Project Object Metal :
The Challenge – In order for me to accept this challenge, it was necessary for me to end the year of retail sales, inventory my business, prepare all my taxes and submit them on time, as well as stop production within my own jewelry business in the middle of production season. (For anyone who is a sole-proprietor) this was an un-daunting and unnerving task, and leave my family during my birthday week, to step into unknown territory with Tom is always a highly anticipated event, which I gladly accept, but this is pressure! I enjoy attending classes at the Baum school of art in Allentown Pa., (I have been fortunate, to have taken several over the years). In order to calm my nerves and contain myself, I drove the distance from Ohio to Pa., in what I like to call my rebel black pick up truck. The challenge itself posed several obstacles such as bringing together a diverse group of people to work as a team in an extremely highly pressurized atmosphere, and developing a synergy among team-members in order to become a productive team. All of which was being filmed for a reality based instructional DVD.
The Target Object – The participants were welcomed by Tom and his crew, Ann Lalik (Director of the Baum School) and of course his mom Charlotte (whom I just adore). We first had an informal get together and we viewed firsthand, Tom’s exhibition “Storm Cycle” This is Tom’s response to Hurricane Katrina and the devastating effects it has taken on all. After our viewing then we gathered to watch the presentation in which the target object was revealed. A Pin. We were given a bag with all the materials to create a prototype, and then produce in multiples, within the set time period for the workshop.
The Creative Process – My team (Team B) Chose to meet after our initial orientation at a quaint little 24-hour diner. We became acquainted and broke bread, so to speak. At this time we began tossing out ideas and sketching. This proved to be a challenge, with 4 members on a team, we were having a bit of difficulty in coming up with a uniform idea that we could all work with. After several hours in the diner we came up with a design but the team was divided on it, we all decided to go back to our hotels and get some sleep. While back at my hotel, I continued to draw the design that we had discussed. I had issues with the design because I did not feel we could expand on it (which I will go into more detail later) on this aspect.
With my cleaned up image of the design, I show up at the Baum school only to be told that 2 of the team members had decided that they now did not like the design that they had come up with originally. So it was back to the drawing board. (this particular part of the process really worked my nerves and my patience) because for me when I sit down to actually produce the piece, my design does not change. So in a sense we were now back at square one. No design, and the clock was now officially ticking. We began an intense dialogue about the design, as we began to formulate a design or shape that we were all happy with, during the same time my mind was already working out an extended line to include a bracelet earrings and necklace, which my team-members were not aware of. (more details to follow) Since the discussion was intense and I felt I was not being heard I got a little loud, stated my case, kicked my tool-box and went outside for and attitude adjustment. At this time my teammate Sandy came out to support me by telling me “You ROCK”!
Adjusting my attitude became a running joke within the team, because they gave me a hall pass to leave the building and adjust my attitude. Our team was virtually functioning 2 against 2 for quite a while, but as the design started taking shape I gradually showed the teammates the expanded line, Sandy and I worked hard at reproducing the sketches into colorful drawings for the presentation, and then we came up with a logo design on the pc only to have it erased twice by another teammate. While Sandy finished up the Logo design for the third time, I began the pricing worksheet, once that was finished, I began to work on the marketing, in between sawing filing and sanding, although we all were given job descriptions with in the team, the marketing aspect had not been touched upon, so I jumped in. Natasha was busy soldering and Claudia was sanding. I had researched information before coming to the Baum School so I applied my knowledge from that research to the marketing paper, only to be met with resistance, once again by a teammate, I took the research info and had a private discussion with Tom. Tom agreed that the research was on point and came up to the studio to add support. This segment was also filmed.
Our project had an extensive amount of soldering involved, which took up a majority of the time, but as you will see, it was well worth all the time we put into.
The Jury- The jury process for me was very nerve racking, each team selected a spokesperson, who represented the team. The spokesperson had to deliver the presentation, which meant speaking in front of all the participants and the jury. Once this process was over the jurors began giving their comments regarding each individual team.
The Winners – as I listened to all the presentations and the jurors comments, I began to realize that our team received some of the best critique, touching on the design concept, expansion of the line, the marketing and the pricing, the only down side to our process was the friction within the team or so I thought. Because when my team was announced the winners, I suddenly forgot which team I was on and so did the rest of the teammates. We were all so totally shocked, excited and ecstatic , I cried…Team B was the winning team!
How would I best describe Project Object Metal?- It was intense! (which you will hear me say, on the dvd, provided it makes all the cuts.) Tom really pushed my envelope with this workshop