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A local's guide to
Ballarat: Shelby Sherritt

When Shelby Sherritt started to play around with clay in 2016, it started as a way to distract herself from cancer treatment. The pastime quickly took on a life of its own when she combined ceramics with a passion for Australian flora and fauna.

Shelby’s quirky and fun depictions of Australian critters created with the nostalgia of slip casting pottery has resulted in an audience of hundreds of thousands across Instagram and TikTok who eagerly await her latest video. 

A Ballarat local her whole life, we asked Shelby to show us some of her favourite places around town.

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

‘I am always seeking inspiration from nature and it is so wonderful to have a curated garden space to access whenever I need to find new muses. The flower beds are particularly stunning and a lot of the colours and shapes from the flowers make an appearance in my ceramic work’.

Pancho

Pancho is like a guided food tour around Central and South America. The shared-plate menu includes fish tacos, pork tostada, Mexican rice bowls and grilled corn. The place always has a fun vibe with lots of kitschy decorations and pumping Latin music. I recommend getting a jug of Margarita for the group’!

Collins Booksellers

Collins Booksellers is a mystical haven within the Ballarat CBD. I like to come here to seek out books on gardening, cooking and an inspiring biography. The store itself is underneath the historic Old Colonists’ Club and is worth a look just for the heritage front-counter, antique timber bookcases and fireplace’.

Aunty Jacks

Aunty Jacks is another location worth checking out for the aesthetic vibe. Owner Brian Taylor is an avid antique collector and has filled this warehouse space with quirky found objects like old suitcases, vintage televisions, radios and meat grinder beer taps! This place fills with a warm atmosphere on a Friday afternoon and I will sometimes come here with friends for some beers and the massive charcuterie board’.

Fossick Cafe & Wares

Fossick is one of my favourite local cafes. My favourite breakfast option is the pumpkin and feta toastie with a cup of coffee. Everything from the timber exterior to the hand painted lettering on the window evokes nostalgia for a Ballarat of a different era.

The owner Kristy has done an amazing job at curating interesting and unique retail products that echo traditions of the town whilst being a notable location to collect understated souvenirs’.

Gardenia Magnifica

Gardenia Magnifica is a cute little florist that takes a modern approach to floral design.  They have a great variety of seasonal flowers and locally grown products. It is amazing to see this approach, as it not only puts local growers on show but is a more sustainable approach to floristry. I’m especially drawn to the locally grown zinnias, hydrangeas and dahlias’.

Hattie and the Wolf / Vintage 216

‘Sitting on the south of the city’s edge, this tiny little precinct has a life of its own. Hattie and the Wolf have a great selection of hand-made goods, including from local Ballarat artists and makers. Andrea is passionate about supporting local small businesses and the store is full of surprises. 

Close by is Vintage 216, which is a quaint little antique shop filled with all manner of interesting curiosities and oddities. Dee’s collection of curios are unlike anything else, often sharing a story behind each item as you happily add it to your own collection’.

Pick Your Own Sunflowers Dunnstown

‘Laiken and Carl established the farm with the aim of sharing some happiness with the world and now it’s taken on a life of its own. Walking through the sunflower fields on a sunny morning is such a surreal experience and I challenge anyone to resist smiling as the flowers gleam back at you! This is another location that provides so much inspiration in my ceramics work. The gates open just once a year from late February to early March’.

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