Collaborative work – in doing the research for the Metal Clay Master Registry, I read about 2 of the requirements for acquiring a Master V accreditation. 2 collaborative works must be submitted.
1. Active collaboration – work with someone else to develop a piece that benefits from the contributions of both people.
2. Passive collaboration – buy, swap or in some way acquire a work made by another artist (living or dead — do not kill them for it!). The first step is to come to understand the work of the original artist, then to augment or collaborate with those intentions to complete the piece. (wearable, functional or sculptural)
There are so many benefits to doing collaborative work. You open yourself up to new possibilities and ways of thinking. It is an opportunity to broaden ones horizons, learning anything new from techniques to understanding a new frame of mind. Whether you collaborate with your neighbor, or an artist you met online who lives on the other side of the planet, you will surely grow from the experience.
Last year, my neighbor and I worked on a collaborative project that we are both quite proud of. We entered a design competition. We did not win by the way! But we did have a fantastic time and have both grown from the experience. The entire process, from designing a good product (within the contest specifications), including sourcing of materials, creating prototypes, branding, packaging and writing a marketing plan together was incredible.
We worked on everything from creating a brand name: 20 FINGRE (20 fingers in norwegian), wholesale sourcing of cow hides (do we have a story about a road trip and a barn! haha!), working with a variety of silkscreening techniques and pattern testing (the final pattern was hand drawn by yours truly), we even created prototypes in different models, sizes and colours. It was a limited production run, they have all been sold, and I cherish the one that I kept for myself. I use mine all the time.
A great benefit should you collaborate with someone who is living in another area of the world, you can both benefit by exhibiting the work which means that you get exposure in a location that would, until now, have been an unlikely venue.
I am always open to new projects, if you are an artist who would like to collaborate on a piece or limited series, feel free to send me a proposal. – no, it does not need to be a formal thing.. just email me your thoughts, keep it casual!