Information about Harriete Estel Berman Feed

Fabricating TRUTH with a Web of Lies

Ever since the January presidential inauguration, I have been repeatedly dazed by both shock and dismay.  In addition to stepping up my political activism significantly, I have been channeling my fears and frustrations into "Fabricating TRUTH" along with three new bracelets. Today's post shows the final steps for one of the bracelets, "Web of Lies". 

Harriete Estel Berman soldering Web of Lies
Harriete Estel Berman soldering the decorative edge to Web of Lies Bracelet


Confidentially, I must confess that the final steps of finishing any artwork fill me with anxiety -- so much concern that I sometimes even delay finishing. Does that happen to you?

Will the final results be equal to my original imagination?  I always find the end of a project scary. I am worried that the last steps will ruin weeks to months of work.  

For these bracelets, I never made any drawings or models.  I've never made anything similar. In the beginning, it was more of a concept with little idea about how I'd even construct each bracelet. It was all in my head, nothing more than a mental image.


Gary Roepelle at Monsen PlatingDespite my concerns, I pushed forward.  

Because I imagined that the "Web of Lies" bracelet should be gold plated, I had to find a plating shop which is becoming increasingly difficult to find. But instead of a problem, this adventure led to a surprising highlight.  A fellow silversmith, Gary Reopelle, who owns Monsen Plating in Berkeley, CA, agreed to plate my "Web of Lies" bracelet.

Gary is a rare breed.  At 76 years young and tough, there aren't many silversmiths and plating shops anymore. A rare breed in another respect because there surely aren't' many Republicans in Berkeley either -- but we were highly aligned with our hand skills, silver repair work.

Gold-plating-solution-Rio-GrandeThe gold plating solution is cyanide-based and has to be shipped with a hazardous materials surcharge, so this would cost close to $200.  But it was really important to the concept of this bracelet to have it gold plated.

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The gold plating on the Web of Lies Bracelet was an important symbolic component for the bracelet because Trump properties and branding ostentatiously uses the appearance of gold, (even if it is plastic or paint) as a symbolic motif. The superficial gold is a pretense of value, so thin it is essentially fake.  

If you aren't familiar with the Trump brand, this photo (left) is a stellar example of the prevailing decorative motif. 

 

 

  


Electro-cleaningElectro-cleaning is always the first step for all plating. Removing the buffing compound, fingerprints, and every speck of dust is essential for good plating. This was followed by a rinse with a hose. All the waste water (even from the cleaning tank) is considered hazardous waste and has to be disposed of in compliance with environmental protection standards. It costs over $600 to dispose of one tank of "rinse water." No wonder plating in so expensive. 

 

 


IMG_20170614_132736830The photo (left) shows the Web of Lies bracelet with a nickel plate. It looked fabulous already. Nickel plating has a hard smooth bright finish.  There was an intermediate step of a copper plating (before this) for great adhesion of the plating. Each of the plating steps took only minutes as the shape of the bracelet was easy to handle.  Nickel plate is necessary so the gold plating does not alloy with the brass construction or copper plating underneath. 

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The photo (left) shows the gold plating solution. The gold molecules in solution will plate on the bracelet.  This is as much skill as intuition. Gary kept adjusting the volts and amps to get it to plate just right (shown below). So exciting! 

Gold plating..... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the photo below you can see Web of Lies gold plated.

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I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Gary Ropelle, owner and master at Monsen Plating for his skill and generosity. He and I are in the same increasingly rarefied silver repair business. He has a lifetime collection of hammers (left) and forming tools (right) that made me jealous.  A lifetime of accumulation for working with metal.
Hammers-Monsen-Plating  Steel-shapes-Monsen-plating

 

 

 

 

 

Monsen Plating also had another feature that I greatly admire .... space for tools and equipment. 

Tools-Monsen-plating

In contrast, my studio space is squeezed into a two car garage.  Whether doing silver repair or artwork, I often dream of having a gigantic studio in my next lifetime. In the meantime, I am working as fast as I can.

Stay tuned for my next post with behind-the-scenes photos of Philip Cohen's professional photography of TRUTH and the three bracelets. 

Harriete 

 


Advancing Science Even Though I'm Not A Scientist

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Recently, I participated in the March for Science, San Francisco. It was important to lend my voice and my presence to support to such an important topic.  

IMG_20170422_122602361There were thousands of people from every part of the community and many great signs....but this one really resonated with me.

GOT POLIO?
ME NEITHER. 
THANKS SCIENCE

I am old enough to remember the fear of polio. When the first vaccines were available, everyone, I mean everyone, stood in line at the local high school to get vaccinated. The lines were blocks long.  I remember seeing every person I knew, and many who I didn't, stand in line. No one complained about the inconvenience because this vaccine would prevent polio. The vaccine was free.  It eliminated the pervasive fear of polio that came every summer.
 
I'm not a scientist, but I think it is important to support science. Walking in the March for Science was a visible statement along with a mass movement.  But there are many other ways that any individual can help at any time.  One option is to participate in a medical research study as a healthy NORMAL control subject.

With emerging technologies to inexpensively study genetic markers, DNA, and manage volumes of information, medical research is changing. Now with something as easy a saliva sample, studies can look for genetic markers for disease -- but many studies take much longer time to complete due to a lack of a reference population.  They need more NORMAL people to compare samples and distinguish non-disease from disease.

The future holds the possibility of treatment for many diseases before there are even symptoms. Medicines are being developed and studied to understand their effectiveness based on an individual and not the whole population.

IMG_20170422_124306031_HDRGOOD MEDICINE relies on Good Science.
This is not a futuristic dream.
 It is now.

This is where every artist and maker can help advance science. By agreeing to participate in research as a healthy control, you can advance science. A small amount of your time, saliva, blood...or other samples can advance science. Many of the studies that I have participated in were only a survey or demographic study. Your participation in science can change the world. 

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Below are three places to sign up for a study as a control subject. You can just participate based on your availability, whether there are study centers/universities near you,  your interest in a research topic, etc. Perhaps there is a disease that runs in your family that you would like to understand better and change the treatment for future generations. You always have the choice to participate in a study as a healthy control.

Michael J.Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research matches you up to studies. Not all studies relate to Parkinson’s

Research Match will match you up with a number of different studies. You can say no to anything that you don't have time to do. 

Verily Life Science — a Google life sciences company owned by Alphabet — is finally kicking off the massive study it first announced three years ago. What is a healthy person? Sounds really interesting, doesn't it?

Harriete

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Misstress of the Home Trapped by Modern Convenience

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Many years ago (actually in another century), I made a sculpture (shown above) titled: "Misstress of the Home Bound to Modern Convenience."  Memories of this piece have been echoing in my mind for months while preparing for New Year's Day 2017 -- a self-imposed deadline to launch new digital content and update my online presence.   

Are we trapped, bound or benefiting by"Modern Convenience?"  This has been seven months of virtual housekeeping efforts at the risk of getting swept away by Google as an obsolete version. Technology is convenient, yes, but the effort to re-organize, improve access, and reduce expenses comes at a price. 

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After 7 months of effort, I have two new websites, an artist website and separate website for my silver repair business.

With the new website is a new email address.  I would be glad to share it with you to stay in touch. Here's how...

Email me directly
by clicking on the envelope (in the upper left column of this blog) or contact me through my website form  or copy from the image (below right).   I'm not printing the email here in order to avoid getting spammed. 

Misstress of the Home Bound to Modern Convenience (the upright vacuum featured in this post) is 27" in height. It is not a found object but fabricated in 1982 to look like a real appliance. This is a very real and personal metaphor. "Harriete" means "mistress of the home."  At the time I was commenting on many of the cultural expectations placed on women and the demands of modern living.

Misstress is purposely spelled "miss" as in the confinement of the idealized stereotype of "Miss America" beauty contests. 
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A new website also means eliminating my old website and the email
associated with it.
 Very scary indeed! A thirteen year old web identity has been swept away. My old email @harriete-estel-berman.info will be gone.....nada...no more.....   If this email was the only email you had for me..... it is disappearing.  

It has been a huge effort to update all my "log in" information and newsletters.  If... I have missed your updates...email me at my new address. When was the last time you look at every social network that includes your work?  

More legacy costs are being swept away ..... 

