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Member Since 08 Apr 2010
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#129974 Quck Resolution Of Copyright Infringement On Etsy

Posted by GEP on 24 July 2017 - 10:42 AM

I am looking into a design patent for some of my work. It's an expensive process and will involve hiring a lawyer. -.-

A design patent could be a double-edged sword for a handmade pottery business. It might encourage you to not evolve your work, because you've invested so much in the patent and don't want to stray outside of the protected area. And I agree with John, enforcing your patent will still be very expensive.

#129835 Quck Resolution Of Copyright Infringement On Etsy

Posted by GEP on 20 July 2017 - 04:19 PM

You're right, the functional/utilitarian aspects are so ubiquitously shared that they are not copyrightable. Copyrightable elements must be original and distinctive, and provable that they are your original idea. 


For example, I make a lot of canisters with an elephant-shaped handle on their lids. This is a fairly specific idea, but I don't consider it to be copyrightable. It's still too broad, I have no idea if I did it first, and there are an endless number of ways to take this concept and execute an original design from it. The idea is only one component of the design, not the gestalt of the design. 


By contrast, in the example I am referring to above (again I'm trying to keep the details confidential), another potter attempted to replicate a complete design of mine, from top to bottom, including quite a few specific and original details. Then named the pot with the same name I use for mine. 


I can think of some potters who have developed such a unique "look" to their work, including specific details that are original to them, and done a fabulous job marketing their work so that the "look" and the potter's name have become recognizable. If another potter tried to capitalize off of this by attempting to sell copies of the work, the original potter would have a copyright claim. By "look" I suppose I am mostly referring to surface decoration ideas, not forms. But there can be original ideas that are 3-dimensional but still part of the "look" rather than the function. Martha Grover's work comes to mind. A lot of her design elements are 3-d, but still very original and distinctive. 

#129785 Quck Resolution Of Copyright Infringement On Etsy

Posted by GEP on 19 July 2017 - 07:14 AM

it ties my stomach in knots, especially sending those messages. Some people have been downright nasty.

I lost interest a long time ago in trying to convince people like this (who have demonstrated their tendency for self-absorbtion) to change their behavior. The hurt feelings and backlash are not worth the hassle. I've learned that trying to be nice or sensitive about it only convinces the other person that it wasn't wrong. When I have the right to swing a decisive and non-personal axe, I swing it.

#129767 Quck Resolution Of Copyright Infringement On Etsy

Posted by GEP on 18 July 2017 - 06:06 PM

In the U.S., nothing official needs to be done in order to establish your copyrights. If there is a dispute, you just need to be able to prove that the work is yours, and when you made it. It's another good reason to take and catalog pictures of your work.

#129730 Quck Resolution Of Copyright Infringement On Etsy

Posted by GEP on 18 July 2017 - 07:19 AM

I can't go into much detail here, because Etsy advised that this is a confidential matter, with which I am willing to comply.

Over the weekend I saw a listing on Etsy that was a clear infringement of my copyrights. On Monday morning, I looked for a solution and found that Etsy has a web form for reporting such violations. It took about 10 minutes to complete the form. Less than two hours later, the listing was taken down.

I just want to commend Etsy for taking this issue seriously, providing the process, and resolving it so quickly.

#129716 4Th Of July-Just Another Work Day Right

Posted by GEP on 17 July 2017 - 07:21 PM

Second reminder in this thread: NO POLITICS ON THE FORUM

#129456 Exactly What Is Going Wrong Here?

Posted by GEP on 12 July 2017 - 08:43 AM

>I understand you are tempering/balancing what I said

That's all I'm trying to do. I want your project to be successful, which will require credible marketing. I just want you to see how this claim looks to another potter. You are making clay in 12 lb batches, so even after a year you should not make an absolute claim.

"Formulated to dry slowly and evenly, which greatly reduces common issues such as warping and cracking" is a promise you can stand behind.

#129343 What's Considered A Good Amount In Dollars To Sell At A Day Art Show?

Posted by GEP on 10 July 2017 - 11:09 AM

> We all start out with a table of wares and a few hundred dollars and feel good about it at some local small event.


Me too!

#129340 What's Considered A Good Amount In Dollars To Sell At A Day Art Show?

Posted by GEP on 10 July 2017 - 10:47 AM

This is a very individualized question, and everyone's answer will be (and should be) different. I caution new sellers not to compare themselves with other sellers, especially more experienced sellers. You can mislead yourself greatly by doing this! The only measurement that matters is "How am I doing compared to my own goals and expectations?" So put your energy into figuring out your own goals and expectations, rather than other potters' sales. 


