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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
Kathy, I have worked at the TECH Shop before. Worked there as a guest for one day (a week ago) on the Gemini Battlebot. [ https://www.facebook.com/geminibattlebot/?fref=ts ] I don't have those images yet. I think the TECH Shop is wonderful, just amazing. They offer tools and equipment that is too large or expensive for individual purchase. My personal opinion is that the laser cutter is over used, and that people need to learn more tools that the TECH Shop offers. (Lots to say on that at another time.) The TECH Shop also has problems...which were really aggravating for a person accustomed to working in their own shop. The TECH Shop needs more task lighting at every piece of equipment and table. I really had a hard time seeing with lights 30 feet over my head (at night.) Only the upstairs had adequate lighting with both task lighting, sky lights and overhead lighting. The fact the all the tools are used by different people was also a challenge. I can't imagine the maintenance with inexperienced people using tools. The water jet went down...and caused serious delays for this project...but all this happens at professional shops too. I figure for every 4 hours in a shop, there is one hour of maintenance. That is what happens in my shop with just me or my assistant working. Still I think the potential of the TECH Shop is great. Harriete
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Recently, I adopted a new role in four days of intensive fabrication to assist my son in the fabrication of his Gemini Battlebots. We worked at the fabrication space for Radicand. Could I translate my metalworking skill to another realm? Would you like to see more fabrication shots of the Gemini Battlebots? This post takes my craft skills to a new realm. Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2016 at Ask Harriete
Sara, Thanks for your comment. Indeed, health insurance is very expensive, but after this experience, I realize that it has to be a priority. Health insurance and car insurance has to come before other choices because an accident would be so financially devastating you might never recover. One brief second could have huge consequences. In another example, I had a Discover card payment due the week after the accident. It was only $37 dollars due. But because I missed the payment, They added $25. penalty, plus $1.37 interest and the next bill had huge interest. Until I able to pay attention to the mail, and financial issues....the cost was ridiculous. And that example only started with $37 due. Fortunately, I was able to explain the situation, and had a good payment record. Discover took off all the charges and interest. This wouldn't be so easy to fix for everyone. All I am saying is that experience has shown me that car insurance and health insurance really has to come as a top priority. If your art/craft business doesn't provide enough income for health insurance/car insurance, than another job with benefits is necessary. The business of art and craft is not going to get any easier or more lucrative in today's market. If life can throw in a "triple whammy" everyone has to be prepared. Insurance isn't optional in today's world.
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CRASH! Warning. This Information May Prevent Devasting Injury and Expense. Tell everyone you know. NEVER RECLINE in the passenger seat while the car is moving. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2016 at Ask Harriete
Kathleen, I agree with you 100%. It is unfortunate that artists feel so vulnerable. This gets into the larger topic that there is an over supply of artists/makers, and low demand. Even one artist willing to compromise all strategies for an opportunity erodes professional standards. Harriete
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A gallery I show with is asking all their artists to sign new contracts. Everything is standard (50-50 split, etc.) except for a new clause (shown below) which addresses the possibility of theft or damage. "(Gallery) will insure the artwork for its wholesale price. If a claim is filed, the insured work will be paid upon receiving the check from the insurance company less the deductible of $1,000." Have you ever seen this in a gallery contract? Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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This Exhibition Contract from the Professional Guidelines is specifically tailored for an exhibition where the gallery or exhibition space will be showing work for a limited period of time (with no expectation of an on-going representation). If an exhibition space doesn't have a contract, then suggest using this Exhibition Contract so that both the sponsor and your artwork are protected. If an exhibition space doesn't have a contract, then suggest using this Exhibition Contract so that both the sponsor and your artwork are protected. Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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Super excited to learn that ASK Harriete is being featured on Typepad for the way this information for the arts and crafts community is also posted on Pinterest. If you are on Pinterest....look for me there! Share ASK Harriete Pins and become a resource for your fellow artists and makers. Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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I disagree with ignoring the copycat though acknowledge the discomfort and uncertainty of outcomes. We can not simply justify ignoring the copycat regardless of the situation for two very fundamental reasons. Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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a number of copycat scenarios brought to my attention by readers are of a more common type involving someone from our own art or craft community, e.g. a student, participant in our workshop, fellow artist or maker, friend or foe. I hear about this all the time. Sooner or later, most of us become aware of someone else's work that is just too similar our own. When you experience such a situation, a key question might be, "Are copies necessarily an intentional act of the copycat?" And how should you handle this situation? Do they understand the consequences? This is not a new problem. I found an example of this exact situation in the Archives of American Art Research Collections. Here is my list for copycat communication: Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2016 at Ask Harriete
