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Harriete Estel Berman
San Mateo, California
Harriete Estel Berman creates jewelry, sculpture, Judaica & installations from recycled materials [http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info] and author of the Professional Guidelines[http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/profguidelines/profguide.html]
Interests: Professional Guidelines, Professional Development Seminar, ASK Harriete, recycled materials, thinking and acting green, environmental issues, composting, Sociology, marketing, 2.0 marketing,
Recent Activity
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Every year I look forward to reinventing my Thanksgiving table is an extension of being an artist. Experiencing the light, the decorative arrangements, the food, and friends all resolve to the point that so much of life's activities can be artistic experiences. Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2016 at Ask Harriete
Monica, I appreciate your taking time to offer a solution for removing the Pinterest post. That is one solution. My point, is that no one should think it is acceptable to write a tutorial, or suggest a DIY method for making someone else's work. Yet, as unlikely as it sounds, I hear about just this issue far to regularly, or see something like it roaming around on the internet.
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Carole, Though some teachers allow student projects from a class to be posted and sold, I think this is unquestionably a terrible idea. The unoriginal work becomes a 2nd /3rd generation object, sold online in a sea of mediocre. No wonder the crafts marketplace is waning in public interest. Projects from a class should be just that, a learning experience. Wear it yourself, or throw it away. An important part was learning the process, technique or vocabulary, and the MOST IMPORTANT aspect is taking what you have learned and moving into new territory.
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What do you do when you see a D.I.Y. post on how to recreate/copy another artist's work? When I first saw a situation like this, I didn't know what to do. This time I wrote a post with vocal condemnation. Is that enough? If you like a piece of jewelry or admire another artist's work in any media, then suggest that other people buy it from the artist. Don't recommend ways to copy the other artist's work. Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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I continue to wonder how much to invest in the past - organizing and protecting an archive of my life's work. Perhaps this reflects a profound perspective about one's self as a professional artist or maker. Do you see your work as important to yourself or your field? Craig Nutt (formally at CERF) has shared with me a remarkable resource for dealing with these issues. Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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My primary recommendation is to use archival boxes for storage, but what is Long Term Storage in the Digital Age? For the long term I am trying to think about "What is safe?" "What will be accessible into the future?" Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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In looking through 40+ years of accumulated physical images, I am reminded of the history and optimism anticipated in each and every image that is going into the trash. Artists also may have a legacy of information or objects. At what point does old work become out dated inventory? I look at it differently. ... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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I am thinking about Boris's statement. "I am surprised how many metalsmiths have chosen to keep the gun as a whole, rather than to manipulate or reconfigure the gun’s materials." I see both sides now. My first assumption that the whole gun was scarier isn't really true. Parts of a gun, a slice or a trigger can still carry a powerful message. Creativity really is an art more than a science. One principle can not apply to all situations, and nuance can make all the difference between good and great interpretations. Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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Putting together a show is in itself a noble effort and a time intensive commitment powered by passion. Now Boris is trying to raise funds through Kickstarter for a print catalog for the show. A Kickstarter campaign is kind of like a Sisyphus challenge -- it seems endless and always requiring more effort. There are many successfully funded projects, but it requires a great deal of support. Boris tells more about this too. Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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Labels or not labels is not a new debate, but I think a few issues come to the fore. 1) Should artist-made jewelry have a label with the artist name in an exhibition or gallery? 2 What is the solution to an attractive label? 3) As a jewelry artist would you express your opinion to the gallery or exhibition that displays your work? 4) What is the value of discussing this issue? Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2016 at Ask Harriete
Thank you George, I fixed the mistakes.