It's ok to make comparisons in the context of "Someday I'd like to sell as well as him/her. How can I improve my work and business practices in order to get there?" But not in the context of "Something is wrong with me or this show, because so-and-so sells a lot more than me."



Anyhow, my answer to your question, specific just for me. 23 yrs making pots, 15 yrs selling pots, 7 yrs full-time:


Not worth going back unless there were limiting circumstances such as bad weather: $1500 or less


Good, but would still replace the show with a better 2 or 3 day show if available: $1500 - $2500


Great, would hold the date for next year: $2500 or better


The best I've ever done at a one-day show: $3700

#129176 Crazing, Yes, No Or Maybe?

Posted by GEP on 06 July 2017 - 01:30 PM

I agree that crazed pots are structurally less strong, but I don't think the difference matters with foodware and household use. Normal daily use will not break a crazed pot. If you drop it on the floor, the uncrazed pot will break too.

#129150 Getting Clay To Release From Styrofoam Mold

Posted by GEP on 06 July 2017 - 08:33 AM

I make and use a lot of plaster-coated styrofoam molds too. However, during the stage when I am still tweeking and testing the shape of the mold, I wrap the mold Glad Press-n-Seal. The Press-n-Seal will release easily from the styrofoam, then it can be peeled away from the clay. So if you don't want to pour plaster over your mold, this is another option.

#129149 Crazing, Yes, No Or Maybe?

Posted by GEP on 06 July 2017 - 08:26 AM

My feelings about it are pretty much exactly what Mark said.

Just one thing to add ... I recently traded mugs with another potter. Her glaze was crazed which I didn't mind. The mug turned out to be a leaker, not vitrified. Sometimes crazing is done intentionally on an otherwise sound pot. Sometimes crazing is an indicator that the potter is short on technical knowledge. Now I will be more careful before buying or trading for a crazed pot, such as asking outright "I love the crazing, but is the pot vitrified enough to use it?" I don't think a knowledgable potter should mind that question. And if the question upsets the potter (because they know their pots leak or if they don't know the answer), then hopefully the potter will eventually realize that addressing this question will be to their benefit.

#128745 Throwing Larger Pieces And Cracks Everywhere!

Posted by GEP on 29 June 2017 - 09:35 AM

Just to echo what is being said above: when I throw an 8 lb bowl it will be 15 inches wide when wet, maybe 4 or 5 inches tall. Therefore the bowl in your hand is too small for an 10-15 lb bowl. Which leads me to believe it is very thick, too thick to dry it safely. 


I would also advise you to break open the finished cracked pots, just to see their thickness and even-ness. And I think Pres's advice for going forward is spot on. 

#128641 How Do You Find Craft Fair's / Shows Call Them What Will.

Posted by GEP on 27 June 2017 - 12:37 PM

In the Zapp age where we have more access to more shows, we artists need to take more responsibility too. If an artist drives across country into a new market and does poorly, that's the artist's fault. For not doing their research or assessing the risk. Not Zapp's fault or the show's fault. 


(This year I will be driving long-distance into a new market, but I have assessed the risk. I think there is a reasonably good chance it will be profitable. And if it's not I can afford to lose the money. I also think it's risky to never explore new markets. It should be a small part of every year's plan.)


Shows need to strike a balance between inviting their long-time faithful local artists, and giving their patrons some amount of new work to see. I know a show in my region who made a bad habit of inviting the same artists year after year, for many years. This was once a "jewel" of a show, but they basically bored their audience to death. For the past few years they've been trying harder to strike that balance, and struggling hard. 


It's expensive to produce a show. I also think it's a hurculean effort to produce a good show, and to keep it good consistently. So I don't begrudge any show that makes a lot of revenue if they parlay that into an outstanding event. 

#128312 Email Marketing, Facebook, Instagram

Posted by GEP on 18 June 2017 - 09:06 PM

I don't use Pinterest myself, but Pinterest does drive a lot of traffic to my website everyday, because other people have pinned images from my website. It's maybe a few dozen visits per day. There are a handful of my blog posts that are still being read daily, even though they are years old, thanks to Pinterest. So I agree with you that Pinterest stretches out the lifespan of things on the internet. Hard to say if any of these pageviews lead to sales, I don't have any way to measure that.