Richmond Market Day draws large crowds

Brendon and Jane Harley with some of the metal sculptures at their Richmond Market Day stall.

Brendon and Jane Harley with some of the metal sculptures at their Richmond Market Day stall.

Thousands of people took a break from the beach to pick up some post-Christmas treats at the popular Richmond Market Day.

Kim Quint, of Richmond Unlimited, said more than 100 stalls catered for the crowds, which turned out as soon the event began at 9am on Wednesday.

Tables and chairs transformed Sundial Square into an al fresco dining room where market-goers tasted food available from a range of carts that ringed the area.

Quint said some of the stallholders had been attending the annual event along Queen St for many years but several were newcomers.

Brendon and Jane Harley's Grounded Art NZ stall was one making its debut appearance.

With a striking range of metal sculptures, the stall was popular with many people.

Jane Harley said the Richmond Market Day was the second event for the Nelson-based couple, after an appearance at Garden Marlborough in November.

"We've just started really," she said.

It all began about 10 years ago after "garden-mad" town planner Jane Harley commandeered her husband, a sheet metal engineer, to make outdoor sculptures for their own property.

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"Then everyone wanted one," she said. "All the ones we had in our garden, we've had to sell."

With demand growing, Brendon Harley taught his wife to weld and "now we're getting stuck in", Jane Harley said.

The couple had a website – – and supplied garden centres as far south as Otago. Online orders were increasing and "something might have to give" in relation to the couple's nine-to-five jobs, Jane Harley said.

"It's really good fun," she added. "We're really enjoying it; it's something we're doing together."

Their work is in aluminium, which can be powder coated in a bright colour, and rusty Corten steel, coated or natural. There are rusty bulrushes and a range of other designs including a kowhai, a fish hook and an arrow.

Jane Harley said the some of the sculptures could be up to 1.8 metres high.

 - Stuff

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