Buderim Craft Cottage, as it stands today, owes its existence to the enthusiasm of a group of craftspeople searching for a central meeting ground where they could develop their skills. In the early 1960’s they met in each other’s home— embroiderers in Wilga (Bill) Wilcox’s lounge & the potters in Zelma Dyson’s garage. When Pioneer Cottage was donated to the town of Buderim, Mary Dalley & her spinners & weavers, joined with the embroiderers to meet on the verandah whilst the potters bought a kiln & worked under Buderim House, then owned by Mary Mercon.
With the restoration of Pioneer Cottage as a museum, a new meeting place was needed. So, in 1967, Zelma Dyson approached Mr Bartholomew & gained the use of a cottage on his land in Church Street for ‘the payment of rates, plus maintenance’. Zelma’s neighbour, Jeanne Cameron found an unwanted garage for one hundred pounds which was bought & moved beside this cottage to house the existing three groups. Teifi Walden’s newly established painting group & the silver-workers group (who are still with Irene Marshall) joined as well. The painters & potters were the driving force behind bringing the Craft Cottage concept to fruition. Woman’s Day magazine published an article with photos on this Craft Cottage Group on 4 September, 1967.
In 1972, a committee was formed & they held their first Easter Market which, unfortunately, was rained out!. These Easter markets are now well & truly an institution in Buderim along with the Christmas markets held the last Saturday in November. The following year, the market was held in Buderim Arcade &, from then on, in the Community Hall, with Zelma always aiming to raise enough money for craft premises of their own.
In the early 70’s, a delegation, led by Eddy de Vere, persuaded the Main Roads Department to donate a plot of land to the Maroochy Shire Council for cultural purposes.
In 1973, there were 54 members counted at the AGM & in 1974, these members approached the State Government for help to build a craft centre on this land which had been granted on a 20-year lease at the rate of $1.00. The Government replied in May with an offer to match dollar for dollar up to ten thousand dollars & so building commenced.
At the AGM on November 5th 1975, the annual subscription was raised to $4.00 per annum & the official opening of the present day cottage was combined with a Christmas party in December 1975. In 1978 the annual subscription rose to $5.00 per annum. 1979 saw 200 members & associates.
Craft Cottage has since been extended twice & they now have about 300 members in 13 different craft groups (life drawing, calligraphy, fabric artists, lacemaking, needlework, painters, patchwork, porcelain painters, potters, silversmiths, spinners & weavers & tapestry.
The original precepts written into the constitution continue to link craftspeople in the community toward their common goal - the pursuit of excellence, sharing of knowledge within their group & communication with other groups, &, above all, the companionship amongst people following these pursuits.
During August 2000, they proudly opened Stage One of their renovations & extensions. This included new toilet facilities with disabled access, & a new pottery workshop & firing section. With a burgeoning membership of around 300, space at a premium, & a lot of maintenance to be done on the building, the Craft Cottage launched into the next stage which extended the kitchen & enclosed the courtyard area, making it into an atrium gallery, providing much needed floorspace both for everyday work & for their famous Easter & Christmas Fairs.
The next stage of extensions is now on the drawing board with a storage area to be added at the back of the building & a beautiful lych gate at the entrance from Main Street.