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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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Hap Sakwa asked: Where does a reinvented artist show his work in a virtual world? I naively thought I could spring back to life like the flowers in the Carrizo Plain, using my previous resume as a bona fide artist with 'museum credentials' to launch my 3rd incarnation. Harriete says: My secrets for success are not so secret. Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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Metal, work hardened, fabricated with sweat, and engraved permanently with political meaning. Historical jewelry and metalwork that has expressed powerful and important political and patriotic ideas throughout our nation's past. For all the artists and makers reading this post I want us to remember and hold close to our hearts, that a visual image carries the weight of words. A visual image can represent or unify a vision more readily than a speech. Where is your political work? Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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I'm not a scientist, but I think it is important to support science. Walking in the March for Science was a visible statement along with a mass movement. But there are many other ways that any individual can help at any time. One option is to participate in a medical research study as a healthy NORMAL control subject.Every artist and maker can help advance science by agreeing to participate in research as a healthy control in studies. Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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There is a myth out there that artists and craftspeople keep poor records for their businesses. I am not sure if it is true. The only thing that I know for a fact is that the I.R.S. will not look kindly at "creative accounting" and sloppy records. Creative artists and creative accounting don't mix. Neither do personal and business bank accounts. As a real life story, the questions below come from Lora Hart regarding her art business accounting. Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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I am betting that a lot of my readers also have multiple revenue streams. This is the life of most artists. While it may be too late for 2016, now that your taxes are already done, this is the time to remodel your record keeping for 2017. Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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The power of the dollar is in your pocket. Yes, your pocket. How do you spend your dollars? Or align your art and craft with your political allegiance? In this polarized, dismantling of the arts and education trend, everything has become political. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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Originally, this post was going to be exclusively about the book, "Read My Pins" and the remarkable exhibition at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. There is much to say -- a lot more -- about how jewelry can make powerful statements for the wearer, to the viewer, or from the maker. But let me start with a contrasting message that came to my attention this weekend to consider even more seriously the power of jewelry to convey a message.The message seems to be simply about conspicuous consumption and extravagant surplus. Clearly, the First Lady of the United States, is pleased to show her privilege and position. Unfortunately at the same time 50% of Mexicans live in poverty and there is a struggling U.S. middle class that is less than 4 months from economic ruin. This image parallels an infamous historical quote, "Let them eat cake." Compare this to the empowering messages of jewelry in the book and exhibition "Read My Pins." As a jeweler, jewelry maker, metalsmith, jewelry collector and avid fan of all kinds of jewelry, I believe in the power of jewelry to express insights, emotions, and meaning far beyond the initial perceptions of beauty and craftsmanship. Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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Here are my top two super simple rules for artists and makers to keep their business accounting on the up and up -- separate your business accounts and keep receipts. The rest of this post will explain what I mean, followed by a list of posts about accounting and my experience with the I.R.S., all written from my personal experience as an artist, not an accountant. Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2017 at Ask Harriete
Thanks so much for all the comments so far both here and on Facebook. It might be helpful here to clarify the difference between a lunch break and going “out to lunch.” I think it is really important to get fresh eyes on a topic, or visual issue or thinking through a problem. Taking a break and doing other work can do that for me. But wonder if on a whole we are loosing the drive and momentum for hard work. When success meant harvesting your field and hard work was literally survival, the consequences were far more obvious.
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2017 on When "Out to Lunch" Takes On Meaning at Ask Harriete
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Growing up, I worked at my father's store. During that entire time, I never saw my father go out to lunch. He was running a business, working hard for survival and success. For me, there isn't enough time in the day to go out to lunch, except as a special treat. Every second and penny is invested in my future dreams. My opinion may be controversial as my children see going out for lunch during the workday differently. What do you think? Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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A few years ago, actually in another century, I made a sculpture (shown above) titled: "Misstress of the Home Bound to Modern Convenience." For months now, it's been echoing in my mind as 2017 housekeeping includes efforts to keep current with the latest internet technology or risk getting swept away by Google as an obsolete version. Technology is convenient, yes, and it comes at a price. Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2017 at Ask Harriete
Thank you Scott, I fixed the g/q problem. Scott, I think there are more women than men in the arts and crafts. For this reason, I think the awards should be at least 50/50 to foster greater visibility and opportunity. I think a lot of the recognition still represents our perception of men compared to women.
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In 1972, Congress enacted Title IX.Very few fully comprehended how this gender equity legislation would impact the sports world. On a parallel timeline, crafts has not provided any parallel of gender equity.Since 1975, out of 301 American Craft Council awards, 117 were given to women. This gives me a super queasy sickening feeling. Where is the gender equity in crafts? Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2016 at Ask Harriete
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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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