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 26

So You've never had a Stall Before - Saturday Hint

Yes, yes I know its about two weeks late. :)

Saturday's Hint.
Hello My Name is...
Arrive at venue. Unpack. Set Up... what comes next? Introduce yourself to your stall neighbors. This not only gives you the opportunity to suggest covering each others toilet breaks, but could also get you a life-long friend! I always make a point of chatting to the designers either side of me at a market, and usually try and chat to others close to me too. You'll find the day much more enjoyable, you'll make great contacts, and hey, who knows, you might even make a sale from it! Attending meetup events is also a great way to network, make new friends and have a great time, and it just so happens MOTL teamed up with Etsy the weekend before last for a Etsy Birthday Craft Party.

Check out the pics below, and if you're interested in coming to our next one, sign up to this event, and you'll get notified when the next one is scheduled. :) Yay!

Friday, June 25

Something to Do : Kingbrown Launch

Awesome Australian illo's zine launch in awesome Australian indie retailer The Butcher Shop.

Oh, with awesome west Australian beer. Extra points!

Wednesday, June 23

Behind the Label : Bek from Glass Candy

A big thanks to Bek for showing us inside the world of handmade lampwork beads....
What’s a Lampwork Bead?
As a Lampworker, this is the question I am most asked.
It has nothing to do with lights or lampshades!
‘Lampwork’ is the term used to describe the art of making glass beads using a super hot flame. It’s called LAMPwork because in the olden days, oil fuelled lamps were used to melt the glass rods and make the beads, nowadays, we use a torch hooked up to oxygen and propane, similar to a welding set up, but not quite so hot. So technica
lly, you could say the modern day term is ‘Flameworked’.
I am a Lampworker and it is an addiction. I buy tonnes and tonnes of glass rods, each about as thick as a pencil and as long as a ruler. The glass is the addictive part. There are hundreds upon thousands of different colours, transparencies and reactive glasses out there. The majority of which are sourced from Italy, with companies in Germany, New Zealand & the States also supplying the market.
A Lampwork Bead itself is a miniature work of art. You can only make one at a time, so no two beads are ever going to be identical, similar maybe, but never the same. This is what makes them so unique.
I build my beads on steel mandrels (rods about 2.4mm in diameter) which when removed; give you the ‘hole’ in the centre of the bead.... Lampwork beads are built from the inside out, the first layer is the one in the very middle and the last layer is the ‘surface’ of the bead.
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So if I was to make a white bead with black spots, I would firstly melt the tip of a white rod of glass in the flame of my torch, wrap it around the mandrel and then melt down and roll on a graphite paddle into a barrel shape. I add a layer of clear glass over the top of the white, which just gives the bead a little more depth and ‘sparkle’ and melt it down and shape it. The final step for the completed bead is the black spots, which are applied with a thin piece of black glass as raised dots, then melted down flat.
Round beads are one of the easier shapes to make as glass in its molten state naturally wants to form a ball, so with the help of gravity and tools, we can easily shape our beads into balls, cones, cubes or barrels, whatever takes our fancy.
Artisan lampwork beads are annealed in a digitally controlled kiln. This process cools the bead as slowly as possible, to ensure that all molecules are realigned correctly and no stress is left behind which results in cracking. I run my kiln’s annealing cycle overnight and it cools down from approximately 510 deg (Celsius) to room temperature over about 8 hours.
The beauty of what I do is the ability to mimic our surroundings. My latest challenge is to make a set of beads that represent the Mad Hatter, and it is very slowly driving me bonkers! (You can follow my ‘Mad Hatter’ progress on my Facebook page)
For example, you have this stunning top but nothing that matches, I could either create the beads and the piece that mimics and compliments the top or make a piece is the complete opposite, which is good for ‘shock’ value, say a hot pink necklace with a white pants suit. Failing that, you could always buy a piece then purchase the outfit to match.......
Thank you to the team at Made On The Left for allowing me to tell you all a little about what I do. If you would like to learn more or see my work in person, I will be participating in the Made On The Left Winter Market on Saturday 17th of July at The Saint. 10am – 4pm. Come and say Hi, I’d love to meet you! If you can’t make it, you can check out my work on my website with both finished pieces and loose beads being available in my Etsy stores.

Thanks Bek! xx The Team.

p.s. do you want to show everyone how you make things? Write us an article, take some pictures, email it to us and we'll post it here! xx Lauren

Saturday, June 12

So You've never had a Stall Before - Friday Hint

Yay, so glad it's Friday!

