Craft, Collaboration and crossing continents

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Craft, Collaboration and crossing continents

Blogging the journey from my studio cross continents to international collaborations, and the ripples and reflections back into my practice.

Members: 47
Latest Activity: Apr 2, 2013

My conundrum: studio craft is essentially a self-directed solo affair. The many hours spent each day, in the studio, by myself, is what my work needs. Work suffers if there are too many voices, too many hands. But creative breakthroughs in my studio practice are often the ongoing reflections from working collectively, becoming creatively immersed with others, collaborating in a cross-disciplinary cross-media community of makers. 

This blog explores the process of journeying from the safe, solo studio space across the world to engage in several international collaborations, and to examine their impacts on my studio practice.

Discussion Forum

Only the Echoes Remain

Started by Ross Annels Jul 1, 2012. 0 Replies

And then, it’s over. The pieces are gathered up for photography, tools are packed, and workshops cleaned. All that remains is the auction and the goodbyes.Members of the public are invited to share a meal and attend the auction - a few notable collectors are in the audience, as well as friends and relatives of the artists. The auction is a great success - a fabulous pair of auctioneers who are associated with the Center for Art in Wood drive the processes with humour and skill. Two favourite moments: early in the auction they drive a mock bidding war between non-existent buyers, taking a piece that had raised a tiny opening bid to over $6000, much confusion and laughter ensues. And a truly poignant moment, a young woman buying her first piece at an auction, made by a friend from timber donated by her family, is moved to the point of (private) tears by her successful bid. It is a rare and precious thing to make work that embodies such strong connection. It came from the lake - some of…Continue

The Pointy end of Echo Lake

Started by Ross Annels. Last reply by Brigitte Martin Jun 29, 2012. 1 Reply

There is a tipping point in every collaboration event - when the mood changes from the playful “maybe” and “how about” to the realisation that there isn’t much time left.“We have to get these pieces done in time for photography and the auction”: Is there enough time for the glue/paint to dry, How can we do this that we didn’t really think through in our playfulness, …Continue

Nakashima Studios

Started by Ross Annels Jun 24, 2012. 0 Replies

One of the great joys of attending a collaboration event is the generous, talented and creative people you meet. This post is a personal thank you to Miriam Carpenter, one of the go-to people of the collaboration, who successfully worked on many too many projects, including our lamp project!Miriam with Mark SfirriMiriam CarvingMiriam is an industrial design graduate of RISD and works with Mira Nakashima as a designer at the Nakashima Studios.George Nakashima stands out as a very significant figure in the development of the studio furniture landscape. Many furniture makers have found inspiration in his work and lifestyle. Nakashima’s work…Continue

Getting Earnest at Echo

Started by Ross Annels. Last reply by Ross Annels Jun 24, 2012. 3 Replies

Things have begun in earnest now - well at least as earnest as they get at a collaboration event.Harvey wore a carefully selected non-matching socks every dayHumour plays a big role in collaboration, building relationships and generating playful projects.An oarsome bench takes shape…Continue

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Comment by Sabiha Mujtaba on March 2, 2012 at 9:40am

Hi Ross, Looking forward to watching your journey in the States.I have admired your work greatly. I'm in midst of my first collaborative experience headed by metal-smith Jen Townsend (NY) and painter Sheena graham-George (UK) It is an invigorating process across cultures and continents. For me the commissioned work I do for customers/clients can feel collaborative (with parameters) that do open directions beyond the project.

Comment by Tom Supensky on February 1, 2012 at 3:44pm

Pardon my ignorance, but what is a PM?   My email is supensky@gforcecable.com

It might be best to commute that way.

Cheers,

Tom 

Comment by The Justified Sinner on February 1, 2012 at 3:17pm

Certainly, Tom! Send me a PM and I will put you in touch with her.

Comment by Tom Supensky on February 1, 2012 at 8:09am

Some valid points for a collaboration...it can open new directions and one can learn new techniques...why not?  

We go to Bristol at least once a year.  We'll look up Lisa.

Tom 

Comment by The Justified Sinner on February 1, 2012 at 2:24am

Yay! Excellent idea for a group. I LOVE collaborations and have several people I return to time and time again, notably Lisa Stevens, a ceramics artist in Bristol who has worked with me on several of my "big" pieces. She created the mushrooms in "A Forest", the skull on one of the "Four Cocktail Rings of the Apocalypse" and one of her test samples inspired me to make a homage to her in "The Mysterious Adventure of Lady Stevens".

The other person I like to work with is Dee Wilder, who works in polymer clay. She made the bird-skulls on "Ceremonial Pendant for Sepulchrave, 76th Earl of Groan" and "Richard III".

All of these photographs are on my page of Crafthaus.

For me, a collaboration allows me to work with materials that I don't have the skills or interest in using and the collaborator gets to see their work used in, perhaps, a new context.

Comment by Tom Supensky on January 31, 2012 at 3:47pm

Collaboration has a number of implications.  For most artists, the idea of collaborating detracts from personal directions.  The best you can be comes from within.  Nonetheless, there can be times when working with others on a project has its advantages.  Collaboration can inspire rather than influence.  Combining the skills of a number of persons can add to the final result of an art object.  In ceramic art there has been a number of instances where one person makes the form and another applies the decoration, glaze, etc.

   Crossing continents opens yet another possibility for the growth of an artist.  My experiences in Germany, England, Korea, and Australia has given me valuable insight as to where my own work might head.  In a sense, the influence of other parts of the world is a form of collaboration.  With today's open world through the media and ease of travel, this form of collaboration is more possible than ever.  This road to crossing continents and collaboration will lead to a more universal approach to art.  Is that a good thing, or is it just one of those inevitible results of the passing of time?  So much more to say, but at another time.

 

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Mixed media sculpture based on my son Ky's childhood.
Copper, earthenware, encaustic, mica, teeth, resin, patina.
10.5" x 14" x 8"

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