What Are the Unexpected Benefits of Teamwork?

What Are the Unexpected Benefits of Teamwork?

Published on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. This article appears in the June/July 2016 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Department Voices
Author Staff
Kat Hutter and Roger Lee

Roger Lee and Kat Hutter; Photo: William Livingston

Individually, we are proficient in what we do, but we could never do what the other can. So between the two of us, we fill the gaps to create the best work possible. Unexpectedly, our work pushes the limits of both of our crafts. ~Kat Hutter and Roger Lee, K&R Ceramics, Los Angeles

For our venture Makers Alongside, I collaborate with great artists and makers from around the country to design products for our online shop. I come with an idea or two, but the best products come out of talking and then just trusting the makers to do what they do best. ~Lisa Hackwith, designer and founder, Hackwith Design House, St. Paul, MN

Collaborating with other designers has unexpectedly brought us recognition and opportunity. Working as a team has given us the confidence, tools, and resources to create successful and meaningful business relationships with other companies and develop our venture, Scout By Two. ~Constance Sepulveda and Marisa Keris, designer-makers, Scout By Two, Brooklyn, NY, and Tuscumbia, AL

As a husband-and-wife team, we are frequently asked who made which pieces. We respond that we both create each piece. Our collaboration is intensive throughout the creative process. The unexpected benefit? The resulting art is definitely different from what either of us would have created alone. It is better. ~Patti and Dave Hegland, glass artists, Chestertown, MD 

One unexpected benefit of working with someone else is when one stumbles upon old work of the other and adds to or recontextualizes it. We slipcast everything, so it’s always fun to pull out old molds from each other’s undergrad days and play with them. ~Nathaniel Mell and Wynn Bauer, ceramists, Felt+Fat, Philadelphia