For 28 years I had a studio phone for my studio and silver repair business. I grew up with the yellow pages at my fingertips, but who uses the yellow pages any more? My realization is that a business phone listing  in the yellow pages is archaic. 
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I was spending $720 a year to have a listing in the yellow pages for my silver repair business, however,  my new website for Berman Fine Silverwork was bringing in all the work.  An update on my website and online presence like  YELP and Facebook was just another example of "house cleaning" for the 21st century. Most of my customers contact me by email anyway. My cell phone will now fill every role, every day, studio and business.

Speaking of cell phones. The upside is that my both of my new websites are now mobile friendly, a mandated requirement by Google for being ranked in search results. Is your website "mobile-friendly?

The Professional Guidelines  are now completely available on line also. Every word in every document is completely searchable on the web in addition to a downloadable PDF document. The Consignment Contract, Exhibition Contract, and Model Release Form are available as Word documents so they can be edited to suit your needs.   

So my new year is a new me, new website, new email, new ways to get in touch. This Everready Working Woman is cleaning house.

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Everready Working Woman from 1984 meets the 21st century in 2017. 

Harriete


Artistic Expression and Being an Artist

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From my earliest memories I have always wanted to be an artist. The lifelong aspiration was not simply to make art or sell art, I wanted to be an artist.  The depth of this "being an artist" constantly spills over into daily life -- and positively overflows with anticipation of a shared experience with family and friends.  Witness the Thanksgiving table above as this year's display of artistic expression.

Every year I look forward to reinventing my Thanksgiving table as an extension of being an artist. This year the table color scheme was persimmon red, black and gold. 

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Company is invited for a late afternoon gathering so that the natural lighting has the golden glazing hues of fall.   For me, the light coming through the windows is as important as the lighting in a painting.  Experiencing the light, the decorative arrangements, the food, and friends all resolve to the point that so much of life's activities can be artistic experiences. 

Thanksgiving is such a profound holiday in its simplicity of acknowledging what we are thankful for.  The commercial and/or religious aspects are secondary to the idea of spending time with friends and family together.

As we slide into the merchandising marathon for the remainder of the year, I relish the golden tones of artistic expression without selling anything. 

 Harriete

 Below are past Thanksgiving Tables. 

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Part of the fun is working on the preparation together. Thanksgiving 2015 
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Reinventing my table each year is my favorite part. Thanksgiving 2015 
Thanksgiving 2014 flower arrangements 003
Flower arrangements are different every year. Thanksgiving 2014 is still my best. 
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Chanukah Gelt & gold theme. Thanksgiving 2013
Thanks2Mondrian2012ARyn and Harriete
Sharing the festive planning with my daughter. Thanksgiving 2012 
Leaf shaped carrot cake with textured frosting.
Thanksgiving 2011 the leaf motif included the carrot cake. 
Black, chartreuse green, and gray for a Thanksgiving table motif.
Wrapping paper can work well to establish a color scheme. Thanksgiving 2010
Black and green chartreuse dishes set a Thanksgiving theme.
These vintage inspired Thanksgiving 2010 theme of black and chartreuse

 

Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Brass spherical vase used for 
Brass spherical vase used for Thanksgiving 2009 was my first hollow-ware project from 1971.
black and white and grey motif for Thanksgiving 2008
Wrapping paper is a great way to establish a strong motif for your table. I try to reuse the wrapping paper for other uses after this festive meal. Thanksgiving 2008.

A Painful Purge and the Legacy Costs of Information

legacy costs of information
A legacy of information! 
I'm going through all my color slides….and black & white photos.  Thousands of images and thousands more duplicates.  A legacy of my entire career.

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And throwing it all away.  Obsolete media.

 All my original images will be digital from here on.

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I
n looking through 40+ years of accumulated physical images, I am reminded of the history and optimism anticipated in each and every image that is going into the trash.  As an artist I adored the quality of the images and took pride in being prepared when needed.  It was a badge of honor at a professional level. I remember the care and investment of time and money that went into the composition, processing, selection, cataloging, storing, organizing, and maintaining these visual manifestations of my craft skill and artistic vision. Now I am taking these beloved slides and photos out of their neat and tidy boxes, taking careful inventory to keep one, just one copy of the best image,  and dumping the rest into the dumpster.


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I feel remorse in the wasted materials.
 
I feel guilt in generating such waste.
  This is a painful purge.

But the physical media has become a burden.  

IMG_20161002_182304915_HDRFortunately, the "information" of these images will live on when converted to digital media.   My daughter helped me realize that companies large and small deal with this legacy cost" all the time. They have archives of information that could be valuable to current or future users.  Information companies like Weather Underground choose to preserve past weather information and make it accessible on their website. They realize that the history of weather information is valuable, but stored data must also be compatible with newer digital interfaces.  Researchers using newer or different platforms need the archived information to be compatible to gain the benefits of analyzing long term trends over decades of accumulated information in ways that were not previously possible.  

purging a legacy of information in slide imagesArtists also may have a legacy of information or objects.  At what point does old work become out dated inventory?

I look at it differently. Old work has potential in future exhibition opportunities. It could even be my retirement income as I have witnessed in the revival of interest in mid-century modern jewelry. Important painters often kept their best work increased in value.

Museums are the consummate examples of legacy information and the costs of maintaining archives.   They store objects and information indefinitely with the expectation that value will be realized well into the future.


Misbehaving EconomicsWhy did I finally decide to throw away all these slides and photos?
  I was reading a book about behavioral economics … “Misbehaving - The Making of Behavioral Economics"  by Richard Thaler.  The book discusses a relatively new field in economics observing how many financial decisions are not made on a purely rational basis.  

Black-white-photos-legacy-informationOne financial concept struck home for me - "sunk costs."  The book made clear that my slides and photos that are no longer in a useful form (and all the time and money I invested in them) are "sunk costs."  Keeping them any longer would just cost more storage expense. Businesses often describe this storage expense as  "carrying cost" or inventory cost.  However, if the images (or any other inventory items) are not or cannot be used any longer, they have no current or future value.  To use up storage space in my cramped studio is just more wasted money.  

Vertical-quantity-of-images-informationEvery artist and maker has legacy information in their older work that represents their career and their credibility. The construction of my new website caused me to re-examine how I needed to make my images (my "information") more accessible for current and future use.   In the past three weeks, I have invested a great deal of time to find one, just one best copy of each image to digitize for the future.

I see my new website as a new and more accessible form of my work -- a new catalog that enables more people to more easily access my images and for me to connect with more opportunities.  I look forward to adding images to my website that were not digital. Images of inspiration and work in progress could be interesting to a wider audience.

I took great professional pride in my inventory of slides and black & white photos  to be ready for opportunities.  Now the ongoing value of my "information" (the intrinsic substance of my images) through this new digital media greatly expands how I can gain the attention of others and be prepared for many more opportunities.  My new website is adaptive to phones, tablets and computers.  Using a template site (which I resisted for years) means that it will be a stable format for further changes in technology.


Website-2016Despite my acute awareness of my past investments, I see this transition as a revitalization of my legacy information.
  Take a moment to look at my new website.  Critique the content.  Find mistakes.  Bookmark it for later updates. Lots more information is coming in future months. This is a work in progress, a new future, a new  year.

Harriete

 

 


An Exuberance of Color in Studio Jewelry

Three bracelets by Harriete Estel Berman
This week I'm flying to Santa Fe, NM for an opening of an exhibition at Tansey Contemporary  curated by Gail Brown. I am honored to have my work included in the show which is titled: An Exuberance of Color in Studio Jewelry.

The catalog is available online.  It is very well done and filled with exceptional work.

Catalog-Exuberance-color-Berman-Tansey

Participating jewelers include Julia Barello; Harriete Estel Berman, Jessica Calderwood; emiko oye; Arline Fisch; Donald Friedlich; Rebekah Laskin; Karen Massaro; Bruce Metcalf; Mike Simonian; Marjorie Schick; Joyce Scott; Barbara Seidenath; Helen Shirk; Marjorie Simon; Rachelle Thiewes; Linda Threadgill; Cynthia Toops; Dan Adams; Roberta & Dave Williamson; and Amy Lemaire.

Harriete Berman bracelet from recycled tin cans as a commentary about our consumer

Each jeweler is featured in the catalog. If you have the opportunity to see the show in person, I believe it will be worth your time. 

 

Do I go to many openings?

The time and effort to travel for an opening is not an easy option. I typically prefer to save money, keep expenses low, and stay home to work, but this invitation from Gail Brown to participate in this exhibition represents a long relationship of generous patronage. Going to Sante Fe is an adventure. 

