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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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I made a mistake in the recent post. The link to the video (in the email version was to the wrong video.) Go to post on ASK Harriete "Perceived Risk vs. Actual Risk of Speaking Up Counter to the Status Quo?" and watch the video there....OR here is a link to the youtube video titled, “One Simple Skill to Overcome Peer Pressure” by The Behavioral Science Guys. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at Ask Harriete
Typepad HTML Email Fiona,Bravo! Thanks for your comment.Harriete
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Thanks Brigitte, I know that the current plan is a vast improvement over the original iteration. Always hoping for the best and a success for everyone. Harriete
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The fear of perceived risks is stressful -- very stressful. Should we speak up for our arts and crafts community? What are the perceived risks or actual risks for speaking up? This video offers amazing insight into the social dynamic of peer pressure. And remarkably, it suggests a method for speaking up that might work next time. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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I wonder... Has anyone ever heard the term “fair market value” when pricing art or craft? Have you ever seen the term "Fair Market Value" used at a Fundraising Auction? I’d like to hear your comments or opinions about the term "Fair Market Value" under the given circumstances. Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at Ask Harriete
Thank you to both Katherine and Brenda, I appreciate that you took time to leave your opinions especially with so little background....but I was trying not to color the situation with my exhibition history with this particular organization. There has been a variety of responses (many on my Facebook page where you can read what people said and add your opinions.) The variety of responses does prove one point: the term minimum price should have been defined if the fundrasising sponsor had a clear expectation. And I will add that the auction sponsor did have an expectation which wasn't clear until two days ago. I will add further posts to flesh out this discussion. If anyone reading this post or the comments has anything to contribute please leave a comment. Harriete
Toggle Commented Feb 28, 2015 on What Does Minimum Price Mean? at Ask Harriete
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What does the term minimum price mean to you? Does minimum price mean wholesale, below wholesale, retail, below retail? Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at Ask Harriete
Thanks for your comment John and Ryan. I've have also been advocating for quality photos for a long time, but in this case, the simplicity of the message, came on strong, and more effectively than ever before.
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If an artwork isn't photographed nor documented, and no one sees it, does it exist in the age of information? Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at Ask Harriete
Beth, Here is my simple answer: When you go into the studio, you take no images, no books, no tutorials, no instructions to copy. You start with only what is still in your head. The first iteration will be O.K. The 10th iteration will be better. But you never go back to the original inspiration for comparison to your work. The ideas and execution must come from the inside, not the outside when you are searching for your singular voice. Harriete
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It is completely unethical to take someone else's image and print it on a towel, coffee cup, mouse pad etc. without asking permission. If you can't or won't ask permission to print an image of a living person's artwork, craft or text than something is wrong. There are exceptions of course. Exceptions might images in the public domain, or images that are historic (outside of copyright definitions.) This issue goes right to lack of ethical boundaries, manners, or social mores in the "Age of the Internet." Most of us would not walk over into our neighbor's yard and take their lawn chairs or a plant off the porch. Why? Because we understand that this is our neighbor's property. And that is a small example. So why do we think it is O.K. to go to someone's Facebook page and take a picture of their dog. Sites such as Cafepress contribute to this break down of misunderstanding that images and the text are available for taking (without asking permission.) They do not require about owning the image when they upload. Their business model is built with a lack of oversight. AND they allow upload of very small images. I have written about this topic on a couple of posts. Here is one: Copycats