In the heart of downtown Fredericton lies the Soldier’s Barracks, built in the 1820’s to house British Soldiers. Every summer this historic building is home to the Barracks Fine Craft Shops and hosts an eclectic selection of artists works, making it one of the best spots in town to pick up handmade, unique gifts. (If you’re here Saturday morning, definitely check out the Farmer’s Market as well).
Our visit this summer found everything from handmade jewellery to sock puppets.
My favourite find at the Barracks Fine Craft Shops was Earth to Table Pottery, which boasts the works of several ceramic artists – all students and recent graduates of the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.
I stopped back a few weeks after our initial visit, and the artists staffing the store helped me find just the right gift, telling me about the artists and techniques used to craft the different pieces. The enthusiasm and friendliness is refreshing, and I loved that they were genuinely as excited about their fellow artists’ work as they were their own.
Downtown Fredericton has no shortage of events, shops, and restaurants – but the Barracks Fine Craft Shops are tucked into a building facing a courtyard off the corner of Queen and Carleton Streets, so I have a feeling they get overlooked by many. And that’s a shame, because this collection of small shops offers a unique opportunity to get to know artists and support the local art community (and to find some really unique products!).
If you’re headed downtown Fredericton, check out the Barracks Fine Craft Shops at 463 Queen Street (open June – September) or visit them first on Facebook and see what’s new before you head out.