Introducing “Makers in the Raw”

It started when I began organizing local handmade markets. Applications would come in from hopeful artists eager to sell their goods to Calgary’s many handmade supporters. Included in their applications were photographs of their work, descriptions of their process, all to be juried by myself and my co-organizers.

It was easy to see how many talented people there are in Calgary. These artists take seemingly mundane materials and transform them into something beautiful. They make everything one could possibly need, from fashionable clothing to elegant home goods. It leaves me feeling a little awestruck and throughly impressed.

Those who know me well, know I’m voracious for knowledge, to the point where I would be the first to call myself “nosy.” I just like to know. Some of my favourite shows to watch are “How It’s Made” and “Food Factory” (though the latter usually just makes me want more snacks, so I watch it sparingly). But if someone were making a similar show about handmade items, a big part of the appeal would be to gain entry into the creative spaces where these artists work. To take a peek at the shelves, flip through a bin or two, all the while asking a bunch of prying questions about the maker’s history & inspiration – it’s wonderful. It’s like a treasure hunt where the box of gold doubloons is getting to see creative spirit in the raw, shiny and full of promise.

And thus this project was born out of my undying need to know everything. And because I have a blog and a camera, I want to share some of what I find with you! You will be amazed, you will hopefully laugh, you might even cry, but you should surely be prepared to see some of the best people you’ve ever heard of with some of the best processes you’ve ever seen.

With each instalment, I’ll be interviewing and photographing one of Calgary’s local makers. The photo essay will explore their creative space, with an accompanying interview about their process, inspiration, and motivation for their businesses.

Check back here on January 26th for the first instalment in the series!

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