Join experts and traditional craftspeople in the historic St Magdelen's Chapel for exhibitions and demonstrations of their skills. See rare examples of gowns from the 1830s and browse artisan stalls with handmade and vintage items.




Hysterical Ruffs of the 1830s 

Judged by Hilary Davidson

Make your own ruff (for you, your dog or both) and Ruffs on Parade at 2pm with judging by historical fashion expert Hilary Davidson. Prizes will be awarded for most authentic, most frivolous and best crafted.

More info HERE

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Heritage Viola Music

Robert Harris

Robert Harris will entertain us with heritage music at the festival.  A Past President of the ANZ Viola Society & former Principal Viola of many of Australia’s professional orchestras, Robert will perform music from four centuries at various intervals throughout the day.


Demonstration of Traditional Stonemasonry

State Government Heritage Stoneworks Team 

Experience traditional stonemasonry skills from the State Government Heritage Stoneworks Team. A range of techniques, methods and tools will be on show. See demonstrations of expert banker skills shaping recently quarried Pyrmont Yellow Block sandstone and learn about the many aspects of heritage restoration/conservation practices. Come over to have a chat with expert stonemasons - specialists in conservation and restoration of buildings and structures which are of high state heritage significance whilst promoting the future of the trade through apprentice learning of traditional trade skills

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The Cooks River Aboriginal Oral History Exhibition

The Cooks River Alliance

Before it was called the Cooks River, the waterways of this land were cared for by the Cadigal, Gameygal and Wangal clans, the Traditional Custodians of the catchment. This stunning video projection by Asher Milgate pairs natural soundscapes and images of the river with the oral histories of Aboriginal people with a lived experience and connection to the river today. 

Antique Shop

Free Antique Valuations

Hamish Clark of Leonard Joel Auction House 

Find out about your collectable – Hamish Clark, of Leonard Joel Auction House offers specialist expertise in valuing your private heirlooms, antiques and collectables. Do you have an item of significance laying around the house? Have you always wondered if that special item from your grandmother is worth anything? Bring along one of your antiques for fast valuation by an expert in the trade. 

A hands-on, detailed look at antiques care is available in our workshops. Click here to learn more.

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Exhibition of Rare 1830s Gowns

The Cavalcade of History and Fashion 

Enjoy seeing female day gowns and one child’s gown from the 1830s. Two of the gowns are made in chintz, a printed design featuring a floral pattern.  Costume experts will be on hand to discuss the history of the gowns and how they came into the collection. The social context and the times in which they lived will be described  along with any stories known about the wearers of the garments.  

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Demonstration of Heritage Decorative Techniques

Helen Davies, Paintwrights

Hear about heritage decorative techniques - traditional paint finishes including wood graining, gilding, marbling and  murals. Helen Davies, founder of Paintwrights will show examples of the team’s heritage skills including the hand painted frieze in the Moorish room in Swifts House, Darling Point and work undertaken for the Hydro Majestic Hotel. A folio on the interpretative research into Quong Tart’s former house at Ashfield will also be available to view on the day.  Join Helen for a demonstration of heritage wood graining techniques and learn about ‘flogging’ and dragging with combs to replicate oak and maple.


Demonstration of Decorative Plasterwork 

Thorne Decorative Plasterwork 

Thorne Decorative Plasterwork specialises in heritage plaster restoration and decorative plasterwork. Ornamental plasterwork began to feature in many Australian homes in the early 20th century and has many different styles such as Georgian, Victorian, Federation and more recently art deco which was introduced around the early 1920s. Have a chat with Callum Thorne to hear about the traditional craft methods used to restore, replicate and preserve decorative plasterwork and view a live demonstration of plasterwork moulding using hand tools.


Demonstration & Exhibition of Quilting

Quilters Guild of NSW

Members of the guild will host an exhibition of historic quilts and demonstrate techniques of sewing. Come along to have a chat and hear about the social and historical context of quilts and share in some of the guild’s expert quilting knowledge.


Demonstration & Exhibition of Embroidery

The Embroiderers’ Guild of NSW

Exhibition of a diverse range of embroidery stitches and samples. Demonstration of embroidery techniques and skills from the craftswomen of the Embroiderers Guild. Join in the stitching circle and learn some stitching - after a one minute demonstration you’ll be able to master a basic stitch and include it in your stitch repertoire. 


Demonstration & Exhibition of Quilling

Olga Sedneva

Olga Sedneva, several years winner of the Sydney Easter show in craft in collaboration with art designer Elena Rivett, will exhibit and demonstrate this ancient craft of paper filigree. Works on display include box, picture frame and season decorations produced from reused paper, offcuts and packaging paper. Copies of Olga’s book ‘The Forgotten Craft of Quilling: History, Technique, Inspiration’ will also be on sale.


Demonstration & Exhibition of Lacemaking

The Lace Guild of NSW

The NSW Branch of the Australian Lace Guild promotes lacemaking and brings together people interested in all forms of lace and associated equipment. See examples of lace from the archives of the guild and hear about the varied types of lace produced such as crochet, knitted, tatting, macramé, needle and bobbin. Meet the lacemakers who are keen to show off their craft and learn more about this ‘fabric with deliberate holes’.

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Wood Turning

Simon Begg

Simon is one of Australia’s top young wood turners, passionately working to create new designs and master the art of wood turning. Simon specialises in carved embellishment to bring the beauty into plain pieces of timber. If he has a beautiful piece of timber, its his responsibility to bring out the best of the wood with minimalistic design and good form to highlight the wood. If the wood is plain, it needs a bit of extra work to bring out the best of the piece and that’s where his creativity really shows. Simon is also pushing the boundaries with his sculptures based of the German ring turning technique.


12Fifteen Candles


Hand-poured in Sydney's Inner West, 12Fifteen Candles are a range of beautifully scented, soy-wax candles. With an eclectic and evolving range of scents, 12Fifteen Candles have something lovely for every home. The candles come in re-usable glass containers, and make the perfect gift, or gift-to-self!


A Decent Cup of Tea


Enjoy a different kind of tea experience. Here you will find a selection of teas, expertly chosen to provide you with that little extra something to uplift your day.


Anna Fran Designs


Recycled and hand-dyed fabrics. Hand crafted, one of a kind items. All items are hand made by Anna Fran. 


Carmela Creates


Maker of Homemade Beeswax wraps. An Eco friendly alternative to soft plastic. Reusable, Sustainable, Washable and Homemade soap.


Designed By Deva


Eva Dominello is a Sydney based lamp-worker, making original glass beads using Effetre & Vetrofond rods. 


Over the Top Vintage


Over the Top Vintage with Glennis Murphy showcases timeless pieces including clothing, suitcases, shoes and accessories. 

Access to the stalls and demonstrations is included in the General Entry ticket

Contact Us

Historic Houses Association of Australia Limited
1A Carthona Avenue, Darling Point,

NSW, 2027     02 9252 5554

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ABN: 40 282 275 317

© 2020 by Historic Houses Association of Australia Ltd


The Historic Houses Association of Australia is an independent registered charity.

We rely on income from membership fees, donations, and revenue raised from our ticket sales.