What Are Some Crafty Takes on Teambuilding?

By Lisa Cericola March 5, 2008, 10:59 AM EST

Groups can work together to create blown-glass objects at Urban Glass.

Photo: Courtesy of Urban Glass

Once you banish grade-school memories of macaroni collages, there’s a wealth of corporate-friendly art projects that can help employees bond, de-stress, and get their creative juices flowing.

Urban Glass, a glassblowing studio in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood, has added a new paperweight workshop to its class roster. Within a half-hour session, participants create solid glass eggs and learn the basics of glassblowing. Rates are $50 to $75 a person and groups of six to 50 are welcome. Past clients include Time magazine and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

For a fun activity that time-crunched employees don't have to leave the office for, origami expert Hagit Shalev will bring Theragami, her therapeutic origami program, to a conference room or meeting space. In addition to being a fun distraction, Shalev says, origami is ideal for corporate settings because it stimulates both sides of the brain, boosting memory and problem solving abilities. She can walk clients through a variety of projects tailored to suit their time and interests. Classes can be as large as 25 people. Pricing depends on the size of the group; a class for eight to 10 people runs about $550. Past clients include ASHA Equity L.L.C. and the United Nations.

Pottery requires a bit more of a time investment to sculpt, fire, and glaze, but Chelsea-based La Mano Pottery can work with groups of 10 or fewer to create simple projects in two to three visits. Co-owner Peggy Clarke has led corporate teams in creating collaborative sculptures in which each person adds a detail to the piece and passes it around the table.  Pricing depends on the number of people and the type of project. Typical classes, which are held two hours a week for eight weeks, are $200 per person and include all supplies.

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