Very soon the “travelling folk“ are back in Radstadt, the “Old Town in the Mountains“!
By which we mean the over 100 craftsmen and women, designers and artisans from Austria and Germany, who have been getting together in Radstadt on the first weekend in September for 28 years now to present their extraordinary work.
On Thursday already the exhibitors’ fully-packed cars can be seen in Radstadt. On Friday the town fills up noticeably and “newcomers” inspect the town square and the streets around it. From 6.00 pm the time has come: Sepp Schneider, who has been in charge of stand allocation since the very beginning, greets all those present. Last questions ae answered, missing location plans issued and in less than two hours the town is changed completely. As if by magic tents are erected, decorated and prepared for the following morning, so that only wares have to be set up.
On the Austrian “market scene“ the Radstadt market has its fixed place right at the top. Visitors and exhibitors confirm the quality of the organisation, the artistic variety and the programme of side attractions year for year. And so it’s no surprise, that the market attracts interested parties from the whole of Austria and Southern Germany to the “Old Town in the Mountains” every year.
For 28 years now it’s been my job to organise the Arts & Crafts Market. Which means, keeping ears and eyes open on the handicraft scene, observing and keeping up with designers.
As every year, this year too there’s exclusive arts & crafts made from various materials on show: ceramics from used crockery to unique objects, fine and elegant jewellery, glassware, felt products from teddy bears to slippers, fine linens and warm woollen blankets, sewn and knitted objects, wooden bowls, boxes and much more.
The Radstadt Market offers arts & crafts quality of a high standard. For years prizes have been awarded for formative handicraft, contemporary design, innovative product development and applied arts by an expert jury.
The interesting, demanding and unique variety in Radstadt has not arisen by chance, but by targeted selection and explicit invitation of the exhibitors. Yearly “newcomers” are very important for the vitality of the market and old hands ensure the stability and good quality of the product range. In addition to a colourful market there’s action and music by the street musicians “Motovidlo“ from Prag and street theatre for all ages by the Sputniks, face painting for children, an eco-hoopla game and much more on offer.
A quick stroll around the market will hardly be enough. This year the textile designer Anna Rubin presents a special exhibition “Threadbare“. In the impressive surroundings of the old Town Tower (Zeughaus am Turm) she displays her bowls and lamps. Sisal cords are sewn together with zigzag stitches to create receptacles for bread, fruit, bits & bobs, jewellery and light.
In the pagoda tents in the Town Square two selected textile experts present their wares. Theresa Bachler from Schladming, shows how beginners and experts alike can get creative using her “sewing packets. Inge Ebenhoch offers us heavenly “sitting pleasure” with her colourful snail cushions made of leftover material and pure sheep’s wool.
Again and again you can stop at various stands to admire the fine linen tablecloths, a cute baby’s bonnet made of angora wool, to smell the scented natural soaps, to try an exquisite ring, to taste a gin and to ponder “shall I give this as a gift to someone, or keep it for myself?”
In between you can stop for refreshment – there’s plenty of culinary variety, from doughnuts made by farmers‘ wives or coffee from the organic shop. We’re looking forward to a weekend full of variety!
Photo credits: Kulturkreis Das Zentrum.