Cost Artist $250,000 Loss http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2014/02/copycats-cost-artist-250000-dollar-loss.html If you make work that has a strong graphic component suitable for printing of towels, cards or coffeecups, get in the habit of doing an Reverse Image search. http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/reverse-image-search/ And then have the image taken down with a DMCA Take down.DMCA "Take Down" - Action & Advocacy Against Copycats http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2014/01/dmca-take-down-action-and-advocacy-against-copycats.html Here are two other posts on the because as you can imagine...more is going on then they can write about. CafePress, Self-Publishing and the DMCA https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2014/03/17/cafepress-dmca/ Hawaii-based Tiki Shark Art settles copyright infringement case http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2014/08/22/hawaii-based-tiki-shark-art-settles-copyright.html
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In reply to a question by Beth Farber: I will start by looking at Picasso. It is ironic that one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century says "great artists steal." My take on the comment was that it was a light off the cuff, showy, comment most likely referring to the strong influence of African art in his paintings. Or possibly the influence of his coffee house comrades where they inspired and encouraged each other to explore new boundaries. I am not aware the Picasso really stole or copied other artists and represented that as his own work. In addition, Picasso's career heights were close to some 100 years ago. During his career, it was not possible to literally copy a page from a book with a photocopy, or screen grab. He could not "CLICK" and download some one else's work. He could not highlight text and copy, or scan a book to resell. He could not copy a painting by projecting it on his canvas. "Stealing" an idea 100 years ago was still executed in your own hand with labor and effort. Most likely just by practice and effort each iteration of an idea evolved into his signature style. Now the stealing of ideas has taken to a very literal level of execution. We can copy another person's work/photo and print in on our own computer printer. We can upload an image of someone else's painting for printing on a towel. We can take the image into our studio to copy literally, piece, by piece. There is now software the will take an photographic image and create a 3-d rendering for printing on a 3-d printer. Many of these copies don't even include any hand work at all. Stealing and copy have become all too easy, and literal. Stealing another person's idea in the 21st century is theft. It crosses a ethical and legal boundary that should be defined has unacceptable in the "Age of the Internet."
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Kerin is right. This issue goes far beyond trying to protect our art or craft with the laws about copyright and intellectual property. Laws about copyright and intellectual property are there to protect and inform us about appropriate behavior. The legal cases in the courts often further define the intent of the law, but ultimately, it is about understanding the boundaries of legal and ethical behavior. We all know perfectly well that is it unacceptable to take another person's work and represent it as our own. It is egregious to copy ideas from instructions, tutorial, book, magazine or another person's website and represent this as our ideas. The only way to accurately describe that work would be to say, "I got the idea from.....(fill in the blank.)" If you can't describe the work like that....then don't go there ever. Don't copy. It goes beyond a ethical and possibly legal boundary to copy other people's ideas and sell it as our own. One of the blog posts (linked to in this ASK Harriete ) describes an incident where a jeweler copied an image (so easy in the digital age) and said that the image and the jewelry in the image was her work. Then she actually submitted the image (of another jeweler's work) to enter a retail craft show. This action goes beyond all comprehension that she would consider this honest. Honesty is what we are talking about here. Sure the incident breaks the law, but doesn't courtesy, respect and honesty come even before breaking the law. That is what Kerin is saying. "The answer lies much deeper than finding ways to lock down and protect our intellectual property." Final though for this comment (and in reply to Kerin Rose comment): Search engines are now effective at finding examples of text and image infringement, and they are getting better all the time. There are several posts on ASK Harriete about duplicate content, bad hat practices, and image search. Let me know if you can't find them and I will help you out.