After the show, I am taking two days off with my husband for a cultural history trip to Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico. Originally this was supposed to be just for an kind archaeological adventure, but it seems that this area was recently designated as a 'dark-sky preserve' so I have (sucked in my breath and) committed to camping under the stars. 

Will I see you in Santa Fe?  The opening is Friday evening, August 5.  

Harriete


BermanH.Metallic -Gold-linear-UPC Berman- Harriete-bracelet-triangule-color

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Exhibition Opportunities For Finished Work? How to Find Them.



 


Vision of the Artist, Vision of the Photographer

-LOGO_footerIn February, Boris Bally invited me to participate in an exhibition about "changing society's views about the dangers of handguns."  The show title is "IMAGINE (Innovative Merger of Art & Guns to Inspire New Expressions) Peace Now!" Each artist was given a disabled hand gun (randomly chosen and mailed to the participating artists) to use as part of the artwork. 

When my gun arrived, it was the first time I ever touched a gun.

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The gun was from a "gun buy back" program. You can't see the damage to the gun in the above photo. Harriete, ever the perfectionist, actually spent a lot of time improving the appearance of the gun.

The problem was that the artwork had to be finished and photographed by June 30. That is not much time by Harriete standards. I had no idea what I was going to make until.... 

...until I saw this check writing machine at a yard sale.

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I knew immediately what could be done!
The illustration below was drawn by my daughter, Aryn Shelander as we discussed the piece. As I recall the blood was her brainstorm which was a terrific idea as I wanted to give the final artwork more graphic impact.

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The title of the artwork is "Checking the Cost of Gun Violence."  I knew the title from the very beginning.

After countless hours of research I found the statistics that would go with the work. The lettering from recycled tin cans had to be red as if written in blood.

The barrel of the gun was attached to the handle. Much to my surprise this was the easiest part of the assembly. It was as if the gun was made for the artwork.

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The pool of "blood" and new red face plates for the gun handle were created from recycled tin cans.

To get to this point required intense weeks of work. Above is an early test shot in the studio.  I try to take a few test shots during fabrication to make sure that my artistic vision of the artwork is going to work in the photo. 

Next I added blood red paint to match the blood red metal. 

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Drips were hard to create.  Not sure how long they will last.

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Another test shot below. Now I need spent bullet casings (technically referred to as shells.)

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Getting the shell casings from bullets required a couple of trips to local shooting ranges. I wanted used shell casings as that seemed more symbollic. 

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It was really exciting that the folks at Jackson Arms shooting range gave me a generous amount so I could pick through them.

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Another test shot.  Test shots also help to show the photographer my vision for the finished photograph. Above is the "quickie shot" with my phone. 

Below, my photographer, Philip Cohen, provides photos of the finished sculpture with all his professional skill, superior camera, lights, and action.   

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Various close-up images are shown below. Philip Cohen always gives me a wide selection of close-ups and I pick from the preview images (shown in this post.)  


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I pay for each shot....and can only use three images for this exhibition entry....so I choose carefully.

32, 514 people including children are killed each year.

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Statistics on the front are actual gun statistics from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
"EACH DAY"  there are 31 Murders, 55 Suicides, 2 Accidental Deaths, 1 Death by Police Action, 210 Injured, and costs $627 Million in  America.  Each DAY!  

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The 89 shell casings represent the average number of deaths each day in America involving guns.

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I hope you found this interesting to see the progression from vision of the artist to the professional quality images from Philip Cohen.

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Feel welcome to offer your opinion about your favorite images. I can only submit three images to the exhibition.

Harriete

P.S. More news about the traveling exhibition, future exhibition venues, and the catalog in future posts. I understand that Boris Bally is looking for exhibition venues. There will be a Kickstarter Campaign for the catalog.


Gemini Battlebot (I Helped Fabricate) Will Be On TV

The Gemini Battlebots that I helped fabricate will be on broadcast television!! Wath it on Hulu!!  Tune into ABC Battlebots show Thursday, June 23  at 10:00pm West Coast time. I have no idea what will be shown, and the little I know about the Battlebot competition, I am not allowed to reveal. Shhhhhhhhhhh.........

If you missed the show....here is a longer preview (1:48 second) The whole show was hilarious to us...in the know. You can see my son, and even my husband on national television! The production for Battlebots was amazing. This is the first time my son build a Battlebot and he got to be in a nationally televised competition.  (Gemini Battlebot shown at 1:18, 1:36. My son and his team member 1:25) 

The experience fabricating a contender for Battlebots was empowering, but the outcome at the time was unknown. Sometimes you simply have to try your hardest, work day after day. stay up late night after night, and then pull an all-nighter because if you don't try, nothing will happen. 

And if you do try your absolute best.... you will at the very least create a possibility.

Harriete 

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Above: Harriete drilling holes in the Gemini weapon parts at the TECH Shop, San Francisco, CA. (Blue tape on the drill bit was to mark where to stop.) That day was a sold 10 hours of drilling, and grinding....non-stop.  Photo credit: Ace Shelander.

Ace designed, engineered and was the primary fabricator for Gemini Battlebots. More part fabrication at the milling machine shown below. 

Ace Shelander holding up part just finished at the milling machine at the TECH Shop

part for Gemini Battlebot with aluminum chips after milling


At the Intersection Between CAD/ CAM and Craft

Recently, I was a guest worker at Radicand in an effort to help my son, Ace, fabricate his Gemini BattleBot for an upcoming Battlebot competition for an ABC summer show. The smaller red robot (at 125 lbs.) (in the video below) is the one I helped make. 


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Photo above shows some of the Radicand engineers, and Aryn Shelander (guest worker 12:00 midnight to 3:00 a.m: during our all-nighter.


Harriete driling the Gemini Battlebot partsThe much larger scale of everything was certainly a challenge but I soon realized that my hand fabrication skills translated well. 
And among several surprising observations, I soon realized just how important it is that handcrafting skills are still needed.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was witnessing the entire fabrication process beginning with CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture) and progressing through each of the necessary steps to final assembly and operational testing.  Not everything is computerized.  A good "eyeball" and steady hands are involved.
 

water Jet cutting of battlebot partsAfter the parts were perfectly cut with water jet, I still had to figure out where to manually mark the holes (referencing from the cut edge with calipers), center punch the holes, hope the drill centered itself accurately on the center punch, and then to actually drill the holes straight.


precisely cut parts ready for marking and drillingI have plenty of experience, lots of skills for precision metalwork, and at the same time, at every step I was astounded by the inherent possibility of inaccuracy
. The CAD provides a tolerance of 0.001 inch, but how accurate can a human being be while rushed to get this done as quickly as possible?    


IMG_20160413_151752682CAD/CAM offers precise designs, but in reality, some machine-made perfection must integrate with handmade steps.  The bridge between theoretical precision and adept skills is left in the hands of the human maker.

 



Moving on....more observations...

Ace Shelander designed the Gemini BattlebotsMy son, Ace, designed his entire BattleBot in CAD software called Solidworks. (This is one the major software design programs used for prototyping and manufacturing.) 

Most of the parts were cut from steel and aluminum by water jet. The results were quite impressive. The TECH Shops (at both San Francisco and San Jose) have water jets. It costs $3.00 a minute (after you pay to take a class). 

 
The water jet cuts the holes first so the small parts don't move (this why it doesn't appear to be moving very much at the beginning.)  Then the water jet cuts the edges of the parts.  The speed is determined by the material and thickness.

Additional parts were cut with a water jet at KELLER Industries in San Carlos. Their water jet was even bigger, faster and louder. The Keller brothers and sons were incredibly nice and reduced the intimidating, even daunting, hurdle of approaching a commercial industrial metal fabricating business.

While water jet is used for large scale fabrication, it is also ideal for prototyping and one-of-a-kind. Just pop in the file and the computer controls the cuts.  

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Here is a short video.

Harriete can cut sheets of aluminum and file them close to CAM perfection, but should I cut six sheets?  Where is the role of CAD/CAM in our craft work? I am a huge advocate for craft and hand made, but seriously question why we should be hand crafting in those situations when machines can do the work faster and cheaper. This is especially true for multiples.

Is "hand made" purity an absolute attribute when technologies could help us be more productive?

Are we disloyal to hand made if we consider using fabrication technologies that can help us be more cost effective?

I love making by hand, but there is a place where we should be working smarter and faster when the machines can do it as well as (or better than) we can.

