Art and craft on show at the Wakefield Country Fete

Bethany Baird with her Rock Art stall at the Wakefield Country Fete.

Painting rocks to resemble animals of all shapes and sizes started out as a hobby for Bethany Baird, but has become a fully-fledged passion.

Her stall at the Wakefield Country Fete on Wednesday was covered with cats, owls, the odd tui and even a bright pink flamingo.

The self-described animal lover said sometimes the shape of a certain rock gave her inspiration. A mushroom-shaped rock was recently transformed into a lemur.

“Ever since I was really young I was into art. Mum used to do a lot of painting herself so it rubbed off on me.”

The piece she is most proud of features a bunny rabbit amongst a field of wild flowers. It took her about three weeks to complete.

She began selling her artwork at the Wakefield market about eight years ago and she had returned each year since, except last year.

Rock Art was one of 73 stalls at Wednesday’s Wakefield Country Fete, with artisans selling everything from soap, jewellery and plants to upcycled clothing.

With temperatures reaching upwards of 30 degrees Celsius across the region, market-goers sought shade as they wandered throughout the stalls in the Wakefield Village Green.

Wakefield Country Fete chief executive Nita Henry with her stall at the annual event.
Wakefield Country Fete chief executive Nita Henry with her stall at the annual event.

Fete organiser Nita Henry said the event was the oldest local craft market in the region and this year marked the 39th event.

It was her second year running the event after the former organiser moved on.

“I took it over because nobody else put their hand up and I didn’t want to see it die. It was quite important for all the stall holders and I wanted to protect this as a historic market.”

The designer has worked across many disciplines over the years and her Sacred New Zealand stall featured silver charm beads, copper and leather bracelets and women’s clothing.

“I just see no limits in design, it’s an open-ended book.”

She said the event had been a great success and they were looking forward to celebrating the 40th fete in Wakefield next year.

“All the hard work, the angst and the fighting for this to make it happen is worth it when I see all the smiles on people’s faces.”