Local artists to sell work at Stockbridge’s Creative Colonies

Rachel Hazell will be selling origami lights, bookbinding kits and handmade notebooks from her home. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Rachel Hazell will be selling origami lights, bookbinding kits and handmade notebooks from her home. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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HOMES in the historic Stockbridge Colonies will throw open their doors to the public this weekend to allow local artists and designers an opportunity to sell their creations to the public.

The fourth annual Creative Colonies event, organised by the Stockbridge Colonies Residents Association, will see ten artists in the area open their homes to the public to sell an array of unique, handcrafted products.

The area has become a haven for local artisans since being built in the early 20th century. Homes on Bridge Place, Hugh Miller Place, Rintoul Place, Colville Place, Collins Place, Balmoral Place and Teviotdale Place will be open to customers, with those addresses taking part identified by a bunch of balloons hanging outside.

Rachel Hazell, who sells her own collection of origami lights, bookbinding kits and handmade notebooks from her home on Teviotdale Place, said she hopes the event can prove as popular this year as it has in the past.

“We tend to attract quite an array of local people and tourists to the area because of the Creative Colonies day,” she said. “People from outside the city are attracted to the area because of its history with the artistic community, they love the eclectic mix of what’s on offer.

“To have such a large concentration of artists and designers who make their living from selling their own creations from home in one area is almost unheard of anywhere else in the country, so for us, it opens us up to an entirely new audience who probably didn’t realise we were here before.”

Other creations on sale include custom herb and plant boxes, unique nursery and children’s wall art, handmade silver jewellery and framed paintings and prints by renowned city artist Stephen Howard Harrison.

Ms Hazell, 46, also operates one of the smallest libraries in the country as part of the Little Free Library project designed to create a worldwide network of micro-libraries across the world in an effort to improve literacy rates.

Ms Hazell’s library contains less than 100 fiction and nonfiction books, with subjects ranging from crime and fantasy to how-to guides and biographies.

Residents are encouraged to take a book and leave one behind to keep the library well-stocked, however Ms Hazell says she doesn’t enforce that rule strictly.

“If people come along and take a book without leaving one behind, that’s fine with me, I won’t chase them down the street to get it back,” she said.

“If it means more people are reading then I’m quite happy to keep restocking it with whatever I’m done reading.

“We’ve had a lot of exchanges, it’s good for the community because it means these books, some of which are great novels, aren’t lying around gathering dust.”

The Creative Colonies event takes place on Sunday from 1.30pm - 4.30pm.