Studio Saturday – Gifts of Collaboration

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Last weeks winner is Leslie. Congratulations! You have won one of Heather Powers’ Dandelion Beads, you lucky duck! Send us an e-mail with your address in the suggestion box and we will get it right out to you.

Welcome to the ExpeditionD studio for a busy Saturday of creativity! As some of you who read my blog, I attended Artfest 2009 about a month ago now, it was a lot of learning and fun! I thought I’d share some thoughts about the conference and the influence on some of my own creativity since I’ve been back in the studio. And for more in-depth information about my Artfest experience I created a special blog, you can see lots of photographs and more information about the events!

When you arrive at Artfest there is a lot of trading that goes on the first few days, you get packages with beads and paper ephemera in it. I had created the ‘ART’ medal medallion piece before I left, but I wanted to finish it off with things that people gave to me at the event, to make it a collaboration of unusual items.

I noticed that some of the items combined with each other, and started to tell a story of their own. The cupid charm, the red heart medallion and the conch shell, all came to me from different directions, but they started to tell a story about art. In some cultures the conch shell stands in for currency, for money and barter exchanges. The cupid has a meaning of love, based on the ancient image of the roman god, the son of Venus, with his quiver full of arrows of love.

Being among so many creative people who work in different media, in an atmosphere of enthusiastic support, leads to an overflow of new ideas and sharing. I am betting that the Bead Cruise that Heather Powers organizes has this same energy, it’s very different from being alone in your studio, creating!

If you get a chance to attend a conference or collaboration, or host a play date at your studio with a few friends, I think you’ll agree that it opens up your possibilities for creativity and can open new directions for exploration!

So here’s my question for today’s Studio Saturday, I’d love to hear your thoughts about how to share a creative experience with friends or family, or an event you’ve wanted to attend:
Have you attended a creative conference to learn (or teach) a new technique or method of creativity, and how did it affect your work afterward? If you haven’t done it yet, have you considered being the one who creates the opening, by inviting others to participate in shared creativity? What ideas and plans could you come up with to make fun collaborative creating an event you can share?
Leave a comment on this post and share your ideas or experiences to win one of my heart charms for your next project. Especially the results, love hearing how you changed and the fun you’ve had or plan to have soon!

Posted by Lynn Davis, who is finally done unpacking the supply bag that went to Artfest so the experience is officially over now, at least until next year.

You Might Also Like

Previous Story
Next Story

20 Comment

  1. abeadlady
    May 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    For the past two years, our bead society has hosted a retreat in the Sierras, inviting well known artists to teach for two days. It’s always a treat to be able to concentrate on beading exclusively during that weekend. We stay in a hostel and get more exercise going up and down hills than most of us want. We have plans for another one this summer with Rachel Nelson-Smith. Just spending that much concentrated time with one teacher and many fingers focused on one project stimulates the mind.

  2. Gaela
    May 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I’ve been gathering with several women for many years now. At times we meet once or twice a month and then we take a break for a while. Many of us are beaders, some of us write as well, but there are many mediums happening in this group. When we do gather there is an abundance of creative sharing, all of us learning and teaching at the same time. We also do a lot of trading of our handmade goods and we all know this one thing ~ Handmade is the world’s finest!

  3. Gardanne
    May 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    A couple years ago I attended ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) conference. It was exciting meeting some of the “glass stars” face to face and everyone was very generous and encouraging. That conference motivated me enough to create my own lampwork studio and take this hobby to the next level.
    I meet about 7 times a year with my bead buddies, these are ladies that I met in the beginning of my glass experience. Our dinners all have a theme and we bring a small gift to share that is in keeping with that theme, it does not have to be a bead, it can be anything.
    I was thinking when it is my turn to cover my table in kraft paper, pass around some art beads, and draw our jewelry designs on the paper. I would be fun to see all the different designs we could come up with.
    Of course wine and chocolate would be involved.

  4. dogfaeriex5
    May 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    i faithfully attend artfest and love refreshing old friendships and making new ones..each year the bonds grow tighter..artfest isnt just about creating art, it is about fullfilling yourself and art just happens to be the catalyst…you arent judged here at artfest, there were so many that had never attend a retreat and i think they left forever changed..it is a life changing retreat..like lynn said..if you have the chance try one out you will not be sorry…xo

  5. Stacey
    May 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I also think often about how wonderful it would be to plan a creative retreat with creatives I have met on the internet or through my art – a place where we could come together and create and share and give. I would love to watch others in their creative state, to see their rituals. I would also love to swap art with others. To laugh to bond to be – it all sounds so good to me.

  6. Leslie
    May 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    WOW! I won? I seriously won??? Were do I email too? Oh, oh! I can not believe I won! Thank you, thank you!!!


  7. Alice
    May 2, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Well, I live in a very small rural town which has absolutely no interest in any type of art whatsoever. Not only that, but my small budget does not allow expenses like a retreat (there are none close by). So I am content to gain inspiration on the wonderful world wide web–websites and blogs such as this one.

    A bead cruise or womens creative retreat….at this point only in my dreams, but maybe someday a reality.

