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Commuter Craft: Rag rug and necklace making

9:30/11am-3:30pm (start in Sydney, or join us at Thirroul)
5 hours
Thirroul Heritage Railway Hall

Ride with us on a crafty coastal train trip (or simply join us at Thirroul Heritage Railway Hall) learning skills that make the most of those hours spent commuting, waiting or killing time. By the end of this creative journey you’ll have crafted a fabulous rag rug and made a beautiful collection of polymer clay beads strung as a necklace!

City-dwellers will start the day earlier, first meeting acclaimed textile artist Vita Cochran at Sydney’s Central Station for portable craft-making conversations on board the 9.29 train to Thirroul. South coast locals can join the fun from 11am at the Thirroul Heritage Hall where rag rug making starts with Vita, followed by bead making and cordage with experienced local makers Chrystie Longworth and Mel Young.

Whichever way you get there, you’ll head home with a beaded necklace you’ve shaped, baked and threaded onto your own handspun cord, plus all the knowledge, material and tools to make your very own recycled rag rug!

This Commuter craft workshop was born of the idea that we spend so much time on trains, buses - or staring at screens! - that could be spent doing playful or creative things that bring us joy. Let’s turn this downtime into mindful minutes, creating beautiful and useful items that we can love and enjoy for years.

All materials, tools and a delicious lunch are provided.

Vita Cochran , Mel Young and Chrystie Longworth


Vita Cochran is a New Zealand maker who has recently moved to Sydney. She began making handbags and other objects in 2000, and her work is held in the collections of Te Papa Tongarewa, the Otago Museum, the Dowse & Objectspace. Vita’s work is available at NG Boutique in Christchurch and she is represented by Anna Miles Gallery.


Mel Young is an established contemporary jeweller whose practice spans exhibition work and studio production jewellery. She primarily engages with the idea of ‘place’ and explorations of materiality, with an emphasis on found, natural or re-purposed materials as vehicles for narrative. She has a particular interest in low-tech making, and a passion for hand-making string (or cordage). Mel is a firm believer that a great deal can be done with very little, as such her work explores and incorporates elements from a broad range of craft practices including textiles. Her skills in coil weaving and cordage creation are astonishing, Mel is always twiddling away at something!
Instagram: @unnaturaljeweller, Facebook: Melinda Young Contemporary Jewellery,


Originally trained at Sydney College of the Arts as a printmaker, Chrystie has been somewhat obsessed with clay for the last 12 years, reveling in the medium and its endless possibilities.

The brand Cobalt & Kin was forged with the mantra "Treasures Worth Keeping" where all pieces are imbued with a feeling of the handmade. Not interested in competing with the “perfection” of machine made items Chrystie is more interested in the little details that make a work truly sing.

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