As a not-for-profit organization, we rely on the generous help of our volunteers and their selfless efforts. It is their willingness to share time, talent, and passion for craft that brings life to CCBC Shop & Gallery. Each of our volunteers contributes to the CCBC in their own way – get to know them!
Meet Rachel, one of our volunteers at the shop & gallery! You’ll get to meet Rachel on Saturdays.
Tell us a little bit about yourself; who you are and how long you have been volunteering with CCBC.
My name is Rachel and I have been volunteering at CCBC for over a year. What brought me here in the first place is the cute unique hand-made crafts in the shop. I remember the sweet greetings from the staff who later turned out to be my friends when I first came to the shop as a visitor, and spent a very long time admiring the art pieces. Knowing the shop’s culture and mission, I made a decision right on the spot to be involved in this lovely community. Looking back after a year, I find this is one of the best quick decisions I have ever made!
What is your favourite part of working in the shop and gallery? Your favourite task?
I have tried many different tasks over my time working here such as maintaining the jewellery, managing visual display and taking pictures for the crafts. My top favourite is creating the visual display. I am still grateful towards by the awesome former visual merchandiser Emma Kelly, who was so patient to guide me and believe in me. I feel it satisfying to present the customers the best of the art pieces through different ways of visual merchandising that fit every craft’s character.
Why do you think craft is important? What role does craft play in your own life?
I think craft as in the sense of craftsmanship where labor of love is devoted to making arts that is to be woven into everyday life. Crafts help people nowadays to find sanctuary, peace away from mass productions through the admiration of the texture, the form and the sweet labor behind in making. I like to make craft in my own life to release stress and give away my artworks to my friends to show my love.
Any tips for someone interested in buying contemporary craft or giving it as a gift?
I believe every crafts here have its own character. Starting by simply taking a close look of the arts here to get to know them more is not a bad idea and ask more stories of certain ones that interest you from our lovely staff. That way, you are not only giving the physical gift to your friends/family, but also an interesting story.
Favourite artist that the CCBC carries? Why?
My favourite artist is Wesley Harris, who has had an exhibition here at CCBC in 2018. He is such as talented and cheerful artist that actually spend as much as time he has at the gallery, explaining his works to the visitors. His passion for arts and life influenced me a lot in a very positive way.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to add a random fact of our shop that we have a very friendly lovable office dog Alice- she is a sunshine!
You are a young artist yourself! What ideas do you like to explore in your work? Are there any artists that inspire you?
I like to explore the fun, the interesting sides of things from mundane life in my work. I gain inspiration from everyday life and show them in my works in a fresh new perspective. In that sense anyone would be my muse of inspiration, but artists wise, I quite enjoy the ones in the genre of impressionism, such as Claude Monet. The felting artist Monica Bennett’s works where the softness created by the little intricate threads intertwining somehow minds me of the blurry painterly effects found in those paintings I love.
How do you think contemporary craft can appeal to younger generations?
I feel like many of the contemporary crafts we have here at CCBC focus on the creativity part a lot compared to the old traditional one striving for the very perfect detail technically. This new contemporary approach fits young generation’s creative minds who are willing to think outside the box and taking risks to make something big. Same with many items here, for example the key chain made out of the broken skateboards by Billy Would, very popular among the youth.