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String Bean Alley @ Queen Victoria Market

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published September 16th 2012
Take a runner to this new market precinct
Creatures from trash
There is a new shopping precinct at the Queen Victoria Market called String Bean Alley. You can't miss it, as the graffiti artists AWOL CREW and ADNATE have put up a giant mural at the entrance.

Striking mural String Bean Alley

String Bean Alley is populated by artisans, who create beautiful arts and crafts for other people's enjoyment.

The unusual name is given to what was once known as M shed, because a 100 years ago this was the aisle where you went to buy your string beans.

Carmel McNally, who takes the new Insiders Tour through the Market, let me in on a little story.

Apparently years ago, a farmer by the name of Mr Dobson was bringing in his produce by horse and cart, but keeled over from a heart attack along the way. But his old horse had learnt the route so thoroughly, that he just kept plodding along. When he finally arrived at M Shed, the other vendors unloaded Dobson's cart, sold all his produce and then sent the money home to his widow.

Now instead of string beans, there is a string of gaily painted shipping containers transformed into artists' workshops and stalls. A National Trust classification prevents the Market from building permanent structures, so the shipping containers are a clever way of opening up this otherwise neglected part of the Market.

All the artists here have a real sense of purpose in bringing the innovative and the handmade to those who stop by their quirky stalls. There are certainly some unique products.

The lovely Edith at Timeless Treasures Cottage Crafts designs vintage style artwork inspired by her childhood and her love of reading the classics including Austen, Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell. "Handmade" she says "is the essence of coming from the heart."

She shows us books she has made where she keeps special cards sent to her.

Intone Photography belongs to Tony Pierrakos, who has been capturing iconic images of Melbourne since 1991, after graduating from RMIT. His speciality are photographs of Melbourne's laneways, buildings, cafés, and cultural precincts.

His photographs of Melbourne's Laneways - Movida

Laneway images Melbourne

Clockeyed is a great word which which according to the Urban Dictionary means: "a state of being that occurs during an extremely boring lecture. It happens when you keep staring at the clock for so long that your eyes appear as clocks."

It is also the name of Anthony Whyte's business, which is a range of clocks made from various recycled materials including old vinyl records, kitchen wares, posters and vintage Hi-Fi equipment.

Clocks made from everything

That old teapot of time

I Love Recycle takes the adage "your trash is our treasure" and stocks products made from leftover materials, such as plastics, tin cans and other unwanted items. These are fused into great handbags, jewellery and homeware.
A dog box from an old television

Meykers is a collaboration by two young Melbourne designers, Simon Cunningham and Gregory Burton. Their designs are stunning and any home with these lights would look startling.
Stunning wares

There is also a couple of new food and drink stops.

Padre, brought to you by the same team behind the Brunswick East Project and League of Honest Coffee. Names which are synonymous with Melbourne's best coffee. The Waffle Club which serve a range of sweet and savoury waffles made from fresh organic flour and free range eggs.

So lots more reasons to roll on down to the market and see something new.

Candle making as well
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Why? To enjoy crafts and arts at the market
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Where: Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
Cost: Free to wander
Your Comment
The Waffles are yum!!
by Anabe (score: 1|69) 1930 days ago
Sounds great, can't wait to check it out.
by Buggy (score: 1|31) 2590 days ago
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