On Sunday 15 May 2016, media and bloggers were taken on a tour of The Rocks Markets and provided an insight into the creativity of stallholders and history of The Rocks.
At The Rocks Markets you will find arts and crafts, photography, clothing, bags, Australiana, indigenous artware, one-off jewellery, books and much more.
As part of the tour we got to talk to various stallholders and heard the stories behind the unique products they created. What became apparant was that the products they created were handmade with a lot of passion and talent.
We also met Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority’s archaeologist, Wayne Johnson, who told us about the history of the families who lived in the houses for almost 200 years. In the 1970s, the local community was concerned about being moved out of The Rocks, a place they and their families had been living in for generations. They called on the trade union movement and prominent Sydney personalities to help them save The Rocks. A leading force was Nita McCrae who formed The Rocks Residents Group. McCrae could trace her ancestors in The Rocks back to 1800. By 1975, the government decided all buildings north of the Cahill Expressway were to be retained, conserved and restored. As a result of the actions of this community group, the Australian Heritage Commission Act was passed. It set about the identification and protection of both built and natural items considered important to the people of Australia.
The stallholders at The Rocks Markets included:
- Bell Art has created unique aromatic, dining and stationing gifts with painting of Australian native flora by Meryl Bell.
- AHW Studio has been designing and making jewelry for over five years. Each piece is a combination on old elegance and modern detail.
- Animalyser has been making quirky animal t-shirts, singlets and accessories for four years. Buyers are encouraged to select an animal which reflects their personality.
- Arthur Avenue creates clothing with a vintage flair and modern twist to create mesmerising designs for trendy kids.
- Bee Bowen creates scarfs that capture a unique snapshot of a time and place in Australia.
- BonnieBix makes all butter shortbread pop culture themed biscuits that are decorated with sprinkles and M&Ms on the back.
- By Pure Pleasure manufactures natural products for well being such as skin treatments and aromatherapy candles.
- Christopher Hanlon makes organics skincare, handmade leather bags and fashion accessories.
- Christmas Never Ends sells exclusive Christmas ornaments all year round.
- Cleanse with Benefits creates artisan soaps, skincare and candles.
- Cool Leather sells Australian kangaroo leather bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings and accessories.
- Creatively Belle sells handmade jewellery.
- Downward Dingo has t-shirts and singlets featuring animal yoga poses.
- Emporium of Chocolate has unique and delicious mouth-watering chocolates.
- Enchanting Angels is a newly launched range of unique premium Angel teddy bear and Angel playsuits.
- Erlenmeyer Art is a collection of watercolours and ink artwork by Stephanie Gray including illustrations, playing cardsm gift cards, books, prints and originals.
- Eva Cassis is a lifestyle brand that creates fashion, accessories and homewares.
- Garage 16 makes customised and redefined new clothing with a renovated look.
- Giorgi’s Gelato is small husband and wife owned business making premium gelato.
- Gourmet Tucker is a business which makes dried fruit (without sulphites or sugar, jams, marmalades and curds.
- Hoity Toity makes baby clothes for newborns to 18 month old toddlers.
- Joseph Austin prints etched artworks particularly of Australian plants and animals.
- Jularoo Designs makes chalkboard mats for children, and hair accessories and jewellery for females of all ages.
- Kanguro Originals makes Australian made garments, unique Australian Christmas cards, greeting card, 100 per cent cotton tea towels.
- Kerry Malone Books creates illustrations for books and is the author of ‘You can do it Joey’.
- Leatheron is a premium leather fashion brand created in 2013 by designer Tommy Ge. It offers a full range os women and men’s ready to wear leather and accessories.
- Libby Pool creates exquisite handmade paua shell jewellery which she sources from New Zealand.
- Market Fresh Chestnuts provides freshly roasted chestnuts that are great for winter.
- Matteo Berna Art is art created by Matteo Bernasconi on a variety of mediums such as watercolour, oil, ink, charcoal, print and digital media.
- Mini Monet Cupcakes are unique shaped cupcakes inspired by the French impressionist artist Claude Monet.
- Mislu specialises in handcrafted papergoods, featuring quirky and unique designs and printed using premium paperstock and archival ink.
- MJ Ryan Leather makes goods in the Northern Rivers, keeping the old tradition of leathercraft alive.
- Natalie Ness is a bespoke jewellery designer specialising in custom made pendants and charms which are locally cast and plated in antique gold.
- Nattivo provides handmade wooden watches and sunglasses crafted by artisans in the Caribbean using recycled tropical wood.
- Paula Church is a botanical and brd artist who has previously worked on the diamond jubilee state coach of HM the Queen
- Penelope Red designs unique clothes with lots of colour, interesting textures and mixed with vintage styling
- Perri Dee creates original edgy artwork that is elegant, timeless, aesthetic stimulating and exciting.
- Ping Lian Yeak is a young artist whose work has been exhibited around the world. He was discovered at the age of 11 and has appeared in numerous documentaries and various high-profile shows.
- Poco a Poco are a group of artists that create new products out of glass bottles and provide consumers with a unique range of products that also help the environment
- Poetry makes deliciously crisp toffee, laced with roasted almonds, topped with the finest Belgium chocolate and dusted with almond fines.
- Ronnie-arts provides customers with contemporary made artworks and designs.
- Somkiat Hansathit makes beautiful watercolour prints featuring a personal view and a collection of Sydney areas by Dtai S. Hansathit. The artist carries a small sketchbook and portable watercolour palette with him everywhere he goes. He captures the mood, atmosphere and essence of his subjects across the spectrum of day to day activities; landscape; cityscape; people; sports.
- Soontaree creates multipurpose and everyday items with Soontaree’s unique eye for detail.
- Sticky confectioners make hand made beautiful rock candy that can also be used for weddings and corporate events.
- Studio 106 make traditional and art nouveau style jewellery handcrafted from sterling silver with 9ct gold details and a sparkle of natural gem stones
- Supertrooper Studio is a multidisciplinary design studio in the Northern Beaches which utilises traditional Swedish design values of quality, functionalism and simplicity.
- The Licorice Shop makes a variety of flavoured certified organic liquorice.
- Valeria D-Annibale is a 3D printed jewellery designer that makes hand dyed jewellery.
- Your Nuts makes a selection of tasty caramalised nuts.
- The Rocks Market Buskers is: The Rosie Meader Trio, a family band based in Sydney who originated from the Netherlands; or the Mimosa Duo, a Sydney born and bred guitar and violin duo.
The Rocks Markets is open from 10am to 5pm every Saturday and Sunday.
It is located at Playfair Street, George Street and Jack Mundey Place, The Rocks.
For more information go to: www.therocks.com