This isn't an easy topic to tackle. I don't think the answer is absolutely one way or the other.  CAD/CAM or hand made or mixing the best of both?  I am beginning to think that we need to learn the computer software and the technologies if they can help make our work better and faster. 

Harriete


I Love the Smell of Dykem in the Morning

Recently, I took on a new role of intensive robot making to assist my son in the assembly of his Gemini Battlebots. We worked at the fabrication space of the prototyping firm, Radicand.

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My first observation was that the scale of everything was ten times larger than my usual metal working experience.
 We are talking about 1/2 inch thick aluminum, 24" x 24" large plates of steel, and titanium.

Would my fine metalworking skills translate into another realm? 

Harriete's-tool box.pgIn a rush to squeeze this sprint assembly into my busy life, I filled a shoe box with my favorite tools. Dykem, jeweler's saw, saw blades, cut-off discs with mandrels, Opti-visor, and more.... including my own task lighting. 

Was I going to be embarrassed taking my jewelry and sculpture skills into the domain of mechanical engineers (all men) and CAD/CAM engineering?   

It really does seen to be a domain of men.  Another early observation started two weeks ago looking for local water jet cutting and welding services.  Whether calling or visiting in person, there seems to be no women in any machine shop or welding establishment. In a time when women are entering every field (including combat), metal fabrication seems to be a male dominated sphere.  The engineering prototyping world also included only men. Surely there must be women in the metal fabrication field and geek world, but I didn't see any.

Harriete's-dykemWould my hand crafting skills in tin and silver repair translate into this "real world" scale? My favorite tool for layout is Dykem. Fortunately,  I brought mine from my studio. The fabrication space at the shop didn't have their own. Not every mother can bring their own bottle of Dykem. I love the smell of Dykem in the morning.

IMG_20160413_154530630Just in case you don't know: Dykem is a solvent based layout die for marking metal. It provides a clear background to mark or scribe lines and it is so much easier to see against shiny metal. I learned to use my son's calipers, and in no time I am reading CAD drawings and marking large metal blocks as precisely as a person can at 1/100th of an inch.

IMG_20160413_151709287
Marking metal for drilling holes was my first job. I wasn't drilling one or two holes but 60 holes at a time.  And then continued drilling for ten hours non-stop. I am not exaggerating. 

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Then, I was drilling holes with larger drills through 2 thick layers of super strong aluminum plates. Theses were high technology materials that weighed around 20 pounds or more.  It was heavy to hold in the correct position while pulling down on the drill press. I had no time to stop. It is good I've worked out lifting weights at the gym.

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Then came counter sinking holes.  Eventually, I learned that if I was more aggressive with the counter sink it worked much better. 

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It was really hard work holding the plates up with one hand, and pulling the drill bit down with the other. 

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Next I learned to tap every hole with a drill. Every skill was scary at first, but I was totally in my element.

My skills and metal work precision were right on target. I got better very fast. Complicated layouts, drilling, and tapping were well within my skill set. This was an empowering experience. 
IMG_20160413_151750555

Would you like to see more fabrication shots of the Gemini Battlebots? Click here.  If you're interested . . . there are a lot more photos coming.

I have more observations about the intersection of CAD/CAM and hand made. More posts soon...when I recover...but here is something you might want to know.

Jewelers and metalsmiths can and should take their skills and tools to the design and prototyping field.  I know several metalsmiths with art school skills and education and they have told me what they do in prototyping, and it sounded really interesting. They have fascinating projects and make a great living. They can still make their own work without the starving artist mentality.

This was my first personal experience within the design and prototyping field. To the many jewelry and metalsmiths reading this blog, there is an alternative to the struggle of making money solely in "crafts" where a viable living is frustrated by a highly competitive market with a shrinking audience.  Learn CAD software and take your design sensibilities and technical skills where it is needed and appreciated in a growing field.

More observations coming soon.

Harriete

 *The title of this post "I Love the Smell of Dykem in the Morning" was inspired by the famous quote :  "I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning" from the movie Apocalypse Now. It was spoken by the character Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore as played by actor Robert Duvall. He played a super tough, fearless character in the movie.


Vintage Visual Feast Thanksgiving 2015

Every year, my favorite part of the holiday season is theme development in preparation for my Thanksgiving table . Similar to theme development for a booth display, the theme for a table should stimulate a visual feast of repeating design elements over and over.  

Thanksgiving 2015 photographed by photographer Philip CohenPhotograph of the Thanksgiving 2015  by Philip Cohen.

My goal each year is to reinvent our Thanksgiving table and deliver a completely different and memorable experience. This year it was inspired by vintage 1950's/60's screen printed Filkauf commercial fabric,fabric that I found in a secret, dusty, musty storage room at Direct Office Furniture in Harrisburg, PA. (Check out the Red Door Consignment Gallery for great furniture options at the same location.)
Fiklauf vintage fabric for our Vintage Thanksgviing Feast.
 Vintage Fabric from the 1950's/60's is marked "Filkauf Inherently Fire Retardant Fabric Screen Printed".

The screen printed leaf pattern and fall colors were perfect for a Thanksgiving table. To save time I fringed the edge. It looked great.
Filkauf Inherently Fire Retardant Fabric was vintage 50's 60's in fall colors

Long Thanksgiving table for 17 people A phenomenal stroke of good fortune, the fabric was large enough to cover the entire table for 17 people in one piece.  Photo left is before setting the table...   

 

 

The idea for the vintage theme began 5 months ago with the discovery and purchase of two "atomic era" (1950's) starburst candlestick holders from West Germany.Vintage atomic motif plastic candlestics from West Germany started our theme for Thanksgiving.


Atomic starburst plastic candlesticks from West GermanyYes they are a little weird but I loved the orange translucent colors and vintage atomic aesthetic that also reminded me of pumpkins. Then I had to find six more online. Amazingly, most of the Friedel Gesch plastic purchased online was unused, still with the original tag. Imagine, they have been sitting in a drawer for 60 years!


Thanksgiving 2015 031

Orange candles weren't hard to find. Adding small sugar pumpkins boosted the orange shapes and color  on the table. The sugar pumpkins will be cooked at a later date. 


Gold leaf glasses for our  Thanksgiving 2015 037These vintage Libby glasses from the 1950's with gold leaf design further repeat the leaf theme of the table cloth perfectly. I bought them for a past Thanksgiving and fortunately had about 20 of them. 

  


 

The gold plated flatware was my grandmother's from the 1960's. I remember when she bought it. I think she only used it once. Dishwashers and convenience-focused lifestyles really brought an end to gold leaf glasses and gold plated flatware. None of this is dishwasher safe.  

Gold plated flatware complete of Thanksgiving theme

All of the plates were from my collection of vintage dinnerware collected over the years. The colors were selected to match the colors in the tablecloth.  The plates sat on gold chargers to repeat the gold of the flatware and gold leaf glasses. 

Thanksgiving 2015 012

The floral arrangements were real fall leaves with the addition of some dried orange pods. Both the leaves and orange pods echoed the tablecloth leaf motif and colors.  

Thanksgiving 2015 001

 


Thanksgiving 2015 007Left 
is our menu card inspired by the vintage fabric tablecloth.

Dessert included a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting in the shape of leaves inspired by the tablecloth. It took a whole crew and hours of work . . . and topped off with a final touch of chocolate creativity to bring this to fruition.

 

 

 

 

 

Making our Thanksgiving dessert to match our vintage tablecloth.  

The dessert crew made abstract chocolate leaves as the final touch.

Thanksgiving 2015 021

The photo below shows how you make the chocolate leaf shapes. 
Thanksgiving 2015 023
Just paint warm chocolate on wax paper, let them cool, and peel them off. 

Vintage fabric, dishes, glasses, and flatware with atomic candlesticks. 
Theme development with repetition of the visual elements works every time. Give it a try for your next holiday table or booth display. 

Thanksgiving 2015 002

Thanksgiving 2015 029Harriete 

P.S. Commercial fabric is often fire proof so it would be suitable for booth display.

E-bay and Etsy are both great resources for finding obscure items for theme development. 



Thanksgiving tables from previous years:

Many images of my Thanksgiving tables can be see on Facebook albums. 