Fridays Hint:
Label Me. Go On.
Two things that are really important and are the basic starting point for advertising your "label/brand" and ensuring that people who dont want to buy on th eday can find you later, either though a google search or email.
1. Business cards/postcards with your business details on them/etc. Even a half A4 design photocopied in black and white is an ok start. Just get something on the table that people can take away.
2. Your business/label sign. Even if it is as simple as an A4 printout pinned to the front of your table, but you can really go all out with this one, as it's a really important tool in telling people about your brand; what the style is, is it cute and quirky, or serious and refined? Make your business sign tell the story. I made my OSIER sign out of fabric, craft letters and a vintage frame (yes, I do have an unhealthy obsession with vintage frames), but you can sew, paint, graphic design, or professionally print yours, it's up to you. The front of your table is an ok place to put it, but I recommend eye height. I keep mine behind my table on the end of an old screw apart (so easy to transport) room lamp stand.

Thursday, June 10

So You've never had a Stall Before - Tues, Wed, Thursday

Oh Dear.

Been having problems with my modem over the last few days, so havn't been nearly as organised as I would have liked. So here's the three tips from Tuesday to today, all in one hit!

Tuesday's Hint:
Stand Up and Smile.
This is standard knowledge amoungst the market regulars, but unless someone had told me, I would still have no idea. Standing up for as long as you can, instead of sitting in a chair behind your stall, as well as looking happy to be there and NOT letting on you've sold two things all day is one of the MOST effective way to increase sales. We're not 100% sure of why, but we KNOW it works. So show those pearly whites and wear comfy shoes folks.

Wednesday's Hint:
How Much?
Imagine you've got a shy, unassuming customer at your stall, who LOVES handmade but simply can't bring yourself to ask a seller how much that beautiful notebook is. Sure, if she REALLY wants it, she'll ask, but if she's maybe tossing that up with something also pretty cool, and she can't compare prices easily, she'll just go with the one that the other seller priced clearly. So make sure prices are large and easy visible, or each item is tagged individually so that if they pick it up, they know how much that item is. You'll also not have the challenge of having to know the prices of each one of your one-off, seperately priced handmade bags. Which has to be a good thing, right?

Thursday's Hint:
Love Yourself.
Have you ever gone into a phone shop and been thinking about what phone you're going to get, and the assistant comes up and recommends you a phone, and assures you that its the best one, and that she uses it all the time, its her favourite phone to date? Only to see her later on her lunchbreak chatting to her boyfriend on a completely different phone? Sure its great to talk about your items to buyers in a positive way, but if it's not the truth, people can smell insincerity from a mile off. And I for one would not want to buy handmade from someone who I don't believe or who doesn't believe in what they've made. I want to buy from someone who wears their work everywhere if they're a jewellery-maker, or who has her couches smothered in her custom-made cushions whenever I go over their house. So love what you do, and wear/use/show it, not just as advertising, but because you want to!

p.s. this hint was inspired by Sarah G (oddgirlout/MOTLteam member), who is always sporting her black polyclay earrings whenever I see her, and forgets she even has them on :)

Stay tuned for tomorrow's hint, the second last one for this series. Let us know if you have a request for something we should write about net, or even if you have an article you wrote and want to share.

Poster for our 2010 Winter Market!

Hello Everyone!

Today is our "launch day" for the new July Market Poster image. As always, we have commissioned an up-and-coming Made on the Left illustrator who takes part in our markets to design something that really sums up what Made on the Left is, all in an awesome drawing.

This time around, we enlisted the help of Samantha Hughes! Keep your ears to the ground for an "about the artist" post later next week.

Arn't they adorable yetis? Look at their little crafty bags and knitted scarves!

Big thanks to Samantha for her hard work, and also to our sponsors for advertising, venue and printing; City of Stirling, Etsy, and The Saint Hotel.

xx The Team

Wednesday, June 9

Miss Johnson's Vintage and Handmade Market

We love to share news about upcoming markets, so when Phillipa contacted us to tell us about one coming up, we couldn't wait to write about it!

Its called "Miss Johnson's Vintage and Handmade Market" and will be held at the Guildford Town Hall friday 25th June from 6pm to 9pm and on saturday from 9.30 to 4pm. Its the corner of James St and Meadow st Guildford. This is a unique kind of market for all lovers of vintage and handcrafted vintage inspired items. The Guildford Town Hall is such a neat hall and just right for this event as they try create the atmosphere of a by gone fair. Their first one was last October and was a great success.

Visit the blog - http://missjohnsonsvintageandhandmademarket.blogspot.com/

See you at the market!

Tuesday, June 8

AbAF Artists Workshops & More

Resources for visual artists

A number of free workshops for visual artists are coming up in Perth and regional WA.

New fact sheets have also been added to the website on:

For tips, advice and insights on how to succeed in the visual arts, check out AbaF’s podcast interviews with visual arts professionals at http://abaf.org.au/index.php?pageID=4477

Upcoming AbaF workshops

AbaF is the Australian Business Arts Foundation. They offer a great wealth of information. Visit their website here.

