Artisan skills on show

Sandra Van Zyl is the driving force behind the Ballarat Artisan Festival, which takes place at the Mining Exchange this weekend. PHOTO: Lachlan Bence

Sandra Van Zyl is the driving force behind the Ballarat Artisan Festival, which takes place at the Mining Exchange this weekend. PHOTO: Lachlan Bence

THE Ballarat Mining Exchange is set to be transformed into an arts, crafts and music haven at the weekend as the Ballarat Artisan Festival rolls around for another year.

Arts and crafts lovers will have the chance to see art on display by members of the Ballarat Society of Artists, as well as buy art and handmade crafts from the extensive list of local craftsman.

Festival organiser Sandra Van Zyl said the annual event brought together arts and craft people from around the region.

Run by the Ballarat Society of Artists, the event is now in its fifth year and sources some of the most original and innovative artists in the region.

Ms Van Zyl estimates 2500 to 3000 people might go through the doorse said some of the exhibited work included extraordinary wool felt work, wire work, silk painting an over the weekend.

Marcia King, who has taken part in the festival for the past three years, said it was a great two-day event with a wide selection of local art on display.

"It's nice to promote arts in the region," she said.

Ms King's popular handmade felted hats, slippers and scarves will be available for purchase.

With each hat taking between four and five hours to make, her work is just an example of the creativity and hard work that goes into every piece on display at the festival.

She said It was great to be part of a festival that showed off the hard work of local designers.

Ms King will join local craftsman Helen Langley, Carolyn Elsworthy, Jim Bond and Donna Poulton with selections of silk paintings, wooden birdhouses, crystal-glazed ceramics and silk scarves also available to buy on the weekend.

A balloon twister, face painter and colour-in mural will be available for children over the two-day festival.

The Sing Australia Choir will also perform on Saturday from 2pm to 2.30pm, with student buskers from Loreto College displaying their talents throughout the day.

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