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Copycat Ceramic Work

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What?    83

Are there any rules or boundaries on creating work based on another artist's work? I'm in the process of trying to find my hero in the ceramic world and create my own voice in ceramics. I will be making a dozen or so of these stacks. Any advice on the question or critique of the piece welcomed.

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post-66695-0-85619900-1454723874_thumb.png

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Making the work of others is a great way to learn. You don't want that stuff getting out of the studio, though. Think of it as an exercise.

 

Have you spent time with Don's work? His stuff has a great sense of volume, weight, and energy in the walls. You have similar moves visually, but it's not "there." That might improve over the series. Focus on why the skirt is there, and get the volumes and the base sorted out. Really do something to the clay.

 

Maybe drawing and working on even smaller models is a good way to work at that too. If you can spend time with the work, even better! (Seeing you're from AZ, it's pretty likely you have). Just make sure you move on to your work too. Chasing Don's or anybody else's pots will only get you so far.

 

And be aware, a lot of people were affected by Don. Work like this is really sensitive.

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MatthewV    258

I think it is best to steal just elements of a pottery piece. If you like the way two pieces are joined, add it to your own shape. Or maybe the feet are nice.

 

 

Copying is a wonderful technical exercise but I will reiterate the not for sale aspect of it unless it take on an original and unique twist. You are also pretty free to copy really simple shapes like a production mug! :-)

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

I think it is good to be inspired by Masters. Exact copying is unethical, but aspiring to emulate feelings and forms is how you learn.

Marcia

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What?    83

Yes I want to see where a dozen will take me. Every year I say " This is the year I just let loose!" Well it happened. I like the scale of the work. It was very hard to paddle a pot, cut a rim, and add something that was not for function (never done that before; always smooth no texture). The "there" part is there for me (I'm having a blast making these). I also have no background or training in art (that's my fault) I should leave this art stuff up to the trained professionals. I have see Don's work; wished I could have met him. I was posed with a question a year ago" If you were stranded on a island with one potter who would it be?" For a year I have combed the internet searching tens of thousands of images and over thousands of potters. I have came up with two Don Reitz, and David McDonald of Limberlost Pottery (Dig those platters). If your name comes up here in the forum you have been googled(just saying)

 

 I have lost some shrubs around our yard and pool over the years and these will fill in the spaces well. I might give a couple away if someone is over and likes one of them.

 

P.S. I made test tiles after thirteen years of thinking about it (oh hell has frozen over).

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What?    83

I think it is good to be inspired by Masters. Exact copying is unethical, but aspiring to emulate feelings and forms is how you learn.

Marcia

I don't get the feeling part of art because of my condition. I hear people talk about this. This probably attributes to my difficulty in recognizing or appreciating art. It is a visual only for me. 

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JBaymore    1,432

"Copying the masters" is a common approach in "traditional" arts training ... particularly in painting.

 

I sometimes do a 'copy the master' assignment in one of my advanced college classes.  I select the potential pieces the students can choose from.  Almost always older "historical" pieces.  The goal is to make as exact a fired copy as possible.  This also opens up the discussion about "appropriate appropriation".  The pieces are to be boldly labeled as "copies" and also have the student's name and execution date. 

 

As far as "copying" Don's work........ take some time to write down in nauseating detail (for yourself) WHY you have chosen this work to use as a "guiding light".  What characteristics engage you so powerfully?  That activity alone will go a long way.

 

best,

 

...................john

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oldlady    1,323

you asked, so my critique of the piece is that it is too precise to be a Reitz. 

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Chris Campbell    1,087

I would be interested in seeing what number twelve looks like ... Your journey has barely begun.

Keep going on as this is a decent number 1.

Don't fire anything but number 12.

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What?    83

John: Thank you. I haven't thought of making a duplicate; I might try this after my series. As for the writing assignment I will do that.

 

Oldlady: Thanks. Not a Reitz. It's a "What?" When I finish I will post the series.

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Babs    386

 

Oldlady: Thanks. Not a Reitz. It's a "What?" When I finish I will post the series.

Yes, and that is where the Oldlady was pointing, to copy an original and "get it" right  takes an amazing amount of skill and "eye" . As suggested, do the copying then find the aspects that are the "What" have fun on the path.

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As they say, "Imitation is the most annoying form of flattery." 

 

That said, it is useful to copy your teacher (if they demand or allow it) when you are a student. If you can use the same techniques but apply them to your own forms (again, if they demand or allow it), better. It is also useful to copy the "Masters."

 

A good pottery/clay sculpture teacher (hopefully) does not create potters "in their own image," meaning, hopefully the technical aspects and physics of clay have been learned by you from your teacher(s), or by years of focused trial and error. Therefore you will learn enough some day so clay can serve your personal creative vision's intent, and you will not just be another one of those potters whose works all look like each others...

 

I find my greatest personal clay breakthroughs have taken place between the hours of 1 and 3 AM (spent alone in the studio). I do not usually stay up that late... I think my tired state of mind lowers filters and helps release some inner something (wading boots needed, getting deep in here). It may be worth a try for you...

 

Luck.

