The penultimate parcel arrived from T this week. This enabled me to collate and complete half of the 12 book edition. When viewed as a set the bias-binding belly bands effectively reflect the coloured band at the top of each pattern envelope, although interestingly, this wasn’t apparent when we made the decision.
Drawing upon the framework of collaboration we established throughout the original Meeting in the Middle project, we have achieved the completion of 6 books 8 days ahead of the deadline. Integral to this process has been a well structured, but realistic schedule which acknowledges both our separate work commitments and distance apart. In response to this, we identify with standpoints made by Gates, Kettle and Webb and Ravetz within Collaboration Through Craft (2013) and value the importance of negotiation and shared making to increase productivity. Time spent on the co-ordination of meetings has enabled effective decision making and opportunities to talk through any difficulties together.
The creative practice undertaken within this project has offered opportunities to build upon the approaches to visual communication begun within Meeting in the Middle with autonomy alongside being mindful of each others input so that an overlapping of knowledge and skills is developing. A shared focus to making work and sense of responsibility to meeting deadlines is very much supported by shared interests within the production of artwork. We have begun to reflect upon this practice in preparation for next projects.
Despite the 103 miles that divide us, smart phone technology enables us to send and receive images and messages, and subsequently make decisions, almost instantaneously. Starting at 09.49 today, here is a visual journey of a conversation that took place regarding the ‘container’ of the book; it was accompanied by 24 messages and concluded at 10.40am. It resulted in us resolving the final problem. Each element within the 10 photos was made as an immediate response to our discussion, and sent within the 51 minutes of the conversation.
The following emojis supported our conversation 😬☺️👍🏼😬😂😂😬👍🏼😀 !
Another Facetime meeting enabled us to discuss and make decisions regarding a few of the unresolved elements of the project, namely the addition of the bias-binding and how we can attach it effectively and easily, the making of the bag versus belly-band to contain the book and the inclusion of teachers names. We have two weeks until our BABE deadline, so once we have completed some further tests, we will base our decisions on what we can achieve in the time available.
The working methodology that we have adopted to develop this project has proved to be highly effective, especially in relation to time management and division of tasks. We have worked to each other’s strengths and the method of sending work backwards and forwards, apart from a slight postal hitch(!), has kept the project moving at a steady pace. The process of receiving the project without knowing fully what to expect, and then adding to it, and returning it has been one of the unexpected pleasures of this project.
Having both completed our individual creative contribution to the project, the next stage is joint production. Having divided the cards equally, we are now beginning the typing element. This is a relatively laborious procedure as we have (foolishly) decided to type all 144 cards rather than photocopy from a master! Developing a range of decorative patterns to represent each of the stories has given us a minor creative outlet within what is a lengthy process – this is sometimes made more arduous by typewriter malfunctions or waiting for the Tippex to dry on the typing errors! Despite the nature of the process it does offer a certain sense of achievement and means that the project is running to schedule.