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Does someone know Bina from Jones Glasswork?

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2003 10:03 pm
by Patricia O'Neill
I would be curious to know more about this person. I do not know her but it sounds like she is doing glass and believes that I copied her work.
She just sent me a very nasty, arrogant and insulting email. Not that I care, but I would like to know more about this company/person.

Has someone already faced this situation?
Thank you.

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 11:17 am
by Kelly Burke Makuch
When I first took a series of classes we were told we could make one piece with copper inlay.... be originally from the East End of Long Island , I cut out a fish, inlayed it between 2 layers of plate glass, made a platter. I had known nothing about fusing glass or other glass artists' works. I was a painter, sculptor, my own sheltered CT world.

When ,(2 years later) my husband started scouting for retail shops to sell my work he came home with a tag from Jones' work.It had pictures on it --They were very much in the same style of my fish. Lobsters and the like cut out and fused between glass. Am I copying? What came first the chicken or the egg?
Are we all copying klaus, ancient Romans, Chilhuly,Kremer? Where does some of our inspiration come from--sometimes ourselves(at the same time someone else is doing the exact same thing without even knowing it..) or by being inspired by other artists. At the same time, I am a nature freak, I've been doing leave patterns on tables, countertops, platters--all my own designs--is someone going to say I copied ---very possibly so, even though my ideas are completely original and may or may not have been exacuted before or after someone elses. This is a dilemma.. we are dealing with human nature and the rights people FEEL they have over ownership. I'm am sure there are time that rights are infringed upon. How do you know coincidence from theft?
As of late, I can only the of one Artist that had an innovative technique: Jackson Pollack.
I believe if we are speaking about the same studio They are in Seattle. I'll see If I can find the card.

I'm interested to here more about this .......Sorry for your pain....

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 11:31 am
by Brad Walker
I don't see how anyone can own the process of cutting a piece of copper and fusing it between two sheets of glass. The idea is obvious to anyone who's ever had a sheet of copper and a fusing kiln.

As for Jackson Pollock's "innovative technique", he himself said that it was taken from Native American sandpainting. As far as I know, there are no Indians with a lawsuit against Pollock.

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 12:02 pm
by Glenda Kronke
Gee, our company has been fusing copper inclusions for well over 10 years (fish, sealife, leaves, suns, moons, bugs, logos, etc.) Hope we aren't copying anyone.

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 12:19 pm
by Patricia O'Neill
I learned to cut pieces of copper and sandwich it between during my first fusing class.

I like to work in series, around a theme or a technique. I love animals, nature and travels. And I do not believe that I am the only one sharing this taste.
Right now, I am into my serie ancient Mexico and french prehistoric caves. After... I do not know. Surprise.

One year ago, I was into my copper period. I learned a lot form the board about how to control the oxydation and thus control the color of the copper. I have made sealife because I have a special story with the sea. I am a long time scuba diver and my family owns a diving center on the French Riviera. This is where I get my ideas, not from other people.
Although I agree that my ideas might not be original and that other people might have the same (fishes are incredibly popular, what's the problem?). I just relate to them because that's my story and how I feel to express through my work.
I must say that I had a lot of fun doing these pieces with copper. But that was just a time into my journey into exploring glass and myself. I do not make copper insert pieces as my trademark.

I never that I was going to upset someone into doing this, not at a point to receive insults.
This lady said that she is doing these copper sealife designs since 7 years and that it gives her the right to think she owns the idea. I am ready to discuss about it with her (what's about discussing about evolution of work after 7 years of doing the same thing?) but not since she insulted me.
Discussion and exchange of ideas, even disagreement, are growing opportunities. Insults go nowhere I want to go.

I think that Kelly raised some good issues: when are we considering copying other's work?
If so, I guess that Klaus must feel very very copied :)
When Picasso visited the Lascaux caves and discovered the 18.000 years old paintings, he said "we invented nothing".
I had this type of discussion a while ago with both Roger Thomas and Kathleen Sheard. That was enlightning to exchange ideas with talented and intelligent artists.

Could other board members share their view about copy or not copy?

Thank you for your support.

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 12:39 pm
by Glenda Kronke
Ooooh Patricia, those ancient cave drawings!!!! I fell in love with them after reading Jean Auel's Earth Children series- she was so inspired by those images after visiting the caves that she wrote them into her stories. I have been exploring putting down glass powders and then 'drawing' through the powders the designs I've seen on the walls of these magnificent caves.......hope we both don't end up copying each others work :wink:
Would love to share photos but I'm a complete idiot when it comes to computers. Even if someone walked me through it step by step I still wouldn't get it. But when I do find someone to do it for me I will post my images.

