New film released by Canada Research Chair

Lisa Weighton

A new documentary produced by Prof. Phillip Vannini takes us into the homes, workshops and the studios of nine Gabriola Island makers.

From moulding clay on a wheel to forming dough into supple loaves to transforming molten glass into goblets, A Time for Making provides intimate insights into their lives. 

“Regardless of their craft, the silversmiths, glassblowers, musical instrument maker, potter, weaver, baker and woodworker portrayed in the film show us that making something with your hands is a deeply sensuous skill that is inspired by tradition and fueled by dedication,” Vannini says.

The 58-minute film, co-produced and co-written by April Vannini, associate professor in the School of Communications and Culture, portrays hand making as more than work. 

“Making by hand is a lifestyle,” Vannini says. “On our coast, artisanship is part of a shared way of life. In a small island community like Gabriola, or any of the Gulf Islands, where life is lived more slowly, the lifestyle of makers is deeply shaped by the rhythms of the seasons and the community.”

Vannini is the Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Public Ethnography at Royal Roads University. Read why BC’s coast is at the centre of a handmade revolution in The Tyee. Check out Vannini’s other projects including ferry dependence in coastal communities and what it’s like to live off the grid. A Time for Making is available on video on demand on vimeo and iTunes.