Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I was fortunate enough to spend a good chunk of my early adulthood as an technical artisan in art foundries down in the southwest. One of the big lessons pulled from those years was to value growth through collaboration.

Work can often take unexpected twists when you let it go and put your trust in another set of hands to leave their mark.

It becomes something greater, something unexpected... it becomes less about what I have made and more about what we have made.
It becomes "Our work".

Co-collaborator, Jessica Fong, has been literally leaving her mark in the studio lately. Her figurative line work has been finding it's way onto more and more of my works.
This is just the start...


Eli Pastafangs said...

Looks good!! C-:

TropiClay Studio said...

Nice work sir!

Unknown said...

These are beautiful! What a gift you give yourself to work with someone else :)

carter gillies said...

Good stuff Joel!

I think you are absolutely right about how important collaborations can be. It allows us to see directions for our work that defy the assumptions we normally take for granted. It is sometimes too easy to fall into repetitive habits where there are firm expectations in place that inhibit us from thinking outside the box. "This is how I do things" and we don't explore any further. Not that it ever has to be done in those ways only, just that through habit, inertia, and a lack of curiosity we never seem to do it differently.

So sometimes an outside perspective is perfect for understanding our own work in new ways. Its an easy way for us to jump the fences of our own mind, to slide off the rails that only have us pointing in particular directions, so that we can see more of the true variety that is possible from our starting point.

Sometimes when I've been stumped by a potting problem, an aesthetic resolution, or have become bored by how I typically glaze pots, I will explore collaborative exercises. I sometimes ask friends to take some of my bisqueware and show me how they'd glaze them, for instance. All sorts of fascinating new leads appear, and the horizons for what you can now see about your work are almost always expanded.

This is a great exercise. I only wish more artists had the curiosity to look further outside their own minds in this way.

FetishGhost said...

Happy dance! :)

Tracey Broome said...

Z, I meant to leave a comment about your star sprig but I was reading that post on my ipad and I hate typing on that thing! You reminded me tonight! There is a fish on a man hole cover on the UNC campus that I have been eyeing for some time. I just might have to take some clay over there, you have inspired me!
Love the collaboration, it brings so much meaning to a piece when two people work on it and add a little piece of each of them. Very nice!