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Inspiration

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PaulS
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Re: Inspiration

Postby PaulS » Sat Mar 13, 2004 5:15 am

Good topic Jackie, here's my 2p;

I understand that the craft is the vehicle we use to project the image we have in mind.

In my younger days I used to teach guitar and whilst listening a novice play during their third or fourth session, their rendition of a certain tune, I noticed I can always learn from a beginner.

These days I'm still not shy to pass on tips or techniques because I have a strong belief that that person will use that method as a conduit for their creativity. Without knowing the technique, their development would have stayed at the same level for a long time until they chanced upon it.

So they take the knowledge and I hope they will make better things than me.

Whether or not they have the skill to use it effectively is another matter, hopefully they will develop their own progressions and techniques from that.

But I do know that what we make will last for thousands of years and the development of our knowledge depends on all of us sharing our ideas and knowledge freely and without prejudice.

Coming up through my own development I was lucky to meet and share with a lot of unselfish people. I noticed that the po-faced ones that were reluctant to share stayed at that level and I think they were very immature, poor things.

So to everyone who helped me, I am happy to put it back, however small and humble my contribution is, is feels good to put it back.

ps -I remember all those pieces you mentioned, and is that Paul Tarlows' Japanese cousin?
snip>>>>>
Jackie Beckman wrote: or Paul Tarrow developing his style based on Bob’s wafers or when Jim W made that fantastic turquoise mosaic.
<<<<<snap

:)
It ain't where you're from, it's where you're at!

The Hobbyist
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Postby The Hobbyist » Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:24 am

Jackie, Thank you for the supreme compliment...that my piece was good enough to be remembered by someone as accomplished as you. As you recalled, I had set out to copy a Cynthia Oliver Mosaik and failed. Her work is relaxed and free flowing and my attempt became rigid and precise because that is me. The fact that it looks retro gives away my age. From that piece I have gone on to do a few that are looser but still too rigid. .http://bellsouthpwp.net/s/i/silverc5/warmglass/flagstonebowl.jpg Cynthia is an inspiration to me and someday I'll get it right

That piece is a perfect example of how I work. I am not an artist and have virtually no creativity. I find "inspiration" by copying other artists work. I have a huge file of pictures that I have gleaned from the WG Gallery, the internet, artist's websites, etc. I use these as a starting point and try to make one like it for me. Usually I fail either because I have not yet mastered the technique or because along the way I see something I want to do differently. I suspect this approach is not new nor unique. I also suspect that few admit openly to doing it.

As you all know, I am a hobbyist, which means I do not market my pieces. I make them for my own enjoyment and as gifts to family and friends. Occassionally I am asked if I will sell one. If it is something that I have copied as an exercise I will not sell it. If it is a piece that has evolved from other's work, enough to be "mine", then I will. I always give credit to those who have inspired the work.

As I understand the copyright law, copies for personal use are OK but that copying for profit is illegal and unethical. I agree with all the comments here about protecting your work from those who would steal it to make a profit. What is protected and what is not is a murky gray area and that is why we have lawyers, lots of them.

Thank you again..to all the artists that freely share their work and techniques so that those of us who are creativity challenged can have some fun in their retirement. I sure hope you will all continue to post pictures so I can copy and learn from them.

Jim
"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion. " Steven Weinberg

Steve Immerman
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Postby Steve Immerman » Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:35 am

Jackie,

My "nugget" :;)

I read this thread last night, but was too tired to write. Others have written very eloquently in response, and I agree with their comments. I just want to add a few things.

You all should be very proud of yourselves for being so articulate in expressing your feelings, and being so insightful about your thought processes involved with this artform.

Those of you who have been so free with sharing your knowledge, (particularly with we "left brain" individuals) should be thanked many times over for your generosity and your insight.

I think it is the rare individual that is going to try to make exact replicas of their teacher's work. They won't go too far with that approach anyway. I was amazed after taking my first class with Brock and Avery. The 15 of us in the class were shown the exact same techniques, but we went home and made pieces that certainly were born from that class, but had no resemblance to one another, nor to Brock or Avery's work.

