Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Exploring Collaboration #5


If you've been following along, you already know that Karen Bolan and I have been exploring different aspects of collaboration together for several months. Recently we decided to offer up tandem blog posts twice a month diving deeper into some of the topics we've discussed. I hope you'll hop over to Karen's blog and read what she has to say today. I will tell you, today's post really challenged me!

One thing Karen and I have done together is develop a method for creating collaborative projects. We'll be sharing more about that method in part 6 of our series in two weeks. Meanwhile, we've been testing out our method by creating some collaborations of our own. Our first project done this way was the creation of Welcoming Lamp, which you can read more about here. We invited several other quilters to participate in the creation of this quilt.

Welcoming Lamp

For our next project, Karen and I are choosing to make a quilt just between the two of us. An important part of the development of any collaboration is knowing what your inspiration is. Recently, Karen has been inspired by a Netflix documentary called Fantastic Fungi.  Yes, you read that right! It's a movie about mushrooms. 

You need to know that I am not a science person. Not one bit. When Karen suggested I watch this movie with quilting in mind, I was skeptical. What could mushrooms have to do with quilters, specifically quilting in community? I opened up my mind and watched the documentary, taking notes and surprising myself with some of the insights that came my way. I have a lot more digging to do on this topic, but here are some of the revelations I've had so far.....

* Fungi are incredibly diverse. There are millions of different kinds of fungi, JUST LIKE PEOPLE! 

* Fungi are changers, creating evolution. Fungi are what changes corn into bourbon, for example. It networks with the environment to cause change. Don't we do that as quilters? We use our creative powers to change pieces of fabric into works of art. 

* Communities of fungi survive much better than individuals. The strengths of one type might influence and strengthen another. They work together to create things that are of mutual benefit. Sound familiar? When we work in community with other quilters, don't we thrive? We empower each other to create powerful works that reflect our combined strengths.

Of course this is simplistic and selective. There are dangerous mushrooms that can weaken and even kill us. There are magic mushrooms that can cause us to hallucinate. But I'm choosing to stick with the positive impacts of fungi. 

How will all of this knowledge evolve into a quilt? That's a very good question; one I don't have the answer to just yet. Karen and I will continue to explore and create and you get to have a front row seat to our process. Buckle up, this promises to be a bit of a wild ride!


Maria said...

Hmmm! it will be interesting to see what Karen and you create...

Karen Bolan said...

I love how your revelations bring this project clearly into connection with quilting and community building. I can tend to get caught up in the scientific details and think your big-picture outlook is going to be so important!