Saturday, September 25, 2010

Got copyright?

I am a little confused and dismayed and I hope that some folks out there can clear things up for me. It has to do with copyrights on a jewelry technique.

Over the years I have taken a variety of metals techniques courses. There was fold forming with Cynthia Eid, weaving with wire with Munya Upin, Forging with Cynthia Eid, making texture plates with Michela Verani, Anticlastic raising with Michael Good and many others as well. Never in all of my classes has anyone ever said that I could not use these techniques to create and sell my own line of jewelry.
So it came as a great shock to me when I picked up the most recent copy of Beadwork magazine with an article by Marlene Blessing dealing with copyright designs in beadwork. Kathi Khaladkar designed a necklace using shaped peyote triangles. Apparently she had to ask for and get permission from the designer of the triangles to use them in her necklace design.

My question is: why, if the necklace was her own design did she need permission to use these elements? Why are beading techniques any different than regular metalsmithing techniques? Why are they proprietary? When I pick up a beading magazine, many of the designs look like other designs I have seen. But through the skillful use of color and perhaps different beads, the designer has made it his or her own.

In fact, with the triangles the designer asked permission from Phyliss Dintenfass whereas I got my instruction for the very same triangles from Diane Fitzgerald’s book Shaped Peyote”?

Does someone really own the copyright to this peyote shape?

Right now I am in the midst of designing a necklace using a variety of these shapes. The necklace is my own design incorporating the shapes. If I wanted to sell this, then is it possible I cannot sell it when finished? What is the point then of learning techniques if I cannot utilize them and sell my designs. I would never copy someone else’s design for a piece of jewelry on purpose. So where are the boundaries on this? Why is it only in beading? Am I missing something?

Do I need to contact the book author for permission to use these shapes in my work?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Lovlies, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

I am still flat out with shoulder pain but I did manage to take a few photos of some work I have been doing in the past couple of weeks. I learned this pattern from the book by Diane Fitzgerald called “Shaped Peyote.” I really love that book. Of my entire collection of bead books, her pattern speak is the easiest for me to understand. Some pattern speak is nearly indecipherable.
I am hoping for a recovery from my shoulder pain soon so that I may get back to beading and biking soon. This inactivity is killing me. Yesterday I slept almost all day just to escape the pain. Today I do feel a bit better. At least I am up and about more.
As far as these earrings go, I really like them but they need gold ear wires. I cannot afford real gold at over $1200 an ounce but perhaps gold filled. I am going to check my supply house.....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sumac berries

Sumac berries, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.
I have not come to grips with the fact that summer is over. My body is reacting in a horrible manner. I woke up with the most excruciating pain in my shoulder the other day. I never take Tylenol or Motrin or any of those things but I have been living on them for the past two days. I don’t know what I did. Other than the usual amount of stress which I won’t go into here. A good friend says it is manifesting in my shoulder because I am shouldering so much responsibility. She makes sense.

I miss my bike rides already. I was going to try and go this weekend but between the pain in my shoulder and the weather forecast, I don’t think that is going to happen.

Saturday is Yom Kippur. I don’t go to temple and I don’t fast. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a bad Jew. I think it was all those years of Hebrew School, Bat Mitzvah training, etc.....I don’t know. For some of us religion just doesn’t stick. I am one of those people. Doesn’t make me a bad person though. I still would love to visit the homeland.

At least it is Thursday. Tomorrow I can sleep in and try to rest a bit. Ethan will be over sometime in the afternoon. Last week it seems I picked him up too early and he couldn’t finish his basketball game. This week we will try to make it a little later and see how that goes. The last thing I want is for him to come to my house and be bored. Better he should stay at the school and play with his friends. I do hope we will have time at least for a piano lesson. I found some interesting early piano books on Amazon. They are similar to the ones I used growing up but a bit more modernized.

Last night my shoulder was too sore for me to do any beading. I did pore over a gorgeous book though. It is one of the Lark 500 Series books called “500 Beaded Objects”. The works are all so different. Each one more inspiring than the next. Between that book and the one called Masters of Beadwork, I have a lot of eye candy to peruse while I am healing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Class

I had a lovely class this weekend with Michela Verani at Metalwerx. It was a very small class. There were only three of us so it was more like a private lesson. Michela is a wonderful teacher and very approachable. I like that in a teacher. Very often you don’t get that. But you could ask her anything and she shared her knowledge freely and easily.

The class was about making your own textures for Metal Clay. It was an eye opener for me in many ways. I finally got to see what was meant by “tear aways” and also PPP (Photo Polymer Plates).

I liked both of those processes but I am not sure I will use them. They are quite complicated and require the use of a specific type of laser copier that may well be going out of production at some point. That coupled with the fact that the type of Sculpey you are supposed to use (the one with phalates) will be going out of production in December, makes the process less inviting to me.

What I did like was making a texture in polymer clay and then baking it. That is fairly lo-tech and now that I know I can use my oven to bake the clay, I will try it. I was always told not to use the oven but if you use plastic baking bags and contain your piece  in that, no plastic polymers get into your air or your oven. So I will try that.

Also, I very much enjoyed the embossed paper technique. This was my favorite of all the techniques. Since I have an extensive background in painting and drawing, I can make my own art and get a nice tight design this way. I have quite a bit of left over water color paper from my years of painting that I can use for this purpose.

I hope to post some photos soon!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yesterday was Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year. I always feel guilty because I don't belong to a temple, therefore I don't go to one on the holidays or any other time. (Unless of course I am invited to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.). I live in a town where everyone goes to Temple on the high holidays. There is at least one temple per block here, so there is no excuse not to go really. So to make up for not going, I cook. I figure if I don't go to pray to God I might do just as well cooking for him (or her). So I spent the entire day on my feet in the kitchen. I made potato kugel from scratch just the way my grandmother made it except she grated her potatoes by hand, and I use the food processor. The food processor makes really quick work of 8 Idaho potatoes! Then I made the matzoh balls for the chicken soup. Lucky for me you can buy a mix for them because otherwise I would have no idea how to make them. They were delish. I made two roast chickens as well. The rest I bought. Rugalah and challah from Kupels, and wine from Trader Joes.
I had invited our good friends, the Katz's over for dinner and we had a lovely evening even though they never miss an opportunity to let me know how they feel about Barney Frank. I adore the Katz's but they are staunch Republicans. I can never agree with them on political issues, nor they me. But we love each other anyway.
By the end of the night I didn't feel guilty at all about not having gone to shul. My feet were too sore from being on them all day in the kitchen and I was too tired to care.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Beadiful week

I have been off all week from the day job and it has been simply spectacular. The weather was perfect. I rode my bike every morning and beaded on the balcony every afternoon. (Of course only when I could get the chair away from my cat!) Sherpa always tries to beat me to it but sometimes when she gets up I can sneak in.

Anytime I thought "Oh, I should go clean' Or I should do this or that...." I said NO! You are on vacation and you must listen to the muse. THE MUSE says go forth and create something beautiful. So without further ado, here are some things I made while on my week long break from the routines of life.