Lost Trades

Story by Richard Cornish
Photos supplied by Glen Rundell

Swiss Italian Homestead Remains, Yandoit Creek (2015)  by Dale Callahan   Known as the Carlo Gervasoni Homestead Complex and believed to be dated from the 1860's and developed over a number of years by the family connections. The Homestead is one of the oldest in the district and is currently being fully restored as a private residence.

There was a time when everything we used on a daily basis was made by hand. The axes with which we chopped our wood. The rakes with which we tended our gardens. The candles which lit our homes. The boots we wore. These objects were made by hand by people who lived in our villages, towns and cities. The industrial revolution, followed by the two world wars, heralded the end of local production of everyday items. Late 20th century globalism was the nail in the coffin.

Somehow, around the world, a few artisan makers survived the onslaught. Now, when most of the world’s population lives in cities, there is a deep sought need to reconnect with the old ways. People are not only flocking to the country to reconnect with the land from which their families came but to learn how to make things. Things which are important to survival and living on a day to day basis. 

Enter the Lost Trades Fair. It started a few years back when co-founder Glen Rundell wanted to make a chair. He couldn’t find anyone locally who still knew how to make a decent chair. He had to travel to the other side of the world to find people who had the skills. In 2014 Glen and Lisa Rundell kicked off the first Lost Trades Fair in Kyneton. It was an instant success. Thousands descended on the town to learn how to make everyday things that are now mass produced. 

This year, the festival brings together truly skilled craftspeople from across the nation and around the world. There are chair makers, coopers, glass blowers and cotton spinners. These are not just fringe dwellers but true artisan craftspeople who produce both practical and beautiful items that are useful in everyday life.  Imagine a village where there are silversmiths, tinsmiths, blacksmiths, toolmakers and stonemasons. They all come together for this annual festival held on the Kyneton Racecourse. 

This exciting festival runs the Saturday and Sunday of the March long weekend but there are plans to have a month long festival in years to come. 

Kyneton Racecourse, Sat 10 – Sun 11 March, $15 daily