Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Collaborations Part 1

According to Wikipedia, collaboration is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals.  That's a fairly limited definition, but it serves as a good introduction to this series.  Back in February, I did a spotlight article on Loran Scruggs during which I discovered that her toy animals started from the wooden toy animals sold by Oopsthatsart.  I was instantly smitten (maybe a bit obsessed) by the idea.  Two separate shops, each selling a product, but one had it's origins with the other.  I went on a mad quest through Etsy looking for other examples.  I even posted in the forums, which I never do, but received no response.  Fortunately, a search led to a couple of shops and a query (i.e. nosey questions) resulted in a few more.  My collection was complete and I titled it That Was Then, This is Now (clever aren't I).  That wasn't the end of my obsession; my mind was brimming with ideas.  I vowed to make at least one of those ideas a reality before starting this blog series and I'm happy to say I finished my first piece last week and I'm very pleased with the result.  

Before introducing  That Was Then, This is Now, I'd like to briefly highlight a couple other collaborative efforts.  When I started my bottle cap art series, a lovely artist name Anne Huskey discovered my blog and left a comment and I went on a happy blog hop.  When I joined Anne's merry blog group, she was working on a joint commission with her friend Tristan to create a stole for a young minister.  It was an amazing endeavor, two artists crossing the miles to create a stunning piece of wearable art.   The picture to the left is a Bargello quilt created by Tristan.  Anne describes the process (sometimes scary, mostly fun) of converting this work of art into a stole. 

This is Anne's work in progress.  (Please note that I had Anne's permission to post these pictures for this article.  Please do not repost these pictures without her permission) I won't spoil Anne and Tristan's big reveal, I let you go on a blog walk of your own.  They posted about this process January and February of 2010 and the picture of the young man wearing their creation is worth the journey and hunt through their archives.

Types of Collaboration
I choose to focus my upcoming article on artwork that stood on it's on in each artist's shop.  However, they're are many, many forms of collaboration, some with direct input from both artists, some indirect, and many with a tenuous connection at most.

Supplier to Artist -- This is, perhaps, the most common collaboration and one that you might not consider.  However, great suppliers are very much in tune with the artist community, continually creating products that help the artist enhance their work.  There are many examples of suppliers and artists working together to create new tools and products to fulfill the artist's vision.  

Art Supplier to Artist -- I wasn't sure how to title this collaboration but anyone who has a great relationship with a lampwork glass artist will know what I mean.  Marsha partnered with Hannah to create this lovely chapeau for Convergence II.  Hannah's orchid cannot be called a "supply" it just doesn't fit.  It's a work of art that beaders around the world covet, collect, horde, and sometimes use in their fabulous creations like Marsha did here.  I encourage you to visit Marsha's blog for more on this collaboration, it will literally bring you to tears.

Artist to Artist -- You'll find many examples of artwork in this category.  Marsh/Hannah's and Anne/Tristen's efforts fall into this category as well.  In this type of collaboration each person works on the end piece either separately or together (e.g. book illustrators with authors).  Each artist brings a unique skill to the creation.  I was fortunate to find a teammate whose work touched all of these categories and shows the progression of artwork.

In this example (disclaimer, the stones are different, these have sold as fast as they are made) LostSierra's lovely cabochon is transformed into a brooch by Glimmerstone, who in turn, provides beaded cabochons to MoreOutoftheOrdinary who uses them on her fabulous bags.  A full cycle of artwork awaits the new owner of these bags.

Of course there are many other examples and I encourage you to look for them, some are apparent and some are hidden but it's worth really looking at what goes into the artwork you see.  For me, I'm anxious to get to the meat of what started me on this journey, but alas, that will await my next posting.  I'll give my poor suffering readers a chance to digest this article and peruse the blogs I recommended.  It will be worth the wait (and blog hop), I promise you.

Blogs in this Article


roseworksjewelry said...

That's a lot of fun! There are two artists at my local Sat. Market that I'm thinking I might be collaborating with once I pay off my credit card for my start up costs for the booth :P

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

A great read Christine and I am looking forward to the blog hop that will show me the finished stole, which looks WONDERFUL. Thanks for featuring Hannah and me. I gotta go post some new photos in that post of mine!

Unknown said...

Collaborations are a lot of fun and rewarding, I wish you great success when you do yours!

The pleasure was all mine, I loved your story behind this piece and love your updated picture, I couldn't resist posting it here! And thanks for the heads up on the links, I'm off to update them.


Hannah said...

Hi Christine! Thank so much for featuring my collaboration with Marsha for the ISGB convengence show. We're super excited about this, and it reminds me that now that the piece has been mailed off, its time for me to put a little blurb on my own blog about it.

On another note, Marsha and I are collaborating again. This one is extremely different, though. I'm in the process of updating and reworking her "day job" web page. Most of our Etsy Beadweaver friends don't know this, but Marsha actually owns a company which makes ballroom dancing gowns and costumes.

The story about the stole is super exciting as well. I enjoyed the blog walk, Christine, and your posts. Keep it up!

Unknown said...

My article would not have been complete without this piece and it's story! It's inspiring in many, many ways. I'd love to hear more about how this collaboration came about and your new one as well. Marsha's gowns are gorgeous. I first learned of them through our facebook conversations. However, I didn't know you were a blog designer and I look forward to seeing what you do with her site.
Thanks so much for your comments and expect an email from me begging for a follow-up,

Unknown said...

My sincerest apologies to Tristan for spelling his name wrong, not once, but six times and in bold letters no less. Yikes. Thank goodness you can edit posts multiple times. I must have created a record with this one so far, lol.
Thanks to my readers for being such good sports,

Robbie said...

Christine, I too followed Anne & Tristan's collaboration..the result was stunning to say the least! Great post!!

Karyn said...

What a great post! I adore that almond roca bunny! I went to check out the whole collection and they're all amazing.

Mary T Designs said...

Wow is all I can say. It is so great to see artists blending their talents to create such superb works! Thanks for sharing.