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 1:10 pm
by Barbara Muth
Years ago I spent a month in Dordogne with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I wanted to see Lascaux, which was closed while they were constructing the facsimile of Lascaux. My grandfather tried to get us in, the minister of whatever department is in charge of the caves was his friend. He was on vacation, so pulling strings didn't work. But we were able to visit many other caves that month as well as castles, ruins, and wonderful mushroom hunts in the woods that translated into fresh mushrooms prepared especilly for us at dinner time in the hotel. Probably my most memorable vacation. I draw on those memories for much inspiration. Isn't there something incredibly archetypal and moving about ancient art?

Patricia, I have seen threads like this on several bulletin boards. The preponderance of encased copper designs would make it difficult for this woman to successfully pursue any lawsuit, and she probably is aware of that. She can't own the process.

Your work is lovely, I have admired it more than once.


Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 1:16 pm
by Patricia O'Neill
Hi Glenda,

Yes, those cave paintings are amazing. When Lascaux has been discovered, they closed it few years later. Too much visitors caused a kind of fungus to grow on the walls and some paintings started to deteriorate.
For several years, artists and scientists worked at building a replica called LascauxII. This one can be visited. The cave is made in concrete and the painting have been exactly reproduced using the same techniques used by the prehistoric men. I have not been able to visit the original lascaux since it closed when I was a baby, but I was in the line the year they opened LascauxII.

Lascaux is the most famous, but there are in France (did I mentionned this is where I was born?) many caves with beautiful paintings.
Other interesting paintings are found in the Cosquer cave (180 feet under water on the French Riviera) and in the Chauvet caves that have been discovered just few years ago. Those last paintings are 60.000 are are the oldest found as of today.
And there are hundred of other prehistoric sites in the center of France, for the tourist who likes to cultivate his brain rather than his tan in St Tropez. Ok, I'm done with the minute of culture ;) Hope I was not too SPAB.

I am working on larger pieces (18" round) and my favorite technique is the frit casting, that I learned from Kathleen Sheard. I have made some "drafts" to study the colors, before doing something bigger and mess up too much frits. I'll post a photo of my draft, if you'd like to see it. I'd like to see what you did too.

I hope that Cromagnon is not coming back to haunt us ;)


Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 1:48 pm
by Beth
I guess this is OT, but if you love the horses of Lascaux, look at Luann Udell's sculptures. (Click on New Work.)

She does other lovely work but look at the 3D Lascaux horses. We have one and want a small herd of three, but have to figure out how to protect the one we have from one of our cats who decides some items are his and steals them.

Luann goes far beyond what one would expect in customer service. When Luka the cat first tried to steal the horse, it fell off the piano and broke. I admitted this to Luann and ordered another. She was vehement about replacing it at no cost, saying it should not have broken and she wanted to inspect the broken horse to see what she had done wrong. We "argued" about it and I did not return the horse since we wanted to pay. She went ahead and sent me another horse anyway. She is an unusual person.

Barbara M., when you come by again sometime remind me to show it to you.


Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 2:16 pm
by Patricia O'Neill
Barbara, that's too bad you were not able to visit the caves. But that will give you the opportunity to come back.
And mushrooms.... I love mushrooms. My american husband says they taste like chewing gum ;)

I do not fear any lawsuit. There are no law to protect a process, especially this one. And, in spite of what she thinks, my designs are not the same than hers. I believe that I cannot get sued because I make a dog design. But I can if I reproduce Snoopy.
I have seen that she does a lot of salmons. Hopefully for me, we do not have salmons in the Mediteranean sea ;)

Beth, I do not know Luann but I have seen ads from her in Craft Report and Niche. I like her work.

And thank you for your nice comments.


jones glassworks

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 2:48 pm
by Kitty

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 2:58 pm
by Kelly Burke Makuch
Brad, You mean I can't believe the movie? DUH Maybe- it was Lee Krazner that prompted Pollack to say that.???? Chuckle, Chuckle. :lol:
I agree with you and hope that my point of "ownership" was conveyed.
We don't own the process. God hasn't struck me down yet for copying all of her fantastic creations! (in art or in gardening)

Patricia, It seems as though we are speaking about the same person. She sell her wares at the South Street Seaport in NYC.
I would suggest one of two things : either calmly state your position or my preferred way --don't respond to her E-mail..If she had a real case against you she can contact you through her attorney.
No one likes confrontation,but if this person sent you a nasty note then I'm sure she is not going to respond favorably to anything you may have to say. She's just burning steam and you know -she'll live forever...Ha :twisted:

There is enough space and customers out there for all of us..(group hug) Anyway it's all a matter of your buyers taste. You can have two nearly identical pieces of your own and clients will see them vastly different.

did I spell HEAR-here-- in my last entry--oh my!

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:53 pm
by Kelly Burke Makuch
OOps ! my husband just corrected me ---Jones Glassworks sells at Norwalk Aquarium or at least did when he was there.

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 7:41 pm
by Barbara Cashman
Process is a difficult thing to claim. That would require a patent rather than a copyright. A Design can be copyrighted, but process is a different matter. If you're not copying EXACTLY the same fish, etc, than there really isn't a case for copyright infringement, in my whatever opinion :roll: . A while back we got a call from another tile artist (name withheld) who accused me of ripping off her "process" of encasing copper in glass for a glass tile. she even suggested I owed her money for infringing on her copyright. First, I don't know how she could have copyrighted simply putting a square piece of copper between two pieces of square glass, but regardless...I had my copper-encased tiles on the market 5 years before she did. So...who owes whom and who owns what? Personally, I would ignore the letter. Some people just take things entirely too personally. ya think? :!:

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 7:43 pm
by K Okahashi
Did you ever hear of the saying:

"They are perfectly right in their own mind?"

And for the record, I copyrighted the technique in a previous life. <kidding, just kidding> :mrgreen:

Re: Does someone know Bina from Jones Glasswork?

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 9:07 pm
by Cynthia
Patricia O'Neill wrote:I would be curious to know more about this person. I do not know her but it sounds like she is doing glass and believes that I copied her work.
She just sent me a very nasty, arrogant and insulting email. Not that I care, but I would like to know more about this company/person.

Has someone already faced this situation?
Thank you.

I haven't been accused of copying that I am aware of, but I bet it's been thought. Worry over copyitis seem a rampant disorder among artists because having a unique look or style is important to have.

My observations are that it's all been done before and we do (wether consciously or not) reproduce what we see in nature, in other peoples work, we translate what appeals to us visually and in design into our own work. Nothing we see or do is new. We just reinterpret what has already been done.

The best way to learn is to copy. It's a tradition in the fine arts as well as in craft. We copy style, technique, scale, texture, sometimes move for move another piece of art. It's how we learn. In the long run our own voice, our own persona and style is what shines through.

Ten of us could sit down with copper and glass to make a copper fish and fire it in between the glass. Each and every one of those works would be distinctively different and express our individual personas. We haven't invented a blasted thing when it comes to imagery. I don't think you can steal someone's persona or signature style unless you are supernatural. It's like a fingerprint or handwriting. The basics are the same structures, but there is always some individuating element that makes our imagery distinctive, unique, one of a kind.

Counterfeiting is something altogether I won't bother with that except to say that it seems self explanatory.

I always try to ignore comments about copying. It's a waste of breath and emotion to even worry about it (unless of course it's a direct counterfeit). I say this because I truly believe it's a non issue.

Marty Kremer, Bob Leatherbarrow, Klaus Moje, Roger Thomas and others all teach us willingly what techniques they use to produce their images. Sure it's hard to let go of stuff like that, but I think they do because they know that even if you make work that resembles theirs, it will still be yours and be lacking in whatever it is that makes their work theirs (a technique isn't it). It will be obvious that it isn't theirs even if it is similar. Their work isn't devalued as a result either, so clearly they have nothing to worry about from copying.

If you are good at what you are doing, you will develop your own voice anyway and your work will evolve along with your expertise. So making a Mini Martini (a Marty Kremer piece, so named by Tony, or so I hear) or frit wafers like Bob, or paint with frint and make your own inclusion glass like Roger or pattern-bar roll-ups like Moje...It will still be your work and will have your signature fingerprint within it. If you aren't good at what you do, your work wont evolve and you aren't competition nor will your work devalue someone elses. If it lacks originality (your style) it won't find a place out there anyway.

Seems simple to me.

I'm sorry this woman is so insecure she felt the need to harass you. There truly is room for us all out there. It's inevitable that our work will resemble someone elses and we will be continually influenced by what we see too. The more you work, the more your work becomes your own. Keep it up and ignore the email. She'll get what she wants if you bite. On the other hand, if she is threatening and you are concerned, you might want to just hang on to these emails for proof if they don't stop.

