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Harriete Estel Berman
San Mateo, California
Harriete Estel Berman creates jewelry, sculpture, Judaica & installations from recycled materials [] and author of the Professional Guidelines[]
Interests: Professional Guidelines, Professional Development Seminar, ASK Harriete, recycled materials, thinking and acting green, environmental issues, composting, Sociology, marketing, 2.0 marketing,
Recent Activity
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 4 days ago at Ask Harriete
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
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
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
1 reply
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
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
Arlee, While I agree that only the addict can make the change to sober living, I remain lost about what to do in the meantime. This is not just about the lost individual but also the cost to society. Increasing individual debt my brother in law can never pay back, multiple emergency room visits increase personal debt that can never be repaid, and and the unwanted homeless on the street. There is no housing for alcoholics (in my area,) nor long term permanent housing with a structured living environment and work program that would help him not drink. As you say, family can not help the alcoholic, and at this point will no longer take him in. This is not an isolated example. We look for a ray of hope that this current rehab will help. Harriete
Toggle Commented Oct 21, 2014 on Witness to the Silence of Addiction at Ask Harriete
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Leslie, and Laura, Thank you for taking time to leave a comment on ASK Harriete. This is a challenging situation, and there are no easy answers. Writing the post was just a way to give voice to an issue that I wish as a family we had recognized and discussed years ago. It is amazing how destructive and pervasive the problems with addiction are in our society at a tremendous cost to the individual, the family and society. Harriete
Toggle Commented Oct 20, 2014 on Witness to the Silence of Addiction at Ask Harriete
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During the past three years, I have thrice been a witness to the destructive impact of alcohol. Lives devastated by lies, deception, and self-delusion. Bodies destroyed by toxins and neglect. But I wonder if we as a culture all share some responsibility in our unwillingness to speak up or speak out. Thus I have decided to write this post to overcome the embarrassment of continuing to hide what I have discovered as a serious problem in our society.DON'T READ ANY FURTHER if you don't want to know anymore. Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2014 at Ask Harriete
Thank you Denise, It is really good to hear you opinion on this issue. The benefit to taking people back to your home page is the hopefully they won't feel "lost" and leave your website discouraged. The viewer can simply start fresh on their search. Harriete
1 reply
The 404 Error page on your website can be direct or have a redirect to your home page. Consider either option as correct, and look at these examples of 404 redirects to decide. Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at Ask Harriete
People from thousands of years ago, also had the idea of stating their goals, and repeating their goals, to bring forth the power to make it happen. Speaking about the power of words reminds me to invite everyone to a brief at the The Magnes Collection on October 29, 2014 at 12:00 noon followed by a discussion. My lecture topic is "Recycle, Re-purpose and the Meaning of Materials." Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at Ask Harriete
Scott Schwertly offers amazing insights into creativity while he discusses presentation skills. This posts highlights and quotes from Scott Schwertly's book, "How to Be a Presentation God." Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2014 at Ask Harriete
It took a day for me. Maybe after the recent postings they were inundated? Harriete
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2014 on Fighting Image Theft with Pixsy? at Ask Harriete
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Have you tried this new site that with find and fight image theft? Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at Ask Harriete
Thank you for your comments and requests, however do not leave comments with links to your website. The links will be removed if I perceive that your comment is spam rather than genuine. Harriete
1 reply
In the informative video, "Visual Acoustics", the architectural photography of Julius Shulman is given a context within the history of mid-20th century modernism architecture.The photographs of Shulman became the "signature images of California architecture." Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at Ask Harriete
Mid-century modernism is one of my design interests that only seems to intensify with more visibility of shows like this one at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco -"Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism". Nothing compares to seeing the actual objects, furniture, and graphics in person, all collected at one location for hours of study. And it seems that as this time period of mid 20th century grows more popular, more objects surface that I haven't seen before. Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at Ask Harriete
I recently discovered this video about art collecting and thought it was worth recommending. The movie is about the father of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus who has donated his art collection to fund art education. As a collector he purchased work that was not "market driven", but art work that he loved. Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at Ask Harriete
Thanks for your comment and sharing your experience. It is good to hear that "most sites comply within days, even hours" as I am struggling with getting my images removed from a pornography site. A shocking and disgusting experience. It appears they even moved their site to a new host rather than take down the images. I continue to pursue the issue and am very glad that I wrote this post, because I have used it as my guide for a DMCA take down. Harriete
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Thank you Cindy for leaving a comment. You are right, some of the enthusiasts are probably ignorant or uninformed about these issues. While this is no excuse, it just shows that it becomes the responsibility of everyone teaching workshops, or lessons to discuss ethical and legal boundaries surrounding copyright. Harriete
1 reply