Perri, First of all I am very glad that people still read the older posts and especially this one....as I keep adding to the "40 Copycat Thieves I have seen." Next to reply to your comment: In my opinion, everything you say appears to be true by evidence of what is published and been reported to me by several different sources. D.I.Y./enthusiast magazines are most guilty of this sloppy practice. Once time I did speak to an editor about this exact scenario in person. This editor worked at a magazine that often published 2nd iterations/copycat content. Of course, this was denied....but I knew perfectly well that by raising the issue in person in a private conversation that they had been warned that people were paying attention. I have no control over what they publish, but if I were witness to this issue, I would bring the topic forward privately in an email or in person, comparing the original to the copycat content. Then if it was not addressed appropriately, I would be willing to write about this publicly if I felt the case was strong and clear. I am tired of hearing these stories....and unless we bring this issue to the fore it will never be prevented. Of course, the original author/workshop master should bring the situation directly to the editor with documentation that the workshop impostor wrote the article. Documentation is first. 2nd "Initial Copycat Communication" directly with the editors is in order suggesting appropriate action by the magazine. Withdrawing the article or appropriate compensation to the master would be a small remedy. 3rd course of action is going public using social media. These three steps are exactly like the most recent posts on ASK Harriete. Step 1. What Is A Copy? Copycat? http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2015/12/what-is-a-copy-copycat.html Step 2. Initial Copycat Communication http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2015/12/initial-copycat-communication-.html Going Public: Speaking Out! Public Disclosure of a Copycat Complaint http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2016/01/going-public-speaking-out-public-disclosure-of-a-copycat-complaint.html
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When preparing to make a public statement about the copycat incident, refer back to your notes of the timeline and educate yourself on copyright laws. You may want to consider publishing a longer document. This public statement is not only a reflection of the copycat’s business practices, but your reputation as well. Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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Feeling harmed and disrespected by your copier makes it tempting to send an angry email, threatening a lawsuit and berating the copier for his or her actions. Often this type of email is the least effective way to create a behavioral change or to come to an agreement with the copier. This post include tips for the first communication, intended to create an opportunity for positive results to end the unwanted copying. Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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Shocked and surprised when we see a copy of our work or ideas, what is our first step in dealing with a copycat? Step by Step Rachel Fischbein, Esq. takes us through the evaluation of the copycat situation. Document & Create a Timeline following these suggestions. Get the facts organized and start a plan with this post for guideance from Law on the Runway. Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2015 at Ask Harriete
Thank you for the suggestion on lighting resources. Harriete
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I recently attended a workshop with Rachel Fischbein, Esq. , titled "Fashion Law Primer: Protecting Your Designs." Design patents, utility patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyright are the legal options to protect design work. There is a big problem with all the legal protections Rachel mentioned. Most of us aren't taking these legal steps, nor do we have the resources to take a copycat to court. So how do we protect our ideas, designs, brand identity or even a workshop title or content with our own initiative? Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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California Lawyers for the Arts is an advocacy organization for artists, makers and musicians. For 40 years they have been providing artists and musicians with referrals to lawyers, dispute resolution services, and education programs along with a publication library specifically for individuals in the creative arts and for art organizations.While CLA was the first legal organization to support the arts, I know many states now have their own organizations. Do some research for your state. Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2015 at Ask Harriete
Thanks Elaine, Great to hear from you. Reinventing our Thanksgiving table every year is pure joy. Harriete
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Every year, my favorite part of the holiday season is theme development in preparation for my Thanksgiving table . Similar to theme development for a booth display, the theme for a table should stimulate a visual feast of repeating design elements over and over. Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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Adventures always start with a journey. After a 3,000 mile, cross country red-eye flight I arrived in Washington D.C. exactly 6 hours before the fancy shindig opening at the Renwick Gallery. My amazing art adventure in Washington, D.C. was a marathon day. WONDER was truly an example of the artist's vision combined with execution by hand to bring a grand inspiration to reality. Not everything can be made by machine or created by computer. Sometimes it can only be hand made to create Wonder. Here is a preview. Fill your heart and mind with inspiration on a grand and gutsy scale. Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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How should one justify the time and expense for going to an opening? I am not sure, but when my artwork is in a museum exhibition in New York City, the opening seems like something of a bigger deal . . . but the "adventure" is much scarier, more expensive, and oh so many thousands of miles away. I deliberated with myself extensively, but when the curator said that I could stay at her house....I had to say "yes." Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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Passion does not equal profit. If expecting to make money, we need to separate our love for creative making from the down to earth reality of selling. The caution is to not let our creative passions cloud the realities of marketing, selling, generating profits, and avoiding loss. Read two important posts about the business side of art & craft. Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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I just found out that my artwork, Identity Complex, is currently on view at the Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin. The exhibition that includes my work is titled "Lost and Found: Featuring Kim Alsbrooks and Nikki Couppee." So the question that I always want to ask participating artists is . . . "How did your work get to be in this museum's permanent collection?" Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2015 at Ask Harriete
Christine, Your dice costume sounds fantastic!!! Lucky girl you were for having such a dynamic costume duo. Harriete
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Looking through some old photos at my parents' house, I found old memories . . . and remembered that long ago I learned a valuable lesson from my Halloween costume.These photos also caused me to remember a profound lesson that I learned that day. My realization at 8 years old was that a store-bought costume was not as good as home made.I learned that home made and hand made are better even with imperfections and mistakes. This lesson I learned at the age of 8 has taken me a long way. Perhaps makers are makers because they have had a similar experience. Imagine . . . and make it your own. Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2015 at Ask Harriete