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2020 Christmas Market Day

Monday 7 December 2020 11:37am

It was a busy afternoon at the annual Christmas Market Day, featuring stalls and crafts by University staff.

The University Christmas Market was in full force with plenty of arts, crafts, and home-made gifts on offer from staff and postgraduate students last week.

First started in 2016, the market was originally held in the Clocktower tearoom, but with ongoing support and vendors over the years, it has quickly outgrown the original location.

Now in its fifth year, the annual event was held at the St David Seminar room on Friday, 27 November with about 25 different vendors proudly selling their gifts and services.  

University of Otago Senior lecturer Dr Ruth Napper took over from Kirsty Lewis who had previously been in charge of the organising duties, running it for the first time.

Dr Napper made sure she extended an invite to University of Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne.

“It was great to see the Vice-Chancellor present and spending a lot of time talking to vendors and finding out about their interests in their other lives.”

Professor Hayne was impressed with the wide array of items for sale.  

“It’s just absolutely gorgeous. The calibre of work is amazing,” Professor Hayne says.

Dr Napper was very happy with the turnout and number of staff with their own stalls.

It’s always interesting seeing faces from around the University turn up and seeing what they spend their spare time creating.

“We are so big we only get to know those we interact with in a ‘work’ sphere but collegial activities based on common interests are great for sustaining our energies.”

Dr Napper’s own stall had a wide array of handmade earrings and jewellery constructed from old coins, copper, and even leftover aluminium cans.

“RTD cans are just stunning. You just need to walk to work on a Monday and you’ll have a nice wee bagful,” she says.

Making jewellery was something she has been interested in for a while now, highlighting that she believes she has “always been a maker”.  

“I like the handmade thing,” she says.  

During lockdown, Dr Napper found herself having to make more creations for herself.

“It was a response to not being able to buy anything else, so I had to use what I had.”

Over all she says it was a “really great day”, noting that this year there were more staff selling items than on previous years.  

“We’ve got a very diverse range.”

She took to the challenge of organising the event for the first time with ease calling it “good fun”, making sure that she had the room up and running in time for the 12pm start, and back to “scratch” when it was over at 2pm.