By Kendrea Rhodes
Balhannah is home to an exquisite new boutique born of passion, talent and effort: welcome to Field Trip. On its shelves are small-batch, unique artisan creations of clothing, jewellery and homewares. Not only can you purchase something beautiful, you also become part of a worthwhile movement. This is “slow” craft, driven by deep ethical values and the desire to make a difference. So pack the car for a field trip to Balhannah and be prepared to explore and delight in local handcrafted fusion.
Proprietors Linda Marek and Mim Clarkson (pictured right), are both Adelaide Hills locals with strong values. Woven into the fabric of Field Trip are the notions of sustainability, Fair Trade, ethical production, environmental protection, quality and support for local artisans.
The idea of Field Trip, as a hub of distinctive design and creativity, was brewing between the friends for over fifteen years. The design-duo met by coincidence at TAFE, where Linda studied textile design and Mim studied fashion design. Since then they’ve shared studios, ideas, markets, and were stallholders at the inaugural Bower Bird design market in 2009.
Linda has worked with textiles and design in Rome and New York, but providence returned her back to her roots in the Adelaide Hills and her supportive family network.
For the last eight years Linda’s main focus has been Delilah Devine, her own label of handcrafted accessories and decorative homeware. Linda specialises in upcycling vintage wallpaper into jewellery and funky adornments for the home.
In the beginning, Mim trained as a physiotherapist and enjoyed the contact with her clients, but a constant whirring in the back of her mind whispered: design, build and create. She really wanted to make things and followed her heart into fashion design fifteen years ago. She comes at the body from a different angle these days and said, “I can combine physiotherapy with fashion, they fit together quite nicely. It’s all connected to biomechanics and anatomy where observations of the body, form and movement are so different.”
Field Trip is more than a store — it’s a workshop, a studio and creative hub. Just look through the lattice walls to the massive, purpose-built maker’s table (pictured above) in the back. It sings with inspiration on a daily basis as Linda and Mim ply their trades.
They also stock items from local artisans and craftspeople with similar values of sustainability, Fair Trade and high quality. This includes: Mrs. Fisher’s Pottery, Anja Jagsch jewellery, the Butcher Byrd handmade leather goods, Crystal Jagger organic cotton and bamboo sleepwear.
Ella Walker’s Etikette candles add a sensory depth to the store with hints of cinnamon, cocoa and spices (and that’s before they’re lit). Caslake and Pedler Glass create hand-crafted glassware, reminiscent of the sea-worn look. You can’t help but handle these tactile pieces as they transport you back to the days of shell collecting on the beach.
The main thing is knowing the story behind the items we stock. They’ve been made for a reason, a purpose deeper than gimmick driven profit, said Linda. From conception, the art of making something with your heart and hands infuses the piece with meaning and a story. This is the very essence of Field Trip.
You’ll find them at 81 Onkaparinga Valley Road, next door to Cocolat at the Balhannah Junction.
They’re open from Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm.
Parking is available behind the store or at the Balhannah Junction Shopping Centre.
You’ll also find them on Facebook and Instagram as @fieldtripbalhannah.