A Time for Making captures intimate portraits of local artisans

Lisa Weighton

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 blow pipe.

These are some of the intimate portraits of nine artisans featured in A Time for Making, a new film by Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Public Ethnography Prof. Phillip Vannini.  

The film, co-produced and co-written by School of Communications and Culture assoc. faculty member April Vannini, takes us into the homes, workshops and the studios where artisans dedicate themselves to their crafts.

“Making by hand is a lifestyle,” Phillip Vannini says. “On our coast, artisanship is part of a shared way of life. The artisans in the film teach us that making is not something you do for the money, but rather for the sheer pleasure of living a life fueled by creativity, dedication and passion.” 

Vannini says he was inspired to make the film to showcase what “made in BC” looks like. 

 “South of our border, we have a political regime screaming at the world to recognize the value of ‘made in America,’” he says. “Often images of ‘made in America’ are limited to large-scale, profitable, earth-raping, mass-manufacturing. This seems like a good time to focus on how made here, on our BC coast, tends to differ.”

Care and passion make the difference, Vannini says.

“In the opening sequence of the film, Paul McEwen, a baker, explains how much integrity it takes to make the simplest things. The same could be said to consuming the simplest things,” he says. “Hopefully the film can teach everyone about the many ways in which that integrity is manifested.”

The 58-minute film, distributed by Australia-based Fighting Chance Films, is expected to be released in Canada later this year.

View the trailer.

Learn more about Vannini’s films and research.