  8. CreekHiker
    May 3, 2009 at 12:07 am

    I take classes all the time and I used to attend rubber stamp conventions. But I have to say, the best convention ever was Bead and Button… so much to learn and see. I torched for five days straight and came home a much better lampworker and much more confident in my own skills.

    I so wish I could afford to do this every year!

  9. Dale
    May 3, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I always like to say that i attend artfest ‘in spirit’. I lived in a small city in canada before, and was not able to attend any faraway conferences (and we had none there). I always love seeing the pictures of all the class projects people create.

    However, i do so love buying books by the artists that do these wonderful classes. I’ve been loving Mary Hettmansperger and Suzan Lennart Kazmer’s books.

  10. maryharding
    May 3, 2009 at 2:49 am

    About 3 times a year I teach classes to beaders in beadweaving and fused glass. My students are all very talented and I always seem to learn as much as they do. I have participated in several collaborative experiences on the internet and have really been inspired by these exchanges and have developed new friendships. I live in a rural area so all of these times together with other bead artists and designers are very meaningful to me.
    I like the idea of hosting a collaborative sharing event.

  11. Susan Z
    May 3, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I have attended paper art retreats in the past and I loved them. In June I’m going to my first polymer clay retreat. I can’t wait to learn to make polymer beads!! It will open a whole new vein in my jewelry making. I love your necklace. Susan Zacher, Harrisburg, PA

  12. Kiwiken
    May 3, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    There don’t seem to be any courses or creative events around here, and I don’t have enough money to attend anything that takes place at a distance. I’m not up to giving courses myself, either – even if I ever will have something to teach in the future, I doubt that I can muster the courage to do that, I’m just too shy.

    However, I recently found out that one of my collegues shares the bead hobby with me – maybe we can get together for some jewelry making sometime, I think I would like that!

  13. Valerie C.
    May 3, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    This summer I will be going to St. George Utha for the Tuacahn 2009 Saturday Market as a vender and a teacher. This will be a whole new experience for me that I a looking forward to. It is for all artist and crafters of all kinds that make there own product to sell and to show others how they do it. There will be ton’s of event’s for all age’s. I hope to see you all there either as a vendor or just to say hi and have some fun. This will be going on all summer long every saturday until just before Christmas. I know that this will be a life changing experience for me as I have never done anything of this magnitude before. I am so looking forward to it. It is a 2 hour trip one way for me as I live in Las Vegas and I have plenty of friends and family helping me and supporting my endeavor’s. Wish me luck…

  14. Louise
    May 3, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    I just came back from a 3 day workshop in polymer clay to learn.
    I allways come back and teach some of it at my guild. It”s the best way to share learn and grow.

  15. RupaB
    May 4, 2009 at 2:30 am

    I think it is quite essential for an artist to learn newer techniques to keep it fresh…doing the “same thing” is fine…..but eventually you will be in a rut and face that dreaded “block” and at that point one gives up…I’ve seen it happen all to often!

    Visting bead society meetings, signing up for classes, surfing the web, buying books that teach something new or to inspire oneself are a few ways, but I absolutely LOVE going to bead shows where you get to freely oogle at many a necks:))

  16. Cindy
    May 4, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I just came back from Art and Soul this past weekend and can now truly understand the excitement and sharing that you have described at ArtFest! I could only go for one day, but the experience was such a creative catalyst. I would love to participate in an online collaboration, and I’m hoping Art Bead Scene might consider one in the future for those of us too far away to attend these big events regularly (or at all). 🙂

  17. TesoriTrovati
    May 4, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    We have a very supportive environment for art in our community and a growing interest in beautifying our community with art whether it be by the 3 galleries in our little downtown, the ArtsWalk event every April, the murals on the old buildings downtown that depict our community through time and the sculpture park they are planning. I would love to create an ArtFest type of summer camp for artists of all sorts. I would love to coordinate the event and make downtown Stevens Point, WI a place to come for those who value the beauty of art in their lives. I would love to create a space much like the Torpedo Factory Art Center http://torpedofactory.org/ in the old paper mill….But I love to connect with other likeminded souls whether online or in person. I can't wait to go to the Bead & Button show next month. I attended last year and took a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer that just blew me away. I realized that I have a dream that I need to pursue and I know that I will make it happen!
    Enjoy the day!

  18. Joan Tucker
    May 4, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I also attended Artfest for the first time and felt the experience enhanced my porcelain and also created a new found interest in altered art using my porcelain pieces. My new work in silver and mixed metals has been encouraged by the energy of artfest and the incredible permission to just do it!!!

    I am working with fused silver, copper, etching, paper, concrete and beads beads beads.I would encourage anyone who can to attend at least on of these events.. to feel the collective muse and have fun.

    Joan Tucker

  19. gail whitehead
    May 5, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Sorry,but my comment borders on the negative.On Saturdays,I look forward to Studio time,but the last 2 weeks I can’t find you.I’ve recently set up shop-jewelsoftheearth -and value the things I’m learning.And I discover new techniques all the time.And,when I do find you.I do feel I’ve really accomplished something!haha!Please try to beearlier for us southern beaders,fusers,lampers,etc.Thanks!

  20. Patty
    May 8, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    So far no conferences but they sound like such fun. Maybe when this economy picks up a bit!

Comments are closed.