Steve

Brock
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Postby Brock » Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:42 am

I find it difficult to accept the notion that a texture is unique. After all, there are a finite number of tools that make these textures, and there is bound to be some overlap in appearance. For instance, consider the work of Phillip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg, compared to Ben Edols and Kathy Elliot. Both are married couples, where the husband is the primary blower, and the wife is the primary cold worker. Both work with heavily textured, elegant forms, yet their work is distinctly recognizable, and different.

http://www.habatat.com/guide/featured.i ... ml?f=4.943

http://www.barryfriedmanltd.com/artists ... lliott.htm

The best defense is great work. That's where our energies should be placed.
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Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:51 am

Brock wrote:I find it difficult to accept the notion that a texture is unique. After all, there are a finite number of tools that make these textures, and there is bound to be some overlap in appearance. For instance, consider the work of Phillip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg, compared to Ben Edols and Kathy Elliot. Both are married couples, where the husband is the primary blower, and the wife is the primary cold worker. Both work with heavily textured, elegant forms, yet their work is distinctly recognizable, and different.

http://www.habatat.com/guide/featured.i ... ml?f=4.943

http://www.barryfriedmanltd.com/artists ... lliott.htm

The best defense is great work. That's where our energies should be placed.


Oh, I agree Brock, texture is not unique. But pulling an Al Gore and saying you invented the internet - now THAT's unique! :wink:

Kevin Midgley
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Postby Kevin Midgley » Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:31 pm

Brock wrote:
I find it difficult to accept the notion that a texture is unique.

Just for argument's sake, I consider the texture on my tray design work to be unique. Going back to my earlier post here about the knock off people I've had the basic design/form/shapes of my glass pieces "knocked off" literally and figuratively more than once and had them show up at the same wholesale trade shows. However the copiers have not replicated the exact molding/texturing technique that results in the glass "look" that I have. It has taken me 25 years of firing kilns to get there. Whether or not you think I have made glass art with the capital "A" or not is up to you. I have made a living.
It was at least 5 years after starting to make the trays that I learned of the wonderful Higgin's tray works and that trays of the basic shapes I was making had been done before. The texture I have continued to evolve to where it is today. Since everyone is referencing what influenced their work I'll admit to admiring the concept of Kosta Boda trays and ran with the idea but I don't think you'll find a resemblance between one of theirs to mine other than they are both made of glass.
Because of my experiences with copiers, I do not post my coloured glass art work pieces on the web and do not list my website in my profile on this site. This is the one chance you get to find me without doing a web search.
http://www.island.net/~artglass
Kevin
[/quote]

Brock
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Postby Brock » Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:54 pm

Kevin Midgley wrote:Brock wrote:
I find it difficult to accept the notion that a texture is unique.

Just for argument's sake, I consider the texture on my tray design work to be unique. Going back to my earlier post here about the knock off people I've had the basic design/form/shapes of my glass pieces "knocked off" literally and figuratively more than once and had them show up at the same wholesale trade shows. However the copiers have not replicated the exact molding/texturing technique that results in the glass "look" that I have. It has taken me 25 years of firing kilns to get there. Whether or not you think I have made glass art with the capital "A" or not is up to you. I have made a living.
It was at least 5 years after starting to make the trays that I learned of the wonderful Higgin's tray works and that trays of the basic shapes I was making had been done before. The texture I have continued to evolve to where it is today. Since everyone is referencing what influenced their work I'll admit to admiring the concept of Kosta Boda trays and ran with the idea but I don't think you'll find a resemblance between one of theirs to mine other than they are both made of glass.
Because of my experiences with copiers, I do not post my coloured glass art work pieces on the web and do not list my website in my profile on this site. This is the one chance you get to find me without doing a web search.
http://www.island.net/~artglass
Kevin


Kevin, I was referring to textures achieved through cold working. However, even in the type of kiln forming that you do, where the texture is achieved by deforming float over a prepared substrate, I doubt very much if you could differentiate between close-up shots of Weiss, Berman, Ron Wood, Steven Knapp, Toucan, et al. These textures are similar enough, usually because they are made in similar ways, as to be virtually indistinguishable. Brock
My memory is so good, I can't remember the last time I forgot something . . .

Bert Weiss
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Postby Bert Weiss » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:21 pm

Brock wrote:Kevin, I was referring to textures achieved through cold working. However, even in the type of kiln forming that you do, where the texture is achieved by deforming float over a prepared substrate, I doubt very much if you could differentiate between close-up shots of Weiss, Berman, Ron Wood, Steven Knapp, Toucan, et al. These textures are similar enough, usually because they are made in similar ways, as to be virtually indistinguishable. Brock


Yes and no. One of the things I like about sand casting is that I can make my hand marks be visible in the glass. On the other hand it is not all that difficult to copy a pattern that one sees.

People ask me why I would want to teach sink making. "Won't it create more competition for you?" My attitude is that the more glass sinks that the public sees, the more likely said public will go looking for one to buy. I am pretty confident that mine will be interesting to look at and I'm likely to get more business, not less.
Bert

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Jack Bowman
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Postby Jack Bowman » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:37 pm

Bert Weiss wrote:I just read through this thread up to now and with the exception of Jack Bowman, who has a real issue to deal with, I don't get it.



I'm not sure what issue I have to deal with or how to deal with it. I mentioned in my original post that I wasn't particularly thrilled with the piece in question and almost added it to my scrap box.

I certainly wouldn't make another like it but I hate to think that I can never randomly sprinkle squiggly stringer without violating sombody's perceived copyright. Or that I can't use a commercially available mold because somebody else was using it 2 years before me. I make coasters (I'm *sure* I'm the first to do that :wink:) and one particular type is nothing more than random widths of brightly colored cathedrals. Do I owe a royalty to Noah? These things are made and sold to help pay for glass while I persue other things more unique to me.

I'll be visiting the shop where I have this peice today and I will post a picture of it later. I would like input as to whether anybody feels that it is something so unique that somebody (including me) could claim it as being "their" style.

For example, I have had many opportunities to see Cynthia Oliver's work. I can see a distinctive style there. Color, texture, form... the whole razmataz. I don't need notes to tell who made it. Even if I could, I have no desire to make and exhibit something that could be mistaken as hers. But, I will gladly absorb every piece of knowledge she is willing to share. I can use the ideas she has shared without copying her style.

I guess the part I find funny is that somebody got excited (in the bad way) about something I made that didn't excite me at all.

End of rant. Thank you for all of the comments. This thread is just what I needed right now. If there are some things I don't want to hear, those are just the things that I *need* to hear.


Jack

Havi
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Picaso

Postby Havi » Sat Mar 13, 2004 5:16 pm

It is very interesting to follow this discussion. You all seem to express my inner most feelings and fears.
I just caught a professor who photographed a poster I added to my glass exhibition - it was a poem I wrote about how glass makes me feel.... He really photographed the poem/poster WITHOUT MY SIGNATURE at the bottom.
However, I once heard on the radio in Los Angeles a quotaion from Picasso, which says:
"Amateurs immitate, geniuoses ........... steal" (I hope the spelling is correct, but you get the meaning anyway)
Haviva Z
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Don Burt
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Postby Don Burt » Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:39 pm

If it was completely original it wouldn't be recognizable as art.

There's precious little originality out there to worry about. The hand-crafts are the last place originality shows-up. When it does, expect it to be ripped-off immediately and show-up in a Kay Beenie Weenie book (or whatever her name is). I just don't think its a problem.

My newest work is spiritual and low carb.

Brock
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Postby Brock » Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:49 pm

Don Burt wrote:If it was completely original it wouldn't be recognizable as art.

There's precious little originality out there to worry about. The hand-crafts are the last place originality shows-up. When it does, expect it to be ripped-off immediately and show-up in a Kay Beenie Weenie book (or whatever her name is). I just don't think its a problem.

My newest work is spiritual and low carb.


I still say there's a lucrative little niche, in the uptown trendoid NEO NEU galleries, for a really innovative marshmallow sculptor.
My memory is so good, I can't remember the last time I forgot something . . .

Bert Weiss
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Re: Picaso

Postby Bert Weiss » Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:20 pm

heruviva wrote:It is very interesting to follow this discussion. You all seem to express my inner most feelings and fears.
I just caught a professor who photographed a poster I added to my glass exhibition - it was a poem I wrote about how glass makes me feel.... He really photographed the poem/poster WITHOUT MY SIGNATURE at the bottom.
However, I once heard on the radio in Los Angeles a quotaion from Picasso, which says:
"Amateurs immitate, geniuoses ........... steal" (I hope the spelling is correct, but you get the meaning anyway)


Music is an interesting artform relative to this. Eric Clapton is widely regarded as a great guitarist. He stole some of his licks directly from JJ Cale. JJ wrote and recorded the song Cocaine before Clapton did. Lick for Lick Clapton plays JJ's guitar in perfect imitation. The good news is that Clapton Made Cale a wealthy man as Cale got the song writing credit and gets paid royalties. I've heard JJ Cale perform the song and to his credit used a different guitar part in his live performance.