Thanksgiving 2014 flower arrangements 003Thanksgiving 2014- Setting the Table

 

 

 

 

 Philip Cohen photography of Thanksgiving TableGelt, Gilt, and Guilt - Thanksgiving 2013

 

 


Thanksgiving a Visual FeastThanksgiving Visual Feast Giving Thanks

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving with a mondrian inspired color blocks in red, blue, yellow and black  outline.

Thanksgiving 2012 was inspired by a Mondrian  color theme including the cake and cookies. 

 

  

 

Thanksgving birthday cake with sculpted cream cheese frostingThanksgiving 2011 followed a leaf motif including the drinking glasses and the cake with sculpted cream cheese frosting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving 2010 was black, white, grey and chartreuse green

Thanksgiving 2010

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving 2009 with a beautiful Thanksgiving festive table.Thanksgiving 2009 is  a traditional fall motif with leaf motif including cake and our drinking glasses with gold leaves. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving in Black, Grey and SilverTHANKSGIVING 2008  was black, grey and silver. 

 


Art Adventures in Wonder Washington, D.C.

Adventures always start with a journey. After a 3,000 mile, cross country red-eye flight I arrived in Washington D.C.  exactly 6 hours before the fancy shindig opening at the Renwick Gallery.

WP_20151110_037My first goal for the day was to see my own artwork on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Luce Art Center at the Smithsonian Museum of Art In this gigantic museum (right), I was searching for an area called the Luce Art Center.

The artwork on display in the Luce Art Center is shown on shelves to offer insight into the depth of the permanent collection in paintings, sculptures, folk art, and crafts.Harriete-Estel-Berman-Renwick-LuceFamous Selection from the series "The Deceiver and the Deceived" 

My metalwork was surrounded by the excellent company of other metalsmiths.


WP_20151110_012The acquisition number next to each object allows the viewer to look up information online. There were computers nearby if you wanted immediate access to information.  Information on my piece can be found at 1997.51.  A little weird...online they show only the back image of my work so maybe they couldn't tell the front from the back. I'll have to write to them and correct this mistake. 

FURTHER IRONY AND UPDATE: I wrote to the Smithsonian about the lack of a front image on the Luce Art Center website. They were very kind to write back and will try to correct the omission. It turns out the front image of "The Deceiver and The Deceived" is on the main website, but the artwork was photographed side ways. The wall piece should have been photographed with the word "famous" at the top. Usually an artist wants their work photographed right side up, but since their is a keyhole on the back for hanging, I thought the photographer would have figured out the right way to photograph it. Oh well.

Smithsonia Art Museum building
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is amazing.  The building is a dazzling combination of ornament and decoration that I never tire of admiring. The variety of collections and exhibitions is extensive. I highly recommend this as an art destination of the highest priority. Entrance is free.

Curators at the best museums have an incredible skill for the juxtaposition of artwork. In the portrait gallery "Shimomura Crossing the Delaware" by Richard Shimomura hung directly across from a portrait of Bill and Melinda Gates by  Jon R. Friedman on a painted blue wall.  This conversation between two paintings was worthy of discussion, but I had no one to discuss this with at the time.
(I snuck these images for your review.) 
Shimomura Crossing the DelawareBill and Melinda Gates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WONDER
The opening of "Wonder" at the Renwick Gallery
started at 7:30pm.  My amazing art adventure in Washington, D.C.  was a marathon day. 

live statueThis was a festive, celebratory event beyond the usual craft/art opening. This is the first time the Renwick was open after a major two year renovation.

The live woman "statue" (left) was in a central location near the decadent chocolate desserts.

 

busts at the Luce Art Center at the SmithsonianIt  reminded me of the white busts I had seen earlier at the Luce Art Center (left) and the exhibition of Hiram Powers' The Greek Slave. 

Moving through the Wonder exhibition, each large room of the Renwick had a different installation by one artist. Everything was of a monumental scale which was truly wonder - ful.
Patrick Dougherty installation at the RenwickShindig by Patrick Dougherty

I loved each room and the artwork for different reasons.

Renwick wonder slider (5)Installation by Gabriel Dawe. Photo from Wonder Gallery Renwick  

The concept of craft and working with materials was expressed with radically different approaches by each artist/maker. This artwork looks like vibrating beams of light. It was far more intense than this photo reveals (from the Renwick website).  In person, at night, after a very long day, and drinking a strong vodka and orange juice far too quickly (for medicinal relief of thirst), the colored thread seemed to vibrate!!!!!!! 

Walking up the stairs....to see more installations.Renwick-gallery-stairsStairs at the Renwick Gallery leading to the 2nd floor. 

This light sculpture Volume by Leo Villareal (below) hung high up over the stairwell.  

Villareal-detail

This light installation seemed the least hand made craft of all the rooms. The left photo was from the Renwick Gallery website by Ron Blunt.

WP_20151110_073The computer controlled lighting was dazzling like my rhinestone wallet, but it seemed a little glitzy without enough craft soul in this context. (Photo right taken at the opening with my phone.)  

Booker01_0 ANONYMOUS DONOR by Chakaia Booker Photo Ron Blunt

The tire sculpture by Chakaia Booker (above photo) had a demanding presence defining a completely different kind of implementation of hand made; it had a bold, gutsy, uncompromising strength. Made from radial tire detritus it invited the viewer to examine modern materials like tires that keep our society moving.

Now contrast the coarse and ugly tire material to a glass marbles installation by Maya Lin.  (below)Maya Lin installation at the Renwich Exhibition Wonder

I have seen many inspiring installations and artworks by Maya Lin, but for some unexplained reason, this room was not as successful. Perhaps it was too subtle in the excitement of the occasion.  A portrayal of cracked wall (?) seemed ironic considering the two year renovation of the historic building.

Another problem was that some barricade ropes prevented people from walking among the marbles glued to the floor (probably out of concern that a careless step might ruin the installation or risk their lives slipping). 

 

 


Move to another room...Donovan-detailThis installation by Tara Donovan is constructed from styrene index cards. I am still trying to decide what I think of this installation. The volume of new styrene plastic used to make these sculptures made me very uncomfortable, so uncomfortable that I could not appreciate  the visual impact.  I could not ignore the environmental impact of plastic, along with the production and disposal issues.

Saving the best for last. Two more rooms to mention...
Hand made "wallpaper" made entirely from insects. Even the red painted tint on the wall was made from crushed cochineal insects. 

Angus01_0In the Midnight Garden by Jennifer Angus  Photo by Ron Blunt from the Renwick Gallery Wonder website.

Angus-detailThe initial impression of a highly, decorated, hand made wall paper (perhaps consistent with the era of the building) was created from insects. I was told that the insects were farmed in Indonesia. Definitely, this room had a new definition for hand made.   

 

 

 

This installation by John Grade seemed the most "Wonder"ful of all. Grade01_0Middle Fork by John Grade Photos by Ron Blunt from the Renwick Gallery Wonder website.

An entire tree was recreated bit by bit into a gigantic installation that filled the room with awe. Each 1/4" rectangle of wood created a lattice resembling bark surface and tree silhouette. It was simultaneously powerful both close-up and far away.

Grade-detailMost of the photos in this post for the Wonder exhibition came from the Renwick website including the one to the left. At the exhibition, the tree filled the room so completely that I don't think an individual could look down the inside of the trunk like this....but it gives you a great idea of the scale of detail and form.

This was truly an example of the artist's vision combined with execution by hand to bring a grand inspiration to reality. Not everything can be fabricated by machine or created by computer. Sometimes it can only be hand made to create Wonder.

There was one more installation in WONDER by Janet Echelman that has no photo on the Renwick website. I can't say I know what to make of it.  At the opening, the ceiling installation didn't leave me with a strong first impression. I've seen her work at the San Francisco Airport as well and had a similar experience. She's been selected for such prestigious exhibitions as the Renwick and the S.F. airport, but these two installations seemed to be lacking. The airport installation suggests that some computer programmed lighting is supposed to be involved.  As is, the colored cord alone of these pieces look like scaled up versions of work by Ruth Asawa from 40 years ago. There is no surprise in how the materials themselves are used. The only wonder for me is why the work was selected, but tell me what you think.

Go the Washington, D.C. to see the show. Fill your heart and mind with inspiration on a grand and gutsy scale.

Go to see Wonder. 
Harriete  

 


Identity Complex - Lost and Found

Idcomplex
I just found out that my artwork, Identity Complex, is currently on view at the Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin.  The exhibition that includes my work is titled "Lost and Found: Featuring Kim Alsbrooks and Nikki Couppee."