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Marketing and display is an essential role for artists and makers. If your display does not effectively sell your work then it is costing you a lot more than you think. Yes, it is another hat that artists and makers have to wear in addition to the "create, research, create, pack, sell, create, ship, create...order materials, keep records, create." I have written a great number of posts about effective display issues and ideas. http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/display/ In addition, I have a Pinterest board focusing on ideas that are relatively simple and light weight. Many of these ideas would translate to improving your display consistent with your art or craft. https://www.pinterest.com/harriete/display-is-everything/
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Roxy, Thanks so much for your comment. I agree with you completely. After this past weekend, my position on this particular issue is stronger than ever. Those purchased displays come with a connotation of commercial jewelry. While some people may think that this is something that the customer is accustomed to looking at, I think it sends a cheap and commercial message. Artist made jewelry need to differentiate itself from commercial jewelry. We are not in the same market. We can not compete in price. We don't want to compete in the visual vocabulary of commercial jewelry. We need to send the message "think different" from the very second the customer is looking at our booth or work on display in a gallery. Our display (not the jewelry) is the first thing that our potential customer sees. Harriete
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Recently, I viewed jewelry on display at multiple galleries. Seeing so many in a short time allowed me to compare and contrast the quality and effectiveness of different display approaches. The inconsistencies of the jewelry displays remind me of the ancient Indian tale of the blind men describing an elephant. The elephant in the room -- or more specifically the "elephant" in this post -- is the lack of standards for quality jewelry display. Putting all good intentions aside, there are some pretty clear display standards that merit universal implementation for the display of artist made jewelry. Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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This week I'm flying to Santa Fe, NM for an opening of an exhibition at Tansey Contemporary curated by Gail Brown. I am honored to have my work included in the show which is titled: An Exuberance of Color in Studio Jewelry. Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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Even the smallest adjustment to your juried submission may make the difference between success and less than optimal outcomes. I've seem this over and over. So improve your jury submission with the best possibly strategy and planning by using these great resources. Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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The Internet is making a pivot to mobile viewing. Now I am taking the huge step in creating two, yes two whole new websites.With adaptive web design layout, the content should automatically reformat to be tailored for any desktop, tablet or smartphone screen dimensions. These first three tips will help you with your website of the future. Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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In February, Boris Bally invited me to participate in an exhibition about "changing society's views about the dangers of handguns." Each artist was given a disabled hand gun to use as part of the artwork. This post shows the artistic vision from the beginning to the photographers vision of the final photo. Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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I'm kind of in a funk deciding what to make next and been listening to a lot of negative voices inside my head and from other people. Why do I do this? Why do I try so hard? Why do... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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So why is the Craft Master paid a low 30 year old rate? The workshop sponsor pays the electrician, plumber, custodial fees, insurance, workman's comp, utilities, rent/mortgage, etc., all at the going rate. They don't negotiate and offer to pay a lower rate to the electrician because he/she loves the job or should love craft. So ....what is happening? Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2016 at Ask Harriete
Excellent point from Helen. In addition, a workshop instructor is paid as an "outside contractor." Out of your total payment for teaching a workshop you need to pay your self-employment expenses such as insurance, health insurance, social security, Medicare, and income taxes. There are no paid sick days or paid vacation days either. Our payment has to take ALL our expenses into account. At this point, I am wondering if my suggestion of $1,500-$2,000 per day is sounding like enough?
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Shaktipaj, "I am mad that we don't pay our Craft Masters a 21st century wage." Your are right craft industry magazines and workshop do hire the workshop impostor for less. I have written about this in a post titled: The Color Blind Paint Salesperson and the Workshop Imposter http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2013/04/workshop-copying-gets-ugly.html The only thing I can suggest is that you write to the editor or workshop impostor about this issue.
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Grace, I am suggesting $1,500 - $2,000 per day for the Craft Master PLUS expenses. This is what I think is the MINIMUM for the time and prep in sharing a lifetime of experience.
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Thank you John for your comments. Yes, I understand the entire picture. Talking about this publicly and recognizing the problem is the first step. I understand that the workshop sponsors have no revenue without students, however as scary as it is...I think we have sold ourselves cheap. In this case the "we" is both the Craft Master and the workshop sponsor. The Maker Faire (in San Mateo) has exploded with attendance year after year, and they charge $45 at the gate. Entire families spend what I think is a lot of money to look and learn about "making." The TECH Shop has locations in San Francisco, Menlo Park, San Jose, Detroit, East Coast and opening new locations. It is not cheap to belong or pay for a day, month or year. They are exploding with "making enthusiasm." The point being is that the craft schools have sold themselves cheap. The experience economy is growing. It is the only part of the craft economy that is growing. We can decide to be part of it. But I am mad that we don't pay our Craft Masters a 21st century wage and hire "craft impostors" for the same amount with no distinction. Time to speak up. Stay tuned to future posts where I may be committing professional Hari-Kari.
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I am honored to be invited to teach at your renowned program which is highly regarded in the arts and crafts community. This time away from domestic responsibilities and studio work will also relieve me of my established income sources. The proposed trunk show is another great opportunity. Circumventing my gallery and asking for a 50/50 split probably won't have much impact since workshop participants expect a special workshop price. Discussing purchases may be a moot point, no one seems to be buying anyway. And by the end of the workshop, the students will have learned how to duplicate my signature techniques. In the past, some participants have even said, "I love your work and want to make one for myself." Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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