold the plastic together and have the drawing’s title, year and price details as well as my name and Etsy shop printed onto them.
What inspires you?
Archaeological digs, philosophical discussions about time and mythological symbols, architecture – both the actual buildings and the way they intersect the sky, the writing of ancient civilisations, geometric shapes, mathematics and experimentation
What was the first thing you ever created and do you have a favourite?
My mum has this little ceramic pinch bowl with a luscious green and brown glaze that I did in grade 1 (I think). It’s amazing she still has it; actually she has quite a few things I created over the years. Some of them I look at and wonder why? But that little bowl is actually quite aesthetic.

An artwork that is very dear to me is the one I am standing in front of in this photo. At one point it was a Mondrian inspired painting that actually got into the Year 12 Perspectives exhibition at the Art Gallery. It is made up of 9 squarish canvases that were on a welded metal frame. The frame was ditched year ago and the canvases sat in a box for many years too, until we moved into our first house and needed art on the walls (I have to have art up in a house). So I got out them out and repainted the surfaces. Then I put them on the floor and let my 15 month old daughter have a paint brush. My input was a few marks and to pick her up in time so the works didn’t become mush! Many layers of memory at work on this piece.
Do you think being in Perth affects your craft in a negative way?
I feel I am at the very beginning of my craft journey in Perth. But I have travelled a bit over the years both within Australia and overseas and I really love living in Perth. In fact when I think about it I have a bit of a nomadic existence around Perth suburbs too, many different family houses over the years! I see my art as a reflection of growing up in the West Australian environment.
What do you think of Australian design?
Fabulous! I mainly rely on my subscription to belle magazine to find out what going on out there.
What is Made on the Left?
I envision it as a place where artists, crafters and designers can combine a physical presence and an online way to access and join the Western Australian creative community.
What made you want to get involved with organising a craft fair?
I felt there were a lot of people in my situation wanting to showcase their art and craft and not necessarily a lot of avenues in which to do so. What I mean are people who make and create as a hobby or are just beginning their career, who do not necessarily have heaps of money to pay high vendor fees, are just a bit hesitant about showing their work in the real world and just need a place to start. Also working in hospitality I have had a lot of exposure to function rooms and large areas with lots of tables and chairs. Basically my mind put 2 and 2 together. Luckily there is such a supportive group of Perth people on the Etsy forums so when I tentatively pitched the idea they didn’t laugh. In fact we are making it happen! I feel really lucky and privileged to have met such a wonderful group, each with different skills and information and all willing to come together to make it happen.
What can we expect to see there?
From me? Well I will be bringing a range of works. Bookmarks, drawings on paper and small to medium canvases and boards. Maybe even a few random sculptural efforts!
What do I want to see there? Amazing Perth people have a fun time. Heaps of sellers with their fabulous works, networking and nurturing a community environment. Also hundreds of those that want to come along buy a unique and handcrafted product and support local creative efforts.
What are your plans for the future?
Small and steady at the moment. My children are still young and I need to be around for them (i.e. I can’t go into my studio and shut the door for 8 straight hours), so my art will remain a part time venture for a little while. But I am committed to achieving a steady income from selling my works, so when opportunities arise I will give them my all and see where they lead. I would never knock back artistic work! I would also like to participate in more art markets and would definitely like to grow Made On The Left as a business. I could definitely see it as a biannual market day as well as a consultancy and collaboration business for other events.
My long term fantasy plans include holding my own exhibition (and every single one of the works selling), returning to TAFE and completing the diplomas in product/furniture design. At some point down the road do a higher level at university in the area of Drawing. And I would love to be involved in designing hospitality interiors and products.

Tuesday, June 10

Free Ads!! Good grief, that's good value!

Yes it's true - for a limited time only FREE ADS are being offered on the Made on the Left website to support and promote WA crafters. For the first two months while we build visitation to this brand new site we are offering FREE ADS to Western Australian artists/crafters and handmade good creators. You may like to use the ad to promote your Etsy, Madeit or Mintd shops, your own website or your blog, or just to raise your profile - up to you.

All you have to do to is:
1. Live in the great left side state of Western Australia
2. Create wonderful handmade goods
3. Magic up a 125 x 125 pixel image of your ad to be used on the site

Yes folks...it's that easy. The advertisements will rotate to give equal exposure to all our wonderful homebaked artists and crafters. Simply leave us a note in the comments if you would like to take up an ad and we will tell you how to get it to us.

Small print: This offer may end at any time and the committee reserves the right to refuse any advertisement that it deems offensive, commercial or not in the spirit of Made on the Left. You know the drill.

Tuesday, June 3

Released into cyberspace

So our media release has now been unleased on the unsupecting media world. You can see a version of it here:


And if you a journalist seeking that inspiring story, you've found it! Contact us and write about Made in the Left...go on...you know you want to!!!