After eight months of closure, hundreds of hours of artists crafting and a working bee to clean and spruce up its insides, Craft Council Ballarat's Adam Gordon Lindsay Cottage is ready to reopen.
But like most institutions it won't quite be like it was pre-pandemic.
The tiny size of the cottage in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens means it's impractical to welcome more than a couple of visitors at a time through open doors so the city's creatives are bringing their handmade wares outdoors to a market in the cottage forecourt.
Members of Craft Council Ballarat have spent hours in the cottage over the past week cleaning while artists have been delivering the items they've made during the pandemic.
Craft Council Ballarat president Liz Cocks said the market was an exciting compromise to allow for buyers in the lead-up to Christmas. "We're not allowed to trade from within the cottage because it's too small, so we'll run market days from outside in the forecourt of the cottage," Ms Cocks said.
"We've had to jump through hoops with council which is good because we are an age group of older people and dealing with tourists so we want to be very careful how we open."
The first market will take place on Friday December 4 from 10am to 4pm.
During Saturday's working bee, countless visitors to the adjacent Farmer's Market in North Gardens dropped past and were keen to see the cottage and craft. "I just felt so uplifted after Saturday as we were getting stock into the cottage and seeing how the (farmer's) market was operating. Everybody was so good, all wearing masks."
Ms Cocks said many artists had tried their hand at different crafts or mediums during the COVID lockdown so there would be more diversity than ever in the exhibits.
During lockdown the group held an online exhibition and many of the items viewed online will be available at the cottage market.
The decision to hold the inaugural market on Friday was made to provide a 'soft' opening for the new venture.
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"We just wanted a gentle start so have decided to open on Friday because there will be people around, but not so many, so it will give us a chance to iron out any problems we might have," she said.
"The next market will be on a Saturday when the Farmer's Market is on."
Market details will be posted on the Craft Council Ballarat Facebook page.