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This week I have been a witness to three copycat examples in different media. We have access to an abundance of information and images.It is easy to take, borrow or copy, when driven by the "desire for attention" and with access readily at our fingertips. It is easy to imagine the lure of appearing to be better, more perfect, beyond the ordinary, without hours of toil... if we copy. Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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The difference between developing a signature voice and being lost is . . . lots of practice. With practice and experience comes the confidence that with extended effort, the answer will be found. Connie Fox has just published her new book that you may find helpful. Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at Ask Harriete
As an artist and maker have you considered how the meaning of materials can add to your work? Materials carefully chosen can make a significant contribution to the success of the art or craft. In this lecture, I use four menorahs from The Magnes Collection to illustrate this point. Think about the issues presented here and how they can support or detract from the concepts in your work. Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Ask Harriete
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Every year I create a new theme for the Thanksgiving table. This year you can see an animation of setting the table, and all our guests sitting down to eat, plus our dramatic table setting and minimal flower arrangements aligned with our black and white theme. Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2014 at Ask Harriete
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The mind’s-eye impression is actually what the photographer is trying to capture in one image. Sweat the detail shots for photographic success. Learn from photographer Philip Cohen to improve the quality of your images. Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2014 at Ask Harriete
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There are a couple of articles in the news recently about artist Crile in a tax court case with the I.R.S. Crile v. Commissioner. The New York Times article explains why a Tax Court Ruling Is Seen as a Victory for Artists. Read it first. Then the Forbes article Artists Rejoice! Tax Court Concludes Painter's Activity Isn't A 'Hobby' gives more technical information Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2014 at Ask Harriete
Wendy is right about her direction. Develop your techniques and signature style so that it is unlikely that people can copy your work easily. AND don't teach your signature techniques. Don't even teach your old signature techniques. Sorry to say that, but it would be at least a step in the right direction for stopping these copycat stories. And if you don't have any income from teaching....think about why the craft community has become so dependent on teaching people how to make our work rather than selling our work. Are you a teacher, then teach creativity, problem solving, along with ethical practices. Teach the holistic approach to creativity rather than one particular technique.
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2014 on Craft World Sucks Like Vampires at Ask Harriete
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This is shocking news from Christine Damm! Have you written to the editor of the magazine? Harriete
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2014 on Selling Craft Before Its Time at Ask Harriete
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As always John has lots to say and it is always refreshing. I will reply on line…but it occurred to me, a long time ago, that "art craft" is not a good business. If you want to approach this as an artist, then you make what you want to create without regard for what people expect to buy. I will go so far to say that paying attention to market forces corrupts the vision. The demands of the client even drove James McNeil Whistler "nuts." Now the "production craft business" is another story, but I refuse to blame every individual. The downward price pressure from a poor economy and galleries that "represent" us is demoralizing. With few exceptions they would rather sell more $2,000 items than a tour de force of excellence. Interesting comments about the carpetbaggers and their failure to lead us. True, but they did make a profitable business out of it, didn't they? They are in business for themselves, their "good witch" costume is a veneer of help. I was not tricked. We ( the craft economy) have been stuck for a long time including prices and style of marketing. This includes fees to artists for lectures and workshops which is just downright insulting, but it is difficult for one person to change this downward spiral. All this is happening while the growth in the craft economy has been in the experience economy. It is very discouraging with no easy answers. I've decided to retrench in my studio. Make the best work I can, in my own style, and direct my money making efforts into my silver repair business (an oxymoron in itself.)
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2014 on Craft World Sucks Like Vampires at Ask Harriete
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I'm going to test out a problem here in the comments. Something that I want to write about as a post...but this will be a test. I think the entire crafts community is starving and malnourished. We are tittering on economic disaster. We don't pay our speakers a realistic fee at conferences. We ask people to teach workshops for what amounts to minimum wage. The premier craft school locations like Haystack and Arrowmont ask people to teach for a week offering compensation that I would pay an electrician for the day. With so few collectors, and a weak economy, this amounts to a craft economy that is not self supporting. The crafts community has been chewing at a poison apple for a long time....and I wonder if anyone else sees this as a problem. We have sold the "myth of making" to everyone. Now we are eating the "joy of making" for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it tastes pretty bad.
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2014 on Craft World Sucks Like Vampires at Ask Harriete
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The craft world is being sucked into a vampire movie. The cast of characters are being overwhelmed by zombies sucking the life blood of the craft's tradition of creativity, quality, and mastery of skills. We are catering to an economy increasingly filled with copycat workshops and "me-too" tutorials that erode ethical behavior and diminish respect for original work, uniqueness, creativity, and intellectual property. Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at Ask Harriete
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You're invited to my lecture at The Magnes Collection. Three of their menorahs (shown below) will be on display as discuss these objects along with some of my Judaica work within the framework of Recycle, Repurpose and the Meaning of Materials. This lecture will be followed by a Q&A discussion with the audience. Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2014 at Ask Harriete