 

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DirtRoads    145

Before this business, I had a business where I was on both sides of copy cats.  Legally, you are looking at an area that will run into a six figure amount to enforce and collect.    You might get a cease and desist letter at the very most.   Doubt you would even get that.  It's very unlikely that you would run into a legal problem.

 

Now that doesn't mean it's okay to make exact replica's and sell them.   If just for practice, can't see where it would matter.     On the artist side, it's a pretty small world.   I could see a copy cat being denied access to shows.   You would have that image of being the person that knocked off "whoever".

 

That said, I know of a potter that knocked off his former employer.    This was years ago when I had my gift retail store.    I was on the wait list for the original and didn't go after the knock off line.   I thought for sure no one would want the knock off.  WRONG.   The knock off evolved into a very successful production pottery business, capitalizing on the available retail wholesale accounts that could not get the original.   Both of these pottery lines are slip casters.  They have the exact same molds and I can't tell the difference in the glaze when I have 2 pieces side by side.

 

Last year I had a small garden club group that had visited both of those pottery places and then stopped by my place.  (I'm 2 hours away)   And yes they were making comparisons. 

 

I do slab/hand building for the most part except for a few wheel thrown mugs.   I can't see the connection to those pottery lines.  Most often I get compared to the knock off, not the original.  Many customers make a connection to knock off pottery, because the knock off is more widely distributed in my area. Even though my three matte finishes are no where near the same.  It's disturbing to me to see that knock off has become more identifiable than the original.

 

And what am I do say to when a customer remarks "oh that looks like (knock off) brand?  What I'm thinking is "Hell no it doesn't you redneck clown.  Every matte finish is NOT a copy cat of (knock off) brand."    Of course I just fake smile and say well my pottery is hand built and (knock off) brand is slip cast using molds.   And it's not the same exact color.  Do they care?  No.  People buy what is appealing.

 

That looks like a lot of work to just be thrown to the wayside.  Can't you just put your own stamp on it?  Change it up.

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What?    83

I don't believe or intend my work to look like Don's. I like the form, texture, and  size of his work. However I do intend to scale down the size from forty inches to twenty eight inches or so as suggested from Colby. I also experienced some small cracking from using B-mix with sand. The thirty two inch stack I made had no cracking at all. Toward the end of the series I will create some four footers out of Soldate 60 which is better suited for the form and size of work. I have a few sketches and varying subject matter in the works. I can't wait to see what number twelve will look like.

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Tim T    46

Nothing is original, everything is derived from something else.

If you are copying somebody else's work, and not tooling up do a production run of facsimiles, in time your work will retain aspects of theirs, but also aspects from all the other influences you've been exposed to.

As long as you aren't passing it off as somebody else's work, or producing exact facsimiles, I'd feel free to copy away!

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GiselleNo5    464

Therefore you will learn enough some day so clay can serve your personal creative vision's intent, and you will not just be another one of those potters whose works all look like each others...

 

 

When I finally decided I was going to pursue this as a business, I started looking at as many other potters' work as I could find. I was surprised at how many potters have work that is pretty much interchangeable with everyone else's. Colors, forms, even decoration. Perhaps 60% give or take. That is not the only reason I do so much surface decoration (I love texture) but it has definitely motivated me to put my unmistakable mark on everything I make. 

 

By the way, I do a lot of crazy creativity in the 2 am studio myself. :) Then wake up at 6 am to go back out there and make sure I didn't dream it. 

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GiselleNo5    464

And to What?: 

 

I realize this is your personal project and you said nothing about selling. 

 

This is my personal opinion about copying. If I decide to make a Spiderman mug, or a Minion piggy bank, or an exact replica of an Ephraim Pottery vase, for my own use or as a gift for a friend or family member, that's fan art and it takes nothing away from the creator of the originals. I'm not profiting off of it. But I would never sell anything unless it was my own original work.

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oldlady    1,323

giselle, your statement of the interchangeability of many potter's works is the exact reason i will not buy or use any of the many "texture" mats, rollers etc that are sold everywhere to potters.   not those, but if i see something from another source, like the maple leaf placemats with oval holes in them, that is fair game.

 

this year i found 4 or 5 items that i have rolled into clay and turned into trays or tiny dishes.  only someone with an imagination can see that their origin is the reverse of the placemat and only then if the placemat is something they have seen.  

 

it is much more fun to find items you might never associate with clay and exploit the variety available.

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Joseph F    865

it is much more fun to find items you might never associate with clay and exploit the variety available.

 

I love this part. 

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Roberta12    135

giselle, your statement of the interchangeability of many potter's works is the exact reason i will not buy or use any of the many "texture" mats, rollers etc that are sold everywhere to potters.   not those, but if i see something from another source, like the maple leaf placemats with oval holes in them, that is fair game.

 

this year i found 4 or 5 items that i have rolled into clay and turned into trays or tiny dishes.  only someone with an imagination can see that their origin is the reverse of the placemat and only then if the placemat is something they have seen.  

 

it is much more fun to find items you might never associate with clay and exploit the variety available.

I just rolled dogwood branches into some clay yesterday!  :)

 

r.

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