Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Dorset Interlude

A couple of weeks ago, we went away to Dorset for a long weekend.  We'd been promised (threatened with) abysmal weather, but in fact most of the heavy rain seemed to happen overnight.  This meant that we woke to glistening rain-slick greenery, sparkling in the spells of sunshine we hadn't dared to hope for.  We made our first ever trip to the rock formation known as Durdle Door.
The view was stupendous, but it was quite a trial for me to get that far - I'm afraid of heights, something which is made much worse when it's windy.  And my word, was it windy!  I actually spotted a little girl leaning on the wind as if it were something solid - she was clearly delighted by this, while I was by then heading for the car with as much speed as I could manage against the wind, hoping I'd make it in one piece!

We also enjoyed the sight of the kiteboarders in Sandbanks, who were taking advantage of all that wind - although I'm still mystified by the fact that anyone would pay millions of pounds to live there. ;)
As we were staying right next to some beautiful woodland (and I mean right next to - the trees were overhanging our log cabin), we took advantage of the time of year to tramp through the soggy undergrowth and enjoy the profusion of bluebells blooming there.  Hubby even saw a fox (Did I?  No, of course not - I was wandering around aimlessly taking a million photographs of things on the floor as usual).
It was a lovely chance to recharge our batteries and to enjoy the beautiful Dorset countryside and coastline.  And did I take any wire with me, you ask?  Well, just a bit ... here's my Violet Tree set - started while watching The Eurovision Song Contest.  Hey, even I need a bit of culture now and again ... ;)

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

That tricky subject ...

That tricky subject I've been avoiding blogging about.  Actually it's two in one - inspiration versus copying.

Firstly, a word about copyright.  In the UK (and many other countries) an original artistic work is automatically copyrighted.  You don't need to register it - you need to be able to prove the work is yours, of course, but it is automatically protected by copyright.  This includes your own photographs - so if you lift a picture from the internet, you need to find the source and ask their permission.  Of course I know this doesn't always happen, but it should.  If you use an image without gaining permission or crediting the source, it's breach of copyright.

And so to copying a design.  What is the difference between taking inspiration from someone's work and copying it?  Inspiration is an idea forming in your mind in response to something you've seen.  That does not equate to reproducing the item exactly.  If you copy the form and style of an original work it is just that - a copy.

So how do you define an original work?  That is tricky.  In the jewellery world, most ideas and themes have been represented somewhere along the line.  It's all in the detail.  An example: I make tree of life pendants.  So do thousands of other people.  It is not a unique idea, and you couldn't possibly copyright a standard design.  But here is something I made earlier:
Yes, it's an apple tree.  Nothing unique there.  Apple trees have no doubt been depicted in one way or another for thousands of years.  If someone makes a wire pendant with an apple tree in it, does that mean they've copied my work?  Of course not.  But if I see one made with exactly the same execution as this one, will I consider that to have been copied?  Yes.

I am happy - no, more than happy, thrilled! - to inspire others in whatever medium they choose to create with.  But I will always speak out if I see my images or those of others being used without permission - nicely, as I'm not confrontational and the whole thing makes me feel a bit sick, to be honest - and I cannot condone direct copying.  Like many others, I work very hard to produce work that is original.  I'm sure I don't always get it right - as I said, most things have been done before - but I never deliberately copy.

And lastly, watermarks are coming!  I've resisted using them for so long, as I don't want to obscure my pictures, but I already use them on my artwork, and I've had so many of my own uncredited photos pointed out to me recently, that I can resist no longer.  The only thing that worries me is all the hundreds of images already out there, that I can't retrieve ...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Random Facts ...

As I have somehow managed to leave most of the stuff I need at home today (Wednesdays are spent in my hubby's workshop), I've decided to write a slightly different blog post today.  A while ago, one of those daft things was going around Facebook where you are supposed to comment, then tag your friends to play - I usually ignore them, but this one intrigued me.  It simply said to state 10 things that people may not know about you.  It was interesting - not so much to do, as obviously I already know these things! - but to read the things other people revealed.  So here are a few random things you may not know about me, although some you may, if you've been following my blog and Facebook page for a while.

I took A-level art at school, chose to forgo my place at art college, and barely picked up a pencil for the next 20 years.

I have two stuffed toy seals and a monkey who always come on our holidays ... ;)

I've enjoyed writing fiction since I was a child writing by torchlight under the covers.  I've written 3 full-length novels, along with many more finished and unfinished stories - all unpublished.

I've been a vegetarian since I was 21.

I met my hubby (some of you will know him as 'the post boy') nearly 24 years ago, while I was still at school.  It took us 12 years (most of those living together) before we decided we'd probably keep each other after all and get married.

I taught myself to touch type when I was 20 - came in handy with all those stories ...

I worked in accounts for 21 years before giving it up to be poor and happy as a jewellery-maker.

Lastly - and this will be the shocker - I'm not a natural redhead. :P