The inaugural mid-winter Artisan Affair went off with a bang last weekend, with hundreds of people turning out to Kaitaia's Te Ahu Centre for the event.
The two-day arts, crafts and food showcase ran on Friday and Saturday, and was the first winter edition of Arts Far North's successful annual summer Art Festival.
More than 30 stalls made up of talented local makers and creators were on display, selling everything from fairy gardens to cooking oils to wood carvings.
Ahipara resident and artist Eden Bourne specialises in gouache landscape paintings, with a particular focus on themes from the Far North.
She said the event was her first time selling her wares at a market and was a great opportunity to see what resonated with potential clients.
"I've never done this face to face before as I mainly sell my products online," Bourne said.
"I was feeling a bit apprehensive, but the feedback from people has been really positive which is nice.
"I put a lot of effort into preparing for today, so I'll probably go away after this and paint again for a few months before doing my next stall.
"This is just a part-time business for now, but maybe in the future it's something I can do full time, I'll see what happens."
The Artisan Affair was also an opportunity for local artisans to recruit people interested in taking up a new hobby or art project.
Far North Spinners and Weavers is affiliated with Creative Fibre NZ and runs its bi-monthly spinning and weaving group at Kaitaia's Kaingaroa Hall.
Group leader Agnes Hauptli said the club had been running for decades and was always looking for new members.
"We have about 30 members ranging from 14 years old to 87 years old, from very beginner to advanced," she said.
"We do everything from spinning, knitting, weaving, crocheting and aqua-dyeing, anything fibre related.
"In general it is a bit of a lost craft, but as times change, there seems to be a bit of a resurgence in people wanting to learn.
"It's hard because younger people are time poor, they're working full time with kids and most weekends are filled up with kids sport.
"Younger people also want things to happen instantly, but fibre art is hours and hours of work, so it takes time and patience.
"We encourage people to join if they can and you don't need to buy anything as we loan equipment to people so they can create what they like at home."
Artisan Affair was presented by Arts Far North, a not-for-profit organisation that has existed to support the arts in the Far North for more than 40 years.
Arts Far North representative and event organiser Geraldine Pennell said the feedback from makers and the public had been positive.
"There were people who attended as far away as Auckland and even some from the South Island who were holidaying up here, so it was really busy!" Ms Pennell said.
"We chose our stallholders carefully to ensure there was no doubling up of producers and the venue at Te Ahu allowed many stalls without it feeling cramped.
"Art can be a solitary pursuit, so the artists and makers appreciated the chance to network and provide inspiration to each other and to get their work seen and purchased.
"Some of the makers were quite young, which gives us hope that the skills demonstrated will not be lost in the rush to purchase mass-produced goods.
"Finally, Arts Far North would like to acknowledge the help of the team at Te Ahu, including Denise Conlin, Creative Communities and of course all the talented makers and artists in the district who made the event such a success."
Arts Far North is looking to hold "making" workshops soon in such skills as felting and is on track to hold its annual summer Art and Craft Fair at Kaitaia's Dalmatian Hall in November.
Artists interested in being involved in the workshops or summer fair can contact Jen Gay on 021 058 8890.