IDcomples_leg72 Artists in the exhibition were selected from RAM's permanent collection including:  Boris Bally, Harriete Estel Berman, Jerry Bleem, Robert Ebendorf, Geoffrey Gorman, Tina Fung Holder, Judith Hoyt, Lissa Hunter, Esther Knobel, Keith LoBue, Karyl Sisson, Kiff Slemmons, and Anne Wilson.

So the question that I always want to ask participating artists is . . . "How did your work get to be in this museum's permanent collection?"

In this case, I can at least answer for myself. Identity Complex was purchased by collector Karen Johnson Boyd from a solo exhibition I had at Sybaris Gallery in 2001. 

Now many years later, I appreciate Sybaris Gallery for their confidence in my work.  It is regretful that such a supportive gallery has closed.

When amazing collectors like Karen Johnson Boyd buy the best artwork from an artist, they change the fortune of the artist. I am very grateful for the support by this patron whom I have never met. 

When generous collectors like Karen Johnson Boyd give their collections to museums, their gifts enrich the lives of many viewers in the public. 

Identity Complex Vanity Seat from recycled materials.

If you are traveling or live near the Racine Art Museum, I hope you will get a chance to see this exhibition.

Dates of the exhibition:
September 25, 2015 - January 3, 2016

The one-page exhibition guide highlights the theme of "incorporation of  'non-art' materials."  The found objects and materials used in the artwork "construct layers of meaning." 

Identity Complex Vanity Seat in the exhibition Lost and Found at the Racine Art Museum

Identity Complex Vanity Seat is constructed entirely from post consumer tin cans. Even what looks like a soft cushioned fabric seat with trim and a button is all metal.

Identity Complex Vanity Seat is a commentary about beauty in our society.

The legs have writing on the inside. The quotes recount the terrible comments I (or each of us) say to one's self when looking in a mirror. Messages from advertising and media create an impossible standard of perfection for comparison.

"Beauty magazines make me feel ugly."

"My breasts are too big, my breasts are too small."

"Big pores, dry skin, age spots and wrinkles." (left photo)

"My waist is too thick and I hate my thighs."

 

Under the seat, the internal dialog continues with a statement... 

Identity Complex Vanity Seat is art from found materials with social commentary about beauty
"Can’t stand that person in the mirror, Make me over, paint my face, airbrush my blemish, color my hair, botox my wrinkles, reduce the appearance of fine lines, erase the circles under my eyes, tattoo my lips, pencil my brows, masque my imperfections,  whiten my teeth, soft focus, perfect lighting, Am I visibly firm?  Is there an age defying complex?"

Harriete

Photo Credit for all images in this post: Philip Cohen

RELATED POST: 
18-Year-Old Model Edits Her Instagram Posts To Reveal The Truth Behind The Photos


What I Learned From My Halloween Costume

Looking through some old photos at my parents' house, I found old memories . . .  and remembered that long ago I learned a valuable lesson from my Halloween costume.
Harriete-5-craypaper-costume1
My mother used to make costumes (photo above) for my sister and me from crêpe paper because at the time it was very inexpensive and it could be sewn using a sewing machine like fabric.  Above I am wearing one of those costumes. (I am on the right side, my sister stands behind me to the left.)

One year . . . (succumbing to peer pressure conformist tendencies) I begged for a purchased costume like all the other kids had for Halloween. I wanted one of those costumes that came in a cardboard box -- with a mask inside. The lid of the box even had cellophane so you could see inside the box without opening it. I can still see it clearly to this day.

My mother caved in and the (somewhat out of focus) photo below shows me (on the right again) as some kind of princess.  My sister (left) was a clown. 
Harriete-purchased-costume

These photos also caused me to remember a profound lesson that I learned that day. 

My realization at 8 years old was that a store-bought costume was not as good as home made. In fact it was a flimsy, generic copy that wasn't unique or special in any way. I was so embarrassed that I had coveted this item so highly and then found out it was such a poorly made piece of junk and that anyone could just purchase and wear it without any creative thought or imagination.  There was nothing unique or special about this costume. 

Halloweens have been magical ever since. I learned that home made and hand made are better even with imperfections and mistakes. Anyone can buy a look-alike costume.  But when it is your idea and you make it yourself, it becomes a memorable experience and expresses your unique character.

This lesson I learned at the age of 8 has taken me a long way.   Perhaps makers are makers because they have had a similar experience.  Imagine . . . and make it your own.

Harriete

Jen-wearing-spider-costume
Jen is wearing one of my past Halloween costumes. The hairy spider costume was intended to be good for exercising, but proved to be very hot.

MORE COSTUMES FROM THE PAST (in no particular order)

Dalmation-firefighters91
Dalmatian Dog (me) with two pint size firefighters1991

 

Ghost-family-1988
Ghost family 1988

Pumpkin-Head97
Pumpkin plant....my son actually walked around with his head inside the pumpkin.

Pumpkin-Head-butterfly-scarcrow.97
Everyone ready to Trick or Treat includes Pumpkin plant, butterfly and scarecrow.


Butterflies-Ace-Bday-insect-party
Butterfly costumes on another day. 

Ace.10yearguess
My son ACE.

 


Abracadabra - What Is Said Will Be - I Create as I Speak

Hanukkah-light-Magnes-tin-89-16a-bSTARDuring my tour of The Magnes Collection, Dr. Daniel Viragh shared fascinating insights from the Hebrew he was reading on various historical objects . . . and then a startling factoid was mentioned. It turns out that "Abracadabra" -- those magic-inducing words that we think come from the Disney movie Aladdin and Arabian Nights -- actually have roots in the ancient Aramaic language.  The phrase has a meaning; "What is said will be." Wikipedia says Abacadabra means "I create as I speak."

In my opinion, the literal meaning and the passage of this phrase through the millenia demonstrates the power of words. 


This resonated with me a lot.
 I've embraced the 21st century idea of writing down my goals to align myself with the power of postive thinking, yet here is a similar thought expressed in an ancient language.

Hanukkah-light-Magnes-tin-89-16a-bSTAR-circleIn other words, people from thousands of years ago, also had the idea of stating their goals, and repeating their goals, to bring forth the power to make it happen.  They weren't calling for magic, they were stating a call to action with a plan.

So instead of wishful thinking or hoping for luck, you may benefit by actually stating your goals and understanding the action plan needed to make it happen.

Speaking about the power of words reminds me to invite everyone to a brief Hanukkah-light-Magnes-tin-89-16a-blecture at The Magnes Collection. My lecture topic is "Recycle, Re-purpose and the Meaning of Materials." The Magnes is calling this a "Pop up lecture". We will look at a tin and glass menorah from their collection (left), along with examples of my work.

The Magnes Collection is at 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA.  
This is a block from the BART station, and close to the Univeristy of California, Berkeley Campus.

Magnes-Sign-Victor-Reis-Fence


Pot Luck and Hot Topics with MBMAG

Just in case you'll be in the Monterey, California area on Feb. 16, I will be speaking at the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild lunch meeting and social.  This public event is free. 

DATE: February 16, 2014 Sunday
LOCATION: Moss Landing at the Haute Enchilada's back room.
TIME:  12:30 Pot luck Lunch and social. Bring food for the pot luck and get to know the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild members. 
           1:00 Short meeting for MBMAG membership
           1:30 p.m - 3:00 p.m. Lecture with Q & A

HauteEnchilada

BermanConv2Zazzle
The early afternoon lecture begins with a brief description of my work, with some examples on hand for closer inspection. Then we jump into some professional development topics and resources that can help makers with their own work.
 

Are you suffering from self-rejection? Wonder how to promote your work effectively online? Want tips for the best (low cost to no cost ) strategies for your images, website or blog?

Do you have questions or topics that you would like to discuss? Bring up the controversial issues, burning topics or discuss the every day professional practices that will boost your career.

 

RedHotNo topic is too small or too hot to touch. Even spicy, well-seasoned  artists struggle every day to be the best they can be. Join the conversation.  Spark the Q & A.

You can also submit your topic request in advance (without raising your hand)? Write directly to me at bermaid@harriete-estel-berman.info or leave a question in the comments. 

Or I can answer your questions anonymously.

ASKHarrieteREDletteringNObk


Stay tuned to the MBMAG event page on Facebook or their website for more details.

