February 28, 2009

Collaboration Challenge

Collaboration is the foundation of society. People interact, share ideas and form relationships in order to better their lives and the lives of those around them. Art and the creative process of an artist was once a very solitary endeavor. The Internet and social networking has allowed artists to collaborate on a single work together like they never would have been able to before. Our Etsy Glass Artists street team has long admired the amazing talent of each member so it was natural for us to start making links between things in each other's work. It became apparent that seeing the work of others on the team sparked ideas for our own art and thus creative connections began to form. It made sense to create a challenge, asking members to formalize these ideas and create collaborative projects. Well, the challenge has been a success. The members who have participated report enjoying this challenge very much and the projects speak for themselves. They are beautiful! We will be doing a series of interviews of each team that outlines the process and shows the reader the finished collaborative works. Most of these works are or were available in our Etsy shops.

The first collaborative team we will introduce to you is the work of Paula of The Venerable Bead and Poppy of Groovy Glass Girl . Their completed project is called Into Spring and is available in Poppy's shop.

Please tell us a little about yourselves and what kind of art you make.

Paula: I am borosilicate glass lampworker. I melt glass rods in the flame of a torch to create beads and pendants.

Poppy: I work mainly using stained glass techniques and wire work. I started fusing last year when I got my own kiln, so now I incorporate my fused glass into the pieces I make. For the most part my work is jewelry, only because with a busy family life I find that I can complete small projects much easier.

Can you tell us how you got started on this project and how it has evolved.

Paula: The team has been collaborating on a series of projects to be featured here on our blog. I did several collaborative necklaces with another team member a while back and I must admit it's very addicting to make collaborative pieces. I have always wanted to make a cabochon that could be incorporated into a dark metal necklace but I am not a metalsmith so it's only been a dream until I saw Poppy's work.

Poppy: Paula contacted me about doing a collaboration and of course I was thrilled to work with her. The whole process came together quite quickly.....her work combined really well with my techniques.

What inspired you about your partner's art?

Paula: I have such a weakness for oxidized metals you have no idea. I saw Poppy's Twig Series and I though "Oh man, wouldn't a flower implosion look cool in a necklace like that?" So I approached her about it.

Poppy: I have always loved borosilicate glass and Paula has some great steampunk inspired pieces that I admired.

How did you ultimately decide to make what you did?

Paula: Well I decided to make a flower in subtle cool colors. I chose blues and greens to work well with the dark silver metal. I wanted the necklace to flow and work together... like something you'd find in nature. Once my cab was done I sent it off to Poppy and she worked her magic on it.

Poppy: Paula mentioned a "Twig" series necklace that I'd just listed in my Etsy shop that she really liked when she contacted me about doing a piece together. I wasn't sure I'd be able to work a large cab into a piece like that but I have another line called "Urban Artifacts" that features really large chunks of glass so the resulting necklace is kind of a combination of the hammered swirls found in a lot of my work, the lines of a "twig" series necklace and glass and solder detail of the "Urban Artifact" series.

Did you find this to be a rewarding experience and why?

Paula: I am so beyond pleased with the finished project. I love it so much I want to marry it! lol, ok well maybe not marry but definitely go steady! Seriously, it was so much fun to plant a seed and watch it grow in the hands of another artist.

Poppy: I found this experience to be so rewarding that I can't wait to do another one! Trying to incorporate another artist's work into your own and still maintain a unified style that flows can be difficult. I have to admit this time it was easy....right from the initial sketch that I did with her cab to adding the metalwork. I kept the beautiful floral implosion cab the focal point of the necklace which was my main concern. The hardest part was knowing when to stop.


Wild Sage Lampwork said...

It is gorgeous!

jewelrybynatsuko said...

gorgeous! I love flower & swirls:)

Shoozles said...

beautiful collaboration