Makers’ Workshop Burnie

IMG_9705The former industrial town of Burnie in Tasmania was once known for its paper pulp mill.  Paper is still made in Burnie today but it is fashioned in a more creative way in an entirely new setting. The Makers’ Workshop building, purpose designed by Tasmanian architect Scott Balmforth of architectural practice ‘Terroir‘ is an eye catching addition to the western headland of Burnie town.

The Makers’ Workshop has many functions but importantly it provides a history lesson on Burnie’s industrial past whilst providing a centre for community arts and tourism. We visited it with our Burnie based friend and teacher Michelle who herself had undertaken a paper sculpture workshop.  Michelle pointed out to us the paper chandelier that her tutor Tasmanian artist Ritchie Ares Dona, created for the entrance foyer.

IMG_9707Dona’s spectacular paper sculpture.


Here is a new way to use paper, as building blocks, an original wallpaper design.

IMG_9716Of course they do not miss an opportunity, here is the cafe menu on handmade paper.

Makers’ Workshop have a system where local artists and craftspeople work throughout the centre in front of the public on a rotating basis. There are name cards for the artists involved in the programme mounted on the wall, so if you want to know who is in residence you visit the wall to see which names have a sign indicating they are working that day and you can make your way to their temporary studios.

There is also a creative paper making atelier that started in the 1990’s as a Work for the Dole project. In 2009 the training scheme moved into the building.

IMG_9713Sometimes you discover things in the most unlikely places like this display featuring water chestnuts. Now even I did not know they were encased in a pod.

The retail shop has a very large section devoted to handmade paper in hundreds of colours and various sheet sizes, all for sale and just to make sure there is something for everyone, a cheese shop specialising in Tasmanian cheese. Regardless of your interests this place will not disappoint, it is a must for a visit to Burnie.


For lunch we visited its cafe. A tasty pumpkin feta cheese tart with salad. The salad could have been a bit larger, a garnish would describe it best. Not complaining, just saying.

IMG_9718Here is a more hearty dish, a take on a Ploughman’s lunch.

IMG_9714Our view whilst taking lunch, toward the wharves where the old pulp and paper mill is still located.

The Makers’ Centre is so multifunctional it also operates a tourist office here. The service is outstanding, if you just happen to stop by some of the brochures the staff come out from behind their desks and benches and ask it they can help you.

Open seven days a week 9 – 5. Free entry, so there is no excuse for anyone travelling to Burnie – GO THERE.



  1. #1 by Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial on February 22, 2013 - 8:18 pm

    Roz, what an interesting place! That lamp is just gorgeous… x

  2. #2 by Ron Pirotta on February 22, 2013 - 9:53 pm

    Roz, great post as usual. Would you kindly e-mail the two photos of your lunch. Love the Ploughman’s lunch on a board. I take it the tart was baked in a hand folded baking paper mould. Looks great.


    • #3 by tastetravel on February 22, 2013 - 9:57 pm

      Ron the tart was probably made in a large muffin tin, just guessing or they might just use deep pie tins. Will email the photos, what do you want to do with them?

  3. #4 by Lynda on February 22, 2013 - 11:17 pm

    Are you sure you’re not on the Tasmanian Tourist Board……if not you should be. These posts are making me want to visit again if not move there permanently. Beautiful photography and commentary. xx

  4. #5 by Michelle Beskin-Clark on February 23, 2013 - 4:07 am

    Tasmania needs more people like you Roz that can see the beauty in every part of this amazing island. Because Burnie use to be an industrial port it is often over looked by people as a place to visit but it is a truly beautiful place with great people and plenty to see and do. Thanks heaps for visiting us xxxxxxxxx

    • #6 by tastetravel on February 23, 2013 - 6:03 am

      I wish more mainlanders would wake up and come down to smell the roses. It is truly one of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes and the people are warmer and friendlier than other states.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: