Monday, November 29, 2010

Crafting Community

I have been doing some research for places that develop community around crafting through shared learning environments, third places, and events. Blim, located in Chinatown of Vancouver, is just one of those places. From the outside, Blim looks like a 80s clothing explosion, but walk in and you realize the place is doing more than trying to sell you clothes.

Blim has a small retail storefront that sells a range of handmade items from clothing to buttons to silk screens. The retail space helps connect consumers to local artisans and craftsmen of Vancouver. Look beyond the store and you see large workbenches, organized tools and piles of materials. Blim offers daily classes (roughly CAN$70) including book binding, drawing, collages, fabric dyeing, and sticker making. They also host a variety of events including movie showings, musical guests, and art exhibits in their upstairs gallery.

I did some research prior to my arrival at the store and had a basic understanding of what they do at Blim. I thought, however, that if it was my first time there that the space seemed a little confusing. The outside windows made it seem like it was a vintage clothing store and it didn't indicate or hint at what the store really does. I would liked to have seen more of an invitation to take the classes or been provided better information about the complete offerings of the store.

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