The Creston Valley Public Library is showing the documentary film A Time for Making on Jan. 11. (Phillip Vannini)

Creston library showing documentary featuring Gabriola Island artisans

A Time for Making shows BC’s Coast at the centre of a handmade revolution

A potter gently forms a mound of clay into shape on a wheel. Soft curls of wood gather around a woodworker’s hand planer. A glassmith spins molten glass at the end of a steel blowpipe. A baker explains how much integrity it takes to make the simplest things.

These are some of the intimate portraits of nine artisans featured in A Time for Making, showing in the Creston Valley Public Library’s meeting room at 2 p.m. Jan. 11.

A Time for Making focuses on the importance of artisans for B.C.’s culture and economy. It peeks inside the studios and home of these artisans, painting a powerful portrait of their crafts, ways of life and community. Regardless of their craft, the artisans portrayed in the film show viewers that making something with their hands is a deeply sensuous skill that is inspired by tradition and fueled by dedication. The film shows that handmaking is more than work — it is truly a lifestyle.

By focusing on one single community, Gabriola Island, A Time for Making shows how making something is not a purely individual activity but a relational one. Making something makes ties with those around the artists. All are better able to see all the ties that bind makers and consumers together.

Everyone lives in a world of large manufacturing and global chains of distribution. Very few make things. Consumers buy these things because they like and appreciate them, but there’s a bigger economy and social organization that the film talks about through the stories of these makers, and through a variety of events from markets to fairs, where the making and buying is part of the global culture.

Filmmaker Phillip Vannini hopes people who see his film might better appreciate and understand the importance of the local economy and of people who make unique things.

South of our border, a political regime is screaming at the world to recognize the value of “made in America”. Often images of this are limited to large-scale, profitable, Earth-raping, mass-manufacturing. It seems like a good time to focus on how “made here” tends to differ. Vannini was inspired to make the film to showcase what “made in B.C.” looks like.

It’s important for consumers to see there are lives behind the products they use and buy, and it’s important for British Columbians to tell stories about themselves that aren’t seen in popular media. The artisans in the film teach viewers that making is not something they do for the money, but rather for the sheer pleasure of living a life fueled by creativity, dedication and passion.

As with all of the documentaries shown at the library, the views and statements expressed in the film are solely those of the filmmakers and the other contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Creston Valley Public Library.

Everyone is welcome, and admittance is free. The running time is 58 minutes, with a discussion to follow.

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