Films About Making Things

Are you familiar with the website Folkstreams? They are a site dedicated to being "A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures.The site includes transcriptions, study and teaching guides, suggested readings, and links to related websites."

I have been having a great time watching the many short films they have, particularly in the section about people making things. Everything from igloos to tinsmithing, weaving to quilts, the site definitely lives up to it's purpose in keeping cultural traditions alive.  

Being knee deep and happy in the crafting world, I sometimes forget that the majority of Americans DON'T do any kind of crafting at all...ever...I know, right?!?! This concept can seem as foreign, and frankly, awful to me as that statistic I keep trying to ignore that the majority of Americans read less than 1 book per year. Eeeek!  

So I can truly appreciate that there is a place for anyone to go and see the many crafts that used to be, and sometimes still are, handed down through the generations. Whether out of financial necessity or simply to provide the basic items like a plate to eat on (which meant you had to make one), we can all read about these crafts.

But to actually see someone doing the craft, can be such an enlightening experience. "Wow, once upon a time, before Toys R Us and Target, the majority of things in people's homes were handmade, and this is how they made them!"  

My oldest daughter was transfixed by the igloo video - she couldn't believe people actually lived comfortably in these for centuries.  

My favorite (so far) has been the Quilts in Women's Lives short film. I have posted a 2 minute clip below, but head over to the Folkstreams site to see a longer 15 minute clip of the film. The full-length 30 minute film is available for purchase.

In the longer clip, check out the "vintage" stash of the first quilter featured, Grace Earl. Love it!!! But what I really enjoy about these short films are the words and thoughts spoken by the crafter's. You will see that not much has changed, even in the 30 years since this was filmed.

Food for thought as you sew!


1 comment:

  1. I had never heard if that site! Thank you so much for posting about it. I've been watching the videos and they are fascinating. I even sent the link to my folks so they could check them out too.


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