MBMAG


Gelt, Gilt, and Guilt

ThanksgivingPlate closerlower
Photo Credit: Aryn Shelander

Every year I create a new table motif for our Thanksgiving table. This year with Chanukah and Thanksgiving on the same day, Chanukah gelt and autumn colors set the motif of round gold dots.

Chanukah gelt is gold foil wrapped chocolate.
Thanksgiving 2013 and more 227
Do you see the gold dots on our table covering?

ThanksgivingGeltPlate2013
Photo Credit: Aryn Shelander 

The gold chargers, gold flatware, and vintage gold drinking glasses all followed our theme. Eight candlesticks polished brightly were symbolic of the eight lights of Chanukah.

Thanksgiving 2013 and more 224

Our Menu includes contributions from all our guests.
Thankgivukah thanksgiving hanukah dinner menu
Menu design by Aryn Shelander.

We concluded our meal by asking each person at the table what they were thankful for in the past year. My daughter reminded us that the more specifically we articulated what we were grateful for the more positive impact it would bring.

So I thought back over the past twelve months and remembered the people connected to me in one way or another who have succumbed to the ruthless effects of alcoholism.  It has been wrenching to witness how they have slowly lost connection with their families, friends and even their own internal motivations due to the grip of alcohol. My heart goes out to everyone dealing with alcoholism in their lives.

One thing we can do is talk about difficult issues openly without judgement.

My thanks goes to everyone for giving to each other, their families, and communities without guilt. This is what friends and family are about.

Philip Cohen  photo of Thanksgiving Table
Photo of the thanksgiving table taken by photographer Philip Cohen using an Apple phone panoramic option. The chairs look kind of funky as the camera seems to combined them. They are all 100+ year old chairs painted black.


PhilCohenCatchingAirplane
Ace flies his plane from the deck going over the canyon like a Turkey Vulture and then, they catch the plane in mid air on the way back. That was thrilling! Photo Credit: Philip Cohen 

PhilCohenShoesattheDoor
No shoes in the house! They all wait for their owner at the front door.
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen 


Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2008

 


What Information is Needed for Appraising Value?

Berman_4WorryBeads72
As mentioned in the previous post,
an appraiser contacted me about appraising the current value for a 1997 work recently donated by a collector to a major museum.  In response, I asked for an appointment to have a phone conversation. The phone call felt more like a necessity than an option. Thank goodness we opened the discussion. I was concerned about asking for the phone call, but the appraiser actually appreciated the nuanced conversation the phone call offered.

My primary goal was to help the appraiser to establish a current value using whatever information she requested. Hopefully it would justify an appreciated value since 1997. I had a number in mind, but didn't want to say so until the appraiser considered the factors I thought relevant to this situation.

While prices for recent work may be a consideration, the appraiser needs to compare recently SOLD work. That is just the way it works.

Harriete-Estel-Berman-websiteThe images of my artwork on my website were instrumental to the conversation with the appraiser.  I do leave "sold" work on my website for documentation, but remove the prices. However, I know the retail prices from my Inventory Records. 

Initially, the appraiser was looking only at my jewelry, perhaps because of the size of the individual beads, or it was the first page she landed on. 

Harriete-Estel-Berman-website-sculptureIn my mind this was not a good comparison since I considered the Worry About Worry Beads Coming Undone to be sculpture, and not jewelry at all. The conversation moved to sculpture for further evaluations. On the sculpture page, there were many examples of work that had sold in recent years. These provided better value comparisons.



Teapot-Page-Harriete-Estel-BermanNext we moved to the teapot page to establish that Worry About Worry Beads Coming Undone was profoundly influential on the design for many of my teapots that had sold at similar or much higher prices.  

 

 

My objective was to establish the importance of the Worry Beads as a seminal artwork that had an important influence on the design of several teapots.

1 Worry-Beads-Inspires-Teapot TeaConsuming_full72

Since the Worry Beads were completely unique, there was no identical work to compare. 

Finally, I mentioned that the Worry Beads sculpture was composed of 12 individual and unique worry beads, plus the wire "tassel." So one perspective could consider a value for each individual element and what I would charge for repair or replacement.

WorryBeads72
To conclude the conversation,  the scary part, she asked me to estimate a number.
I gave my current valuation, but still don't know the final appraised value....perhaps she went higher or lower, but I do know she appreciated the extra information from our phone call to inform her decision.

In summary the appraisal value was determined by these main factors:

  • Type of work: sculpture.
  • The specific work was seminal to subsequent work.
  • Retail prices for sold work with somewhat similar attributes (e.g. materials, size, concept, novelty).
  • Cost of replacement or repair by artist.
  • Establishing that other work sold for much higher prices.
  • Reputation of the artist.

If an artist/maker is represented by a gallery, the appraiser may have contacted the gallery instead of the artist. Since no gallery currently represents my work, the appraiser contacted me directly.

A secondary goal for my conversation with the appraiser involved some learning about appraising artwork in general.  The 2014 SNAG Professional Development Seminar in Minneapolis will have lectures by an appraiser, collector, and curator all discussing "Collectors, Collections and You."

Stay tuned for more PDS information. Opportunities related to this program are on the horizon. This will be a series of lecture offering great insight into establishing value for our art and craft. Save the date Friday April 25, 2014. The PDS is open to the public to attend.


Free Mentoring Opportunity

R2Slogo250SNAG is finally ready to embark on its mentoring program titled "The Road 2 Success" and the program is free for all SNAG members.

Enrollment is first-come, first-served

Sign up begins September 16th at NOON.

The list of mentors covers a broad spectrum. To be sure, it will be interesting to see how this mentoring program develops. 

There are no guarantees, no predictable outcome, but everyone who signed up is ready to take an adventure together. This reminds me of one of  my favorite quotes:

 

"Writing a novel is like driving a car at night.

You can see only as far as your headlights,

but you can make the whole trip that way."

                                        - E.L. Doctorow

Teachers from an academic program are always so articulate it amazes me. They are accustomed to verbalizing the issues for their students.

Writers and workshop teachers spell out the problems and solutions in step by step process.

Production makers have a lot of experience in the turbulent ebb and flow of selling in the marketplace. The kind of experience you only get on the road of hard knocks.

One of a kind makers have a different focus all together.Their design decisions are based on finding and uniquely expressing an artistic voice.

If you aren't a SNAG member already, make sure your membership is updated in the next five days or you may miss out on a great opportunity to work with this list of Mentors:

Kristin Anderson
Alison B. Antelman; metalsmith, teacher
Boris Bally; self-employed Metalsmith, entrepreneur-at-large
Gillian E. Batcher; Owner at Jewel Envy and PASH Jewellery Design
Harriete Estel Berman; artist, author, organizer
Wing-Ki Chan; Professor and Program Coordinator of Jewellery Studies, George Brown College, Toronto, Canada
Shannon Conrad; President of Etsy Metal
Donna D’Aquino
Don Friedlich; studio jeweler, former SNAG President
Geoffrey Giles
Lora Hart
Victoria Lansford; artist, author, educator
Micke Lippe; maker, volunteer, teacher
Tim McCreight; Senior Editor, Brynmorgen Press
Etienne Perret; designer, goldsmith, gemologist
Kevin Potter
Billie Jean Theide; Professor of Art at the University of Illinois
 

Road2Success

CraftCast Interview about the BAD & UGLY

CRAFTCAST-interview-Harriete-Estel-BermanAlison Lee of CraftCast boldly opened the conversation in a passionate dialog about the BAD and UGLY issues circulating in the arts  & crafts community. If you want to skip the "chit chat" in the beginning, advance the podcast 11:48 minutes.

This discussion was largely inspired by my lecture, "The GOOD, The BAD, and The UGLY in the AGE of the Internet."  

The lecture has over 9,400 views (at the time of this post).



P.S. Check out the other podcasts on CraftCast.


REFERENCES to Keynote Lecture Synergy 3: The Good, BAD and the UGLY in the Age of the Internet

Today I gave my Keynote Lecture for the International Polymer Clay Association annual conference Synergy 3. The lecture title is: TheGoodBadUglyTransINTERNET72

This lecture will be published on ASK Harriete as a SlideShare PowerPoint with recorded audio. Subscribe to ASK Harriete so you will be notified of the publication.

Here is the HANDOUT Good-BAD-UGLY-Handout-References (PDF) to download or use the  individual links below. The references are mentioned in the order of appearance in the lecture.

Behind THE scenes FOR the Good Bad UglyIMAGE: Clint Eastwood, Leone and Eli Wallach on the set of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY    1966.

