Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And, Continuing On ...

Great discussion on the copyright/copywrong issue I was concerned with. 
The result?  I'll continue on, in addition to those felting ideas that spring out of my wee little brain, getting inspiration from where I will. 
I've just 'torn out pictures' from a gift type catalog .. and will see if my felting needles can duplicate them in wool.  What kind of pictures you ask .. in case you're wondering IF I'm trying to 'copywrong' .. well, lets see:
(1)  from a picture of an pewter/enamelled gift box featuring a white bunny sitting atop a huge huge carrot
(2)  from a picture of some wooden painted folk art 'fish' - I'm picturing a long funky fish atop a tall wire post.
(3)  from a picture of a pair of tin sculpture wildly painted roosters.
(4)  from a picture of stone sculptured frogs .. in different yoga poses.
(5)  from a picture of glass blown rooster/chicken (pictured here) - I'm thinking of embedding funky fashion yarns in the wool for the 'striped' effect and also for hopefully a very cool texture effect.

I've also got the cross stitch charts "Hip Hop Cat" and "Hip Hop Cow" from Samsarah Design Studio that I've been wanting to stitch AND make the designs into felted sculptures.  I've already told Patti (the designer) about my plans and promised that when I DO needle felt them, she has to see them/I have to bring them to Market with me!

I feel that the above gift catalog pictures I've told you about are 'inspiration' .. not blatant copying.  You get inspiration from everywhere .. and I am taking a flat non-dimensional picture design are recreating it into a 3-D felted sculpture .. it won't be the same, it won't look the same, and cannot be conceived as the same.

Do I have 'original' designs?  Of course I do .. as long as you realize that I also do 'people' and breed specific dogs and birds.  And I also have 'how to felt' books that show you step by step how to do this needle art form .. those images become my own.  You start with an idea, whether imagined or pictured, and make it your own.

What about cross stitch?  I'm stitching too .. currently working on Lizzie Kate's "Christmas Rules", but instead of doing it on the Summer Khaki linen Linda chose .. I'm using "Golden Wattle" from Stitches & Spice.  It's a yellowish mottled opalescent and I'm really liking the colors on it!
Tonight I'll stitch some more ... tomorrow, I'm going to felt something!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Copyright or Copywrong?

What constitutes copyright infractions?
Is it being inspired by seeing something, and without taking pictures or etchings, reworking it from memory? Is it seeing a design in one medium and attempting to recreate it in another medium?

On my Etsy shop for Needle Felting (DebFeltIt) I have the following stated:   I needle felt with patterns, I needle felt without patterns, I needle felt from pictures seen, I needle felt what comes into my brain and out of my fingers. I wet felt scarves, bowls and vessels. I nuno felt.  Basically .. I felt!

    I have found myself in the position of seeing a sculpture at a trade show and becoming so enamored of it, tried to recreate it from memory by needle felting it when I returned home.  I did not try to pass this felted sculpture off as my own (see statement above) but I did put it for sale on my Etsy store.
    The original creator contacted me by phone and told me it was a copyrighted design (which had never occurred to me that it would be - I thought it was a 'display' item and again, copyright never entered my wee little mind) and asked me to remove the item.  Of course, I did so immediately!

   Later on that year, I did another couple of designs based on "Shaun The Sheep" from the Wallace and Gromit series.  Surprisingly enough, these were also similar  - or so it would seem - to the 'so called copyrighted' sheep design of earlier. I sold one at the First Frost Art Show and then placed the 2nd sheep on my Etsy shop.  Once again, I was contacted by the 
 same individual yelling copyright issues.
I told her that this sheep was based on Shaun The Sheep but was told that since 'her sheep' had knobby knees and Shaun did not have knobby knees, I was again duplicating her design. And since my sheep had 'blue' eyes like hers, it was obvious that I was in the wrong.  I responded by saying that since I have a stuffed Counting Sheep residing on the back of my sofa that also has 'buggy blue eyes', and since my "Number 44" has the same face style as my creation, he was also an obvious inspiration to my felted sheep. Once again, I was told to remove him immediately or face consequences.
So at what point am I guilty of copyright wrongs?
When I saw her design and from memory recreated it?
When I looked up Shaun The Sheep, or looked at my Counting Sheep,
and  recreated it?
When I put 'my' sheep up for sale, even though I did not claim personal  
credit for it?
And what happens when I see any other image in print, or in person, and
needle felt it?  If I felt from a kit and put it up for sale?  What if I do a dog
with spots and someone else has done a dog with spots?  What about my
 long-legged birds?
Again, going back to my Etsy shop description ... I needle felt with patterns, I needle felt without patterns, I needle felt from pictures seen, I needle felt what comes into my brain and out of my fingers.

Opinions, comments, criticism .. all are welcomed!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 .. a new year ... and so it begins!

    Had a relaxing New Year's Eve stitching and watching chick flicks (Dave was buried in a book), Mocha at my knee, Padme off doing whatever Padme does when no one can see here, and with Nick happily destroying another new stuffed animal.  I managed to make it to midnight to see the ball drop and finish off my glass of wine .. then happily went to bed with a book and hopeful thoughts .. it was now a new year!
    Kathy and I had been emailing back and forth about going to a movie on Sunday ... "Black Swan" at 11:20am; she'd already gotten us tickets.  Dave and I were going to go to see "True Grit" the next day.   This WAS a new year ... 2 movies to kick it off, and at this point more movies in one year than I usually take in!

   Got up, had breakfast, puttered around, and then drove to the movie theater to meet Kathy.  New Year's Day and late morning = probably around 100 cars total in the parking lot!  This WAS a great time to take in a movie .. everyone was still at home hung over.  I was early, probably a half hour early actually, so when I first got there, went up and ordered 2 tickets to "True Grit" for the next day for Dave and myself, then played around with my Blackberry on-line while waiting for Kathy to arrive.  I got all engrossed on a needle felting site and suddenly thought ... hey, Kathy's not here yet .. how much time has gone by?  Looked at my screen and OMG it's 11:54am!  The movie was to have started at 11:20!  Where is Kathy???  Maybe she came in a different door???  Asked which theater "Black Swan" was in and walked down there ... no Kathy, no other door for her to have walked in through.  Did she go in without me??  Emailed her, knowing that if she was IN the theater, her cell would be off, but .. worth a shot.  Then, went up to one of the attendants and told her that I didn't have a ticket, my friend had tickets for us both, but I think I missed her and perhaps she was already in the theater.  Kind lady that she was, she told me to go in and take a look.  Wandered down the aisle ... there are only perhaps 7 people in the entire room!  And .. no Kathy!   WTH?????  Walked back through the complex, looked at my cell - no email from Kathy - and then .............. OH NO!!!
E-mailed Dave .... when he answered,  asked "What day is it"?  "It's 1-1- .. ".  "NO ... what DAY is it?"  "It's Saturday".  "Nooooo" I cried ..  "Kathy and I are going to the movie on SUNDAY not today"!!! 

     Asked him if he wanted to go to the 2:05 show with me today INSTEAD of tomorrow, IF I could get the tickets changed.  So went back up to the ticket counter, was able to get the tickets for "True Grit" switched from tomorrow to today and left the complex.  Called Kathy and told her what I'd done .. gave her her first real laugh of the New Year I'm sure!  I know I'd given Dave his first laugh!
    Drove home and an hour and half later was back in the car going back to the theater.  We saw "True Grit" today .. it was FABULOUS .. and TOMORROW, I'll be in the theater again, this time on the correct day with Kathy to see "Black Swan".
    And here I though 2011 was going to be different.  sigh   let the merriment continue for another year!