As always, just my very long winded thoughts. Sorry about the lack of brevity. :roll:

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2003 12:42 pm
by Tess Farley
I would imagine that in order to have a legal copyright, a person would have to fill out the appropriate copyright forms and then submit them with pictures to the appropriate government agency. However, I don't believe this artist could actually get a copyright on an artistic procedure that has been performed long before said artist began performing same.

I've never heard of this woman nor have I seen her work, but I, too, have been experimenting with fusing copper designs in glass. Am I guilty of copyright infringement? I think not.

This brings up another subject entirely. Many artists regularly post pictures of their work on the internet along with a copyright logo. If you don't want others freely copying your work, then shouldn't you apply for a legal copyright to the finished work of art? Do any of you do that?

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2003 1:56 pm
by Cynthia
I like a saying I have read. I will try to put it into English: "Tradition not only means wearing my grandfather's hat, but also buying a new one, like he did" - F. Marc

This is a quote of a quote...from a simple but powerful post by Hugo. It is within a thread from the archives about creative lisence and copyright laws from last fall.

I don't know much about copyright so can't comment, but do feel that we as artists reinterpret what we know and observe into our own imagery. What we know and observe is what is all around us, our historyand culture which is a shared history and culture. This is what I mean by it's all been done before. I believe if we are creative we revamp, reinterpret and represent a different view on what in my world are common and shared themes.

There is a line that gets crossed at times. Where that line lies can be difficult to quantify. For some, if something resembles what they are doing, that line has been crossed, for others it is less finite. I don't know where that line is except to say that I know what is the right thing to do and what isn't. Are my ethics the correct ones? Who's to say?

We are working within the limitations of the same materials (paint, fiber, acrylic, glass...) yet the end image becomes uniquely ones own. Many artists are depicting fish in all its fishy glory... Fish tiles, fish bowls, fish sculpture, copper fish, red fish, blue fish, fused fish...

I see fused glass masks everywhere. Who did the first one? Who's is a rip off of who's? Who made the first mask of all time? Should we not do masks because someone else does them? What if you are intrigued by masks and all they can depict emotionally, rhetorically, or otherwise...?

Wear your Grandfather's hat, and add a bit of flare that makes it your own...reinvent it, but be aware that there is a history of hats and all that they encompasses to be considered. That's how you make your own.

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2003 3:42 pm
by Patricia O'Neill
In another message that I posted recently about good class experience, I related a conversation that I had with Roger Thomas. I said something that surprised him (even shocked him), and later Roger came to privately talk to me about what I said and why he thought I was wrong.

It relates very well to this thread because what I said is that I will never make a koi, because Roger makes kois already.
Roger explained me that, if I want to make a koi, I should do it. My koi will never look like his koi, even if I use the same technique. Not implying that his koi will be better than mine (although....) but that we put something of ourselves in each thing we do. His vision and my vision of the same subject cannot be the same and I should not limit myself.
And by the way, I will never make a koi. But because I do not have any attraction for them.

Few weeks ago, Jackie told me that her and Cindy next door do not have any problem sharing all the information they have. That was during a conversation we had about people who make a secret of the places where they sell their work and have an excessive competitive attitude towards others. Jackie said that people who will love her work will hate Cindy's work. And the people who will love Cindy's work will hate hers. So, there is no problem into sharing.

I believe this is the correct and positive attitude. As well as all the people participating into the board believe it, since they are so wonderful into sharing.
I would like to thank you all for your good comments. And Cynthia, stop to be sorry for your long posts ;) they are always very informative and I had a lot of pleasure reading them. Could you make them a little longer, I would not complain ;)

That's too bad that Bina Jones did not talk to me openly and nicely. We would have exchanged ideas and she would have understood that I am not a threat to her. I did those pieces one year ago and would not make them anymore. I have few in stock that will go away with time, that's all.
She decided to insult me and agress me, instead. It was tough to read the insults, but few days later I can say that I am glad it happened.
I learned and grew from this experience. I am sad for her who will keep going her life with a hainous attitude.

Thank you again!

PS: while I was searching the internet for Jones, I have found other sealife in copper made by Charlton Glassworks. I have also noticed they both participate to the BMAC show. I am wondering......

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2003 4:10 pm
by Dani
You cannot copyright a broad idea any more than you can copyright a title. For example, it would be difficult to own copyright to slumped bottles. Even creating a table out of slumped bottles would be a stretch. The specific design of the table, how you hold the bottles together if unique, these are more copyright-able aspects. The more definitive (and perhaps difficult) the design, even the more complicated, the more likelihood there is a legal case.

Life is a puzzlement,