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Harriete Estel Berman
San Mateo, California
Harriete Estel Berman creates jewelry, sculpture, Judaica & installations from recycled materials https://harrieteestelberman.com/ and author of the Professional Guidelines https://harrieteestelberman.com/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
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Life as an artist constantly presents missteps, hurdles, and obstacles to creating and presenting your best work. During fabrication, there could even be a mistake or miscalculation leading you to the precipice of ruining entirely your work in progress. When this happens, I try to apply the philosophy that the situation could be an opportunity for improvement. This summer, it happened again. You can see the results. Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2018 at Ask Harriete
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Visiting a college or university is an exhilarating experience for me. Meeting all the students -- wondering what the future will bring for these students. How will their academic education prepare them? Graduation time is when many begin to realize the magnitude of the jump they are making into the rest of their lives. Eureka provided a lively mecca of small businesses in the historic area. A great example that craft in different mediums can be successful with a niche business focus. Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2018 at Ask Harriete
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Humboldt State University in Arcata (near Eureka in northern California) has invited me to present two days of lectures and discussions for their students, but there is a public lecture on Thursday night, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. If you live in the area, I hope you can come. Harriete Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2018 at Ask Harriete
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This post shows the progression of this photographic experiment. The step-by-step images illustrate the evolution of my idea and highlight the reality that most projects are not fully coherent at the initial conception. All too often we forget the trials and tribulations during the hours of preparation and the work that it takes to bring an idea to reality. There can be lots of mistakes along the way, and that is O.K. Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2018 at Ask Harriete
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Working with a live model requires a lot more planning than any other option for photographing jewelry or art clothing. Select a model, consider clothing for the model, posture, stand up, sit down, look away, look around, look at the camera. What does make a good model shot? Here are my best results. Tell me what you think. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2018 at Ask Harriete
Thank you Cori for offering your perspective as a show promoter. It is understandable that a vendor/seller can not commit to every show they apply to as I know that sometimes people apply to more than one show for the same weekend. (This is usually an effort to make sure they have a show opportunity for the weekend.) However, it seems courtesy and professionalism apply in all circumstances. That includes informing the show sponsor if you will not be committing to a show in advance (with as much advance notice as possible.) A last minute cancellation may be unavoidable, but again notice to the show promoter should be a professional necessity.
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While photographing the Black Plastic Gyre Necklace I wanted to try using a mannequin to provide scale and to see the necklace worn with the neutral context that a mannequin can provide. Suzanne Ramljak, the curator for the upcoming exhibition, Uneasy Beauty, wanted a mannequin photo in the exhibition catalog for the Fuller Craft Museum. That declaration raises a huge expectation that the mannequin shot needs to be very good, but I am not sure the images using the mannequin shots deliver. What do you think? Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2018 at Ask Harriete
Roxy,Thank for taking time to leave your critique. This is much appreciated. I will share the mannequin and model experiences in the next two posts. I usually don't do three photo sessions (white background, mannequin and model) for one object, but this time it was necessary. I do think the white background is de riquer for the gallery or museum context. If you want to play in their playground, you at least must comply with their expectations. Of course, trying an experiment shot is still possible, and I have a super doozy coming up!!!!!!!!! P.S. Your black plastic donation is definitely in their somewhere. P.P.S I actually do think that each and every person can make a difference in the plastic that is swallowing our planet. I pick up plastic trash off the street. I refuse to use plastic bottled drinks. I look for alternative packaging, write to companies about their packaging, and recycle like a crazy person.
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Tib, Thanks for your comment. The next two posts will cover the mannequin and the model images in separate posts. In the past, I had some artwork that was photographed in the “gallery” of a museum…but then I had to wait until it was shown at the exhibition. That has problems in itself….including that in this case I needed an image for the catalog. Photographing in the exhibition sometimes means other artwork might be in the shot. There is no easy win when photographing large scale, or I haven’t learned enough lessons yet. Harriete
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Of the five photos in this post which ones would you buy? How can a photo of a large object reveal detail, materials, scale and the artist's intent all at the same time? Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Ask Harriete
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When an artwork is finished, a new creative process begins -- how best to photographically capture the essence of the work beyond rote documentation. For the Black Plastic Gyre Necklace, I definitely wanted to convey a much larger context far beyond the form and materials alone. During fabrication, I contemplated quite a few problems and uncertainties to accomplish my photography expectations. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2018 at Ask Harriete
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The Black Plastic Gyre Necklace has been a marathon effort to complete and couldn't have even reached the goal without the help of many people. Donations of black plastic were critical all the way through.I am both dazzled and dismayed at the vast selection of shapes and patterns -- both seductive and sinful at the same time. Here is a list of people who have helped bring this project to realization with plastic donations, drilling, assembly and more. Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2018 at Ask Harriete
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As an artist and visual thinker, I'm well aware of the huge investment consumer brands put into their packaging with alluring, beautiful jewel tones and shapes. As an avid recycler I'm also aware that so much of this consumer packaging is for single use -- then just thrown away. Until recently, I was primarily dismayed about the enormous quantity of plastic that gets thrown away, or perhaps recycled (for those who have an activist mindset and a curbside recycling program.) I've come to realize that the plastic pollution problems are much larger than most people realize. This is becoming a very smelly and distasteful experience in plastic waste awareness. Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at Ask Harriete
Rachel, Thanks for leaving a comment. When I first started the plastic series many years ago, I was just looking at all the amazingly beautiful package and the quantity of plastic waste. Now I realize the issue is so much bigger. So much worse than I thought. The Black Plastic Gyre Necklace looks both beautiful and very dangerous at the same time. A perfect metaphor for the use of plastic in packaging today. Harriete
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Do you know that black plastic is rarely recycled? I thought that since the recycle symbols indicate that it is "recyclable", that it would be recycled, but it is rarely recycled. This was verified by my local recycling center. ReThink Waste is now helping me bring this issue to wider attention and issued the following message on Twitter and Facebook to help me collect black plastic for a new artwork. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at Ask Harriete
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This year my Thanksgiving table theme was in black and white, a reflection of the current propensity for political and social polarization. Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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Is Chrome showing security warnings for your website? Is this scaring away your potential customers? If your website uses the http prefix, it is time to work on a security update. Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at Ask Harriete
The images clearly illustrate that professional quality images are an improvement....no sour grapes intended or in evidence.
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If anyone reading this post has any before (amateur) photos and after (professional) photos, I'd love to include them in this post....or another post. Harriete
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The consequences of sub-quality photography may be costing you more than a professional photographer. I am convinced that professional quality photos are essential for anyone who is truly serious about their art or craft. The ease and convenience of your digital camera or cell phone are amazing, but they are not a substitute for professional quality images. Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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Images have always been the indispensable mode of communication for artists and makers. With the Internet, the power of the image travels much further. Photographic images especially share one person's perspective of reality with the world. In recent years, more... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at Ask Harriete
Ann, Thank you for your comment on ASK Harriete on yesterday's post. I was also re-reading your comment about workshop fees, and it still resonates more than a year later. I think the craft world has sold itself cheap, and eroded our perceived value. It includes selling our work and workshops. I look forward to your future comments.
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In addition to stepping up my political activism significantly, I have been channeling my fears and frustrations into "Fabricating TRUTH" along with three new bracelets. Today's post shows the final steps for one of the bracelets, "Web of Lies". Fabricating TRUTH with a "Web of Lies" continues to have more meaning. Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at Ask Harriete
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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