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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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From hobbyist to professional, craft work may be exhausting as an activity, but it is not exercise, and it is having a negative impact on our bodies. Sustained sitting is bad for our backs, knees, and hips and a better designed chair will not fix the problem. Exercise and stretching need to become as much a part of our daily routines as eating or sleeping if we want to be able to continue creating with a healthy mind and body. This is why I applaud the efforts of Raissa Bump to bring more awareness to this issue. She is advocating for stretching and movement within the studio. Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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Over 15 years ago, I watched a neighbor rip out the low maintenance landscaping in front of their house and put in a lawn instead. I was shocked that their idea of a perfect front yard had to be a manicured green lawn. That incident provided inspiration for me to make a series of sculptures and a video about the environmental impact of grass lawns. Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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Emily Johnson asks: "What is everyone's opinion on how to keep my prices consistent? Do I raise my prices to 2.25 to keep consistent, or do I ask my galleries to stick with 2 x markup? Knowing full well that they may not be too happy about that....." This post looks at some of the issues, and offers options to competing with your gallery on price. Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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I've been wondering... with the ease of comparing prices right in the palm of your hand.... what is the impact on the arts and craft market? Can you vary your asking (retail) price in different market niches? My experience in a recent eBay auction has helped gel my opinion. Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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This has been an exciting discovery. I've been bursting to share this jewelry tale where Marjorie Schick told me that my favorite necklace and earrings were by Nuala Jamison and Caroline Broadhead (my jewelry and sculpture hero.) Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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Just last week I received an award at the annual SNAG Conference in Boston, SNAG's first ever Volunteer Recognition Award.Receiving an award was quite gratifying, and even emotional. But I never did the volunteer work expecting an award -- I simply volunteered to help because I believe that any person can make a difference. Be the change you want to see - volunteer. Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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April 21st is the day that Google threatens to eliminate visibility or reduce your visibility if your website or blog is not "mobile-friendly." This issue could have a profound affect on how your business will show up in Google search results. Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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During a recent series of posts about Fundraising Auctions, readers asked for clarification on some terms often associated with auctions and pricing practices. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at Ask Harriete
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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