Buzzing from Spotlight to Bunnings on the weekend, with whiney baby at foot I saw a sign on the side of the road that said “Handmade Expo 10 to 2”. It was 1:54pm. Knowing how I never spotaneously vere off the beaten path when the wind tells me, I took a chance. I took the chance that Buddy and Big Buddy wouldn’t sigh and groan when I screamed ‘turn left we’re goin to the expo’ as though I was in a Bond film going cross country in a jeep warning his femme fatale to hold on because the ride was going to get rough.
And it was awesome. Not the wares necessarily. There was a lot of . . . . ummmmm . . . how do you say . . . crap – like the stuff you find in show bags. But the spontaneity was electrifying!
I did find one diamond in the rough. Clare Poppie. A silversmith who works only with recycled jewellery.
They’re unusual without being too ‘out there’. And these studs were the perfect size. I bought a second larger pair for my mum.
Clare (I’m assuming she was Clare and not Poppi) and I had a long chat. For some reason my shyness fell away, perhaps all the tulle and craft glue fumes went to my head. We talked about the properties of silver and how it is a beautiful metal to work with but how she had to practice for years on the cheaper but harder to work with copper, how she did a fine arts degree and majored in smithing, and how she couldn’t source jewellery findings in recycled silver. We marvelled at how today’s technology allows her to carry a tiny paypal thingo that plugs into her phone and her customers have to sign with their finger. She admired Buddy pulling other stalls apart and giving some old folk something to gripe about tonight over ‘tea’.
I contemplated the difference between my conversation with Clare and the conversation I would’ve had in a Westfield jewellery outlet. I felt connected to the world for a moment, rather than just another anonymous number. I was trading with a craftsperson that believed in what they were doing and tapping into their calling. I could see from Clare’s enthusiasm that she loves what she does. And in a tiny way I contributed to a strangers life. What an awesome diversion.
You can follow Clare Poppi on facebook. No sponsorship here.
And I also discovered kit and caboodle, an online space for contemporary jewellery.
Wonderful what can happen when you push through the sighs and follow the path less travelled for a moment.
What have you done lately on the spur of the moment?