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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
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.
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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 7 days ago 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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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