I’ve always gone to the One of a Kind Show as a customer, viewing it as a place to get cool crafty things. I hadn’t thought about all of the work that happens prior to the show. I know that there are artisans, but I’ve always viewed them as shopkeepers.
This year, my friend (and former silkscreening teacher) Alana McLeod was accepted into the New Thunderbird Marketplace at the One of a Kind Craftshow, which features 12 aboriginal artisans showcasing their work. Alana is mostly Cree and dash of Scottish, and she has been working since January to make all of her crafts for the show.
Mar 29 correction: My mistake, Alana is more than a dash of Scottish.
The Difference between a Cree and a Taiwanese
Last Saturday, Alana called upon some supportive friends to come lend a hand for the craft show. She asked if we could help to tag everything that was made. To be honest, she barely worked us. I finished the stickers that I was assigned to write, and then wasn’t given a new task. In fact, I played my ukulele for longer than I actually helped. She made us dinner and prepared us drinks. It was a pretty fun evening. We shared stories with one another around her table. Maybe that’s the Cree way. Me, on the other hand, I’m a Taiwanese girl. If it were me, I would’ve made my friends come over and I’d turn my living room into a little sweatshop production. I might’ve bought a whip, or at least put a timer on. I would’ve looked at any ukulele entering my sweatshop as a threat to productivity. 🙂 This is why I am probably not a very good artisan.
Good Karma and Early Prep pays
Alana went to the show as early as she could on Tuesday to set up her table. CityTV came by to see if they could interview artisans. As luck would have it, there she was, and so she was on TV. I downloaded the mobile app and watched it. Here’s a pic.
One Artisan Only Has Two Hands
My brain knows that for everything that we buy in this world, someone has to make it. But sometimes I am mindless and I forget that someone had to take the time to make it.
In this case, this is my friend, so it feels different. I know for a fact that Alana made everything with her own two hands. Getting the Italian Linen, cutting the fabric, treating the fabric, sewing it, painting on her designs, sewing on each tag, getting it to the show and setting it up. This year, I will refrain on talking to artisans to try to get them to give me a deal if I buy two items. I will pay them for all of their hard work if I like what they are selling.
I’m so proud of my friend for actively doing something with her creativity. If any of you have time this weekend, go check her out at the One of a Kind Show.