Category Archives: Make

Collaboration within Craft

Collaboration

  1. The action of working with someone to produce something.
  2. The situation of two or more people working together to create or achieve the same thing.
  3. A recursive process to realise shared goals by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.

Most recently I have been thinking a lot about what impact collaboration can have upon craft practice, following on from a recent ‘Synergy Swap’ day with Design Factory members at Unit Twelve, linking into the current exhibition ‘Simpatico’. It was a positive day, and I felt really enthused afterwards after exploring several different forms of collaboration throughout the day.

The day produced some exciting responses of intertwined work. Below are a few images of myself and fellow ‘Cultivated’ graduate Rachel Butlin’s responses. We experimented with a selection of our own materials used within our individual practices, the result of which were the early stages of a playful series of vessels. It will be exciting to see how this series develops in the next coming months.

The day taught me collaboration can also be much more than a swap of skills or production of a body of work; Collaboration can open up a discussion between Makers that can pose thought, altering one’s thinking and perceptions, allowing for a more rounded practice – and possibly a change in course. Throughout the ‘Synergy Swap’ day I was able to engage in some thought provoking discussions, which enabled me to clarify some inward battles of my own.

The day made me think back to previous work I have found really interesting – Lin Cheung’s input for the exhibition Process Works a series of e-correspondence between herself and Caroline Broadhead, which act in a way such as this. They really reflect how thought provoking such collaborations can be.
On reflecting upon the correspondence and exhibition, Lin comments, “Making the objects for this exhibition had a profound effect on the way I viewed my own approach. I was able to see my own thought processes with new clarity: The way I looked at the world, the way I absorbed information and the ways in which I communicated ideas…the short e-correspondence we exchanged at the time continues to inspire and sustain my practice to this day.” The piece is something I continually return to and read; with such an honest dialogue the discussions provided food for thought within my own practice. Collaboration can allow makers to become critical of their own practice.

It’s an interesting exercise to explore collaboration, push the boundaries. I will look forward to another ‘Synergy Swap’ day and the collaborative relationships developing. More images of works in progress to come…

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