In this case Clapton gets the genius designation because he knew the right guy to steal from. And, of course, he did a good job of it. After Midnight and Long Tall Sally were also Cale tunes.
Bert



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Amy on Salt Spring
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Postby Amy on Salt Spring » Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:23 pm

Does that mean someone can lie naked in a big kiln with sinks in front of them and an audience for next year's calendar?? :biggrin:
-Amy

Brock
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Postby Brock » Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:33 pm

Does that mean someone can lie naked in a big kiln with sinks in front of them and an audience for next year's calendar?? Amy

Sure Amy, you girls have got to do your part. All of you should outdo Jackie. Yeah, that's the ticket.


And Bert, you nailed it:

. . . In this case Clapton gets the genius designation because he knew the right guy to steal from . . .

He also did pretty good with Bob Marley's, "I Shot the Sheriff". Brock
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Amy on Salt Spring
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Postby Amy on Salt Spring » Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:52 pm

...but if Clapton had sung it so much like Cale--same instrument, same harmonies even tried to imitate his voice I'm guessing it might have irritated Mr. Cale--especially if it had hurt his career instead of putting money in his pocket. Taking the song and making it his own is one thing, but having an identical style is something else...just like using a technique in glass is one thing but imitating someone's style is something else.
-A

Bert Weiss
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Postby Bert Weiss » Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:59 pm

Amy on Salt Spring wrote:Does that mean someone can lie naked in a big kiln with sinks in front of them and an audience for next year's calendar?? :biggrin:
-Amy


Chances are that they would look better than the original, so go for it.
Bert



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Kevin Midgley
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Postby Kevin Midgley » Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:36 am

Brock said: These textures are similar enough, usually because they are made in similar ways, as to be virtually indistinguishable.

Brock, you rose to the bait and swallowed the hook. Of course many of the facets of glass works people make are similar. That is the individual artist's dilema, that of making something with a new twist/variation/vision that makes their work distinguishable and recognizable. The real crunch comes in whether or not a buyer perceives the distinguishable and recognizable differences in your work and is willing to pay the premium you are asking as compared to a generic type knock off being sold for something less than yours.

Ahhh the joys of finding and keeping a market niche. The niche is something we all think we need to have and guard but I bet if the members of this board making things that fit their niches individually challenged their comfortable niches there might be interesting results.

I know I am presently going into new areas that I once explored many years ago but with experience want to take new directions and see where that leads me. If you don't experiment, you don't grow. Just this week I made new molds and glass in a style I had never done before. Is it so different that someone would not recognize it as being my glass? I think not as going back to my first comments quoting Brock, I think my textures define my work.
Kevin

Brock
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Postby Brock » Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:44 am

Kevin Midgley wrote:Brock said: These textures are similar enough, usually because they are made in similar ways, as to be virtually indistinguishable.

Brock, you rose to the bait and swallowed the hook. Of course many of the facets of glass works people make are similar. That is the individual artist's dilema, that of making something with a new twist/variation/vision that makes their work distinguishable and recognizable. The real crunch comes in whether or not a buyer perceives the distinguishable and recognizable differences in your work and is willing to pay the premium you are asking as compared to a generic type knock off being sold for something less than yours.

Ahhh the joys of finding and keeping a market niche. The niche is something we all think we need to have and guard but I bet if the members of this board making things that fit their niches individually challenged their comfortable niches there might be interesting results.

I know I am presently going into new areas that I once explored many years ago but with experience want to take new directions and see where that leads me. If you don't experiment, you don't grow. Just this week I made new molds and glass in a style I had never done before. Is it so different that someone would not recognize it as being my glass? I think not as going back to my first comments quoting Brock, I think my textures define my work.
Kevin


Well, I have no problem with you thinking your texture is unique, it probably is, you've been at this for a long time. I'm saying that others WILL create similar textures because of the limitations and opportunities of the very materials used to make textures. Kilgore
My memory is so good, I can't remember the last time I forgot something . . .

Kevin Midgley
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Postby Kevin Midgley » Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:08 am

Brock, For sure people will make similar textures for reasons you have explained so eloquently. The question is if people in their own way replicate a texture, wavy edge, application of foils, and then combine those elements with marks other artists consider to be their "look" that problems arise in the minds and pocket books of the "true" originator. You have to keep exploring the possibilities of your "look" to maintain an artistic edge. It is too easy to fall into a comfortable pattern of work and not explore design possibilities and grow.
Kevin


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