Upcoming AbaF workshops

Update your skills at an AbaF workshop. Places are limited so book early to secure your spot.
Check out their website for plenty more workshops including grant applications, artist business workshops, exhibition planning 7 budgeting, seeking sponsorships, websites.... and so much more! Best of all? Most of the workshops are free.

Monday, June 7

So You've never had a Stall Before - Monday Hint

Hello Again,

Just a quick one before I hop off to bed!

Mondays's Hint:
Height, height, height.

Cast your mind back to the last car boot sale or swap meet you went to. As you were walking around, did you stop at some vendors more than others? Bets on you did. And bets also on the probability that they either had their stuff elevated on boxes or a table, rather than spread out over the ground.

Presentation is everything. We as humans like a little bit of interest in our visual world, and we also like to be close enough to things to be able to see clearly. You can capture the attention of "walker-bys", and turn them into "lookers" and maybe even change them to "buyers" (ka-ching!), simply by adding height to your display. As we've all got our trestle tables at Made on the Left already, you've already gotten to hip height with most of your customers, which is a great start. Below are a few starting ideas for adding even more height and visual interest to your display, which we've purposefully kept relatively inexpensive and easy for you, because not everyone can afford to outlay a massive amount on specialised stands and displays. And lets face it, something already pre-made and mass produced isn't always the best way to present your one-of-a-kind, amasing handmade items!

These ideas are just from looking at the last MOTL in November 2009!

1. Arranging covered boxes in cool ways and putting your stuff on them:

This can also be a space saver if you've brought your stock to the market in those same boxes!

2. Picking up some picture frames and making a stand or two, either vintage ones or some that caught your eye in a shop:

If you make clean/classic items, go for a clean/classic frame. If your items are wild and kooky, look for a frame that will complement (not compete with) your items. Dont forget spraypaint is your friend, and to take the glass out, as market stuff gets dropped ALL THE TIME. I will never forget when I held up one of my stands with a jar of tiny buttons... and I knocked it over and they tipped out all over the pub carpet! Eww!

3. Using things that wern't originally meant for display purposes in a cool and quirky way:

Heaps of things here, a covered box, a corkboard, a dish-drying rack, a chair, and a little suitcase!

Well thats Monday's hint. Let us know in the comments of any tips you have for sellers, or ideas for adding height, or maybe even you have a "oops" story like my jar of buttons! Do share, everyone loves a laugh!

xx Lauren & The Team

Sunday, June 6

So You've never had a Stall Before?

Hi Folks,

Well it's that time again, when we bring out the trusty old favourite; the How To Set Up Your Stall post.
With pretty much the most new stallholders we've had since our first market way back in June 08, we figure you freshers might need a little bit of a hand, and seeing as we live to launch Perth's newest creatives, we thought we could be the ones to do it.

Its quite a feat to have a "finished" stall setup, everyone I know or see both here in Perth and elsewhere around the globe are continiually tweaking, adding and refining their stall setups and displays... we can always see room for improvement. So if you're a veteran, read ahead, you might find something to help you out!

Now we're going to stick with the basic trestle-table setup for these daily posts, as thats what we have at Made on the Left. Some of the more elaborate, larger markets can end up with stalls that look like mini retail stores, and require a lot of effort and imagination, not to mention set-up and pack-up time!

If you're just starting out, this week I'll be posting one top tip a day right through until Saturday, so make sure you come back here or add us to your blog reader to get the rest of the hints!

Sunday's Hint:

Clean, white, ironed tablecloth.

Some people love the look of black, but it's a lot harder to keep clean and most peoples products dont "pop" enough out from a dark background, and with our notorious Made on the Left lighting (yes, I can hear some of you sniggering), its best to keep your displays light coloured. Also notice I stated that your table cloth needs to be CLEAN and IRONED. Its actually best if you can get a tablecloth that doesnt need ironing, as it saves a LOT of work and effort (its really hard to keep it crease-free from your house, into your market gear, and then out onto the trestle-table). There is nothing more off-putting than a hairy, stained, wrinkly tablecloth touching jewellery that you might be putting in your ears or around your neck.
Except maybe if its smelley too boot.

Added bonus points if the tablecloth is floor length on three sides so you have a hidey spot for all your gear during the market under your table.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for our Monday Hint, and please comment us with any questions at the end of this post, or you can email lauren[at]madeontheleft[dot]com if you're shy :).

Alternatively, you can let us know one of YOUR top hints that might be useful to newbie (or veteran!) sellers.
Check out previous posts on stock levels and what-to-brings HERE.

xo Lauren &
The Team