 

 

 

EXtREME closeup and full viewIMAGE of extreme close-up and wide angle view is a signature voice of the director Sergio Leone.


The LongTail by Chris AndersonBOOK: The Long Tail by Chris Anderson.
ASK Harriete describes “the Long Tail” in a post titled, "Long Tail - Blockbuster versus Netflix, and the art/craft world. "

 


Reference to Michael Jordan found  in the online article  “Best Advice: Down But Not Out” by Peter Guber

Mindset-The New Psychology of SuccessCarol-DweckBOOK: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success  by Carol Dwek

 

 

 

 

 

Regretsy websiteQUOTE from April Winchell found on Wired.co.uk in the Business section:  “Regretsy closes, the world mourns the end of DIY meets WTF”

 

Talent is OverratedBOOK:  Talent is Overrated  by Geoff Colvin

 

 

 

 

 

Outliers by Malcolm GladwellBOOK:  Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

 

 

 

 

 

Risky is the New SafeBOOK:  Risky is the New Safe by Randy Gage

 

 

 

 


Polymer Art Archive

CRITIQUE GROUP GUIDELINES

ASK Harriete

PROFESSIONAL GUIDELINES for the artists and crafts community


ImaginecreativityBOOK:  IMAGINE: How Creativity Works  by Jonah Lehrer

Jonah Lehrer lecture for the Knight Foundation:  “Jonah Lehrer earns $20,000 honorarium for talking about plagiarism at Knight lunch”  (Scroll down to find the lecture. He actually starts talking at about 53 minutes into the video, so move the scroll bar into the lecture.)

Transcript for Jonah Lehrer lecture titled:  “My Apology” by Jonah Lehrer

 

CREATIVEcommonsWEBSITE: Creative Commons Licenses 
 

 

UStrademarkOFFICEWEBSITE: U.S. Trademark and Patent Office


Combination3 Links

ORIGINAL DRAWINGS for the lecture by Aryn Shelander 

TRUST COLOR drawing by Aryn Shelander5

 

 

 

P.S. Links to the books and movie DVDs are provided for your convenience as affiliate links.

Related articles:



BREAK THE BEAD

Lark Books is offering a new opportunity for an upcoming bead book! If you would like to submit your work the information is below. I have also provided links to resources that will assist with a successful entry.

The deadline is extended!

4 Worry Beads from recycled tin cans by Harriete Estel Berman
Worry About Worry Beads Coming Undone by Harriete Berman
Philadelphia Museum of Art


Information for upcoming book  1000 Beads can be found by clicking here.



Worry Beads by Harriete Estel Berman constructed from recycled tin cans.72
Worry About Worry Beads Coming Undone by Harriete Berman
Philadelphia Museum of Art


There is no entry fee to 1000 Beads.


NEED HELP  with your application?
TOP TEN TIPS for Getting Into a Juried Exhibition, Show, Book or Magazine 


1 Worry Bead by Harriete Estel Berman is made from recycled chocolate tin cans.ny

One bead from "Worry About Worry Beads Coming Undone"


Can you make a bead  like no other bead before? All work must be made no earlier than 2010 and more recent work is considered better. The deadline is May 10, 2013. Yikes!


Identity BEADS by Harriete Estel Berman are about creating an identity from our consumer society.
Black and White Identity Beads by Harriete Estel Berman based on the concept of creating identity in our consumer society by what we buy, and why we buy it.
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


Ordinary materials can be extra-ordinary.


Black AOL Bead Necklace by Harriete Estel Berman is about using ordinary materials into extraordinary. al_neck.72
AOL Bead by Harriete Estel Berman Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Think outside the box

                        (OR should I say outside the bead?)
With a book of 1000 beads there should be plenty of entries, but there will also be lots of competition.

 

Black and White Identity Beads about creating identity in our consumer society
Black and white identity Necklace       Photo Credit Phil Cohen

Strategic Thinking When Applying to a Juried Opportunity can make a huge difference.  ASK Harriete can help.

 

Identity Beads in our consumer society by what we buy and why we buy it.

The quality of your photos can make all the difference between acceptance and rejection. Read this post for comparisons: Juried Submissions: What information do jurors really take into consideration?

Black and white Identity Bead Necklace photographed by Steven Brian Samuelse Black and white identity Bead Necklace photographed by Philip Cohen.alce i







Photo credit for photo comparison:
(left) Steven Brian Samuels      (right)  Philip Cohen


There are many great photographic options, but professional quality photography with perfect focus and proper exposure is your key to success.

The PROFESSIONAL GUIDELINES can help you with two documents:
GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL QUALITY IMAGES

WORKING WITH DIGITAL IMAGES EFFECTIVELY

 

Lisbet-SugarNecklace
  Sugar Necklace"

  by Liesbet Bussche


 

The deadline has been extended . This book wants new work not previously published, a perfectly understandable recommendation, but then why was the entry originally posted with so little advance notice? The deadline has been extended to May 10, 2013, which is fantastic, but with poor distribution.

 

 

 

 

 

Lisbet Day Bead Lighting

Urban Jewelry Pearl Necklace
Taipei
, Artist: Lisbet Bussche

Why not reach out beyond the concept of small glass beads to a larger audience? Reach out to sculpture, metals, design, lighting, or ceramics to expand the definition of beads. Ask other fields to submit a bead(s).

If the crafts community doesn't open itself  to the unexpected we are limiting ourselves to a diminished expectation.

 

 



Lisbet-night1B
Ubran Jewelry Pearl Necklace
Taipei
,   Artist: Lisbet Bussche

Beads can be tiny.  

 

Beads can

also be  

 

BIG!

Beads can be 1mm, 1 inch, 1 foot, 10 foot.

 

 

Bead table Bonetti
Table by  Mattia Bonetti

Bead mattia-bonetti-by-william-waldron-1-thumb
Table by  Mattia Bonetti

I have included images of bead sculpture, furniture and jewelry in this post. Please Click on the images to go to the original source of the image.


 Murals Created with Thousands of Buttons, Pins and Beads by Ran Hwang

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/07/murals-created-with-thousands-of-buttons-pins-and-beads-by-ran-hwang/
Murals Created with Thousands of Buttons, Pins and Beads
by Ran Hwang


In the effort of transparency, all of the images were found on the internet. Some of the images are my work.

Bleigiessen-Glass-Bead-Sculpture-London-Colour-variations
Thomas Heatherwick's Bleigeissen at the Wellcome Trust London.  As you travel from floor to floor, the colour spectrum changes according to the light from the Dichroic lens filters, creating a waterfall rainbow effect.

Can you take the idea of a bead from ordinary to EXTRAORDINARY?

Beadinstallation.sized
Hanging Glass Bead Sculpture in Sculpture Garden, of Walker Gallery of Art, Minneapolis MN.


Share a link to extraordinary beads in the comments.

Good luck with your entry.
THINK DIFFERENT. Break the BEAD...


OPEN STUDIOS: Artist Checklist

IMG_4265During the holiday season many artists and makers open their studios to the public seeking holiday sales. That also means reasonably preparing ourselves for safety and security.  That is why the PROFESSIONAL GUIDELINES
has a document
OPEN STUDIOS: Artist Checklist
.


Open studio events raise concerns that are only important when the public enters your studio.

Do you have business insurance? Home owners insurance will NOT cover a business loss or liability issues if a person falls or is hurt in your studio.

Is your studio handicap accessible? Legally this is not important but potential embarrassment for all parties and a distraction. Make sure your invitation spells it out.

Is your work priced at full retail? Don't under cut the stores or galleries that sell you work at full retail.  If you do....they will not be happy, damaging your working relationship with your gallery or store arrangements.

Here are a few other thoughts:

  • Plan for parking.
  • Directions to your studio - signage.
  • Safety of your guests -- unplug power tools, remove chemicals, rope off unsafe areas. Have a plan if your guests bring children or animals.
  • Keep your money and phone on your person at all times. 
  • Have a 2nd person around if you are alone.

   

StudioBENCHES.100
Studio space for Harriete Estel Berman. My studio is open for tours and by appointment. Contact me by email any time. Work is always on display in my home and in progress in the studio.

HarrietecuTINS.100Open Studio events are also an opportunity to gain exposure and to show your community what you do and make. We can educate the how and why we create what we do. We can answer technical questions and address issues of price and materials. We can even dispel a few myths and misconceptions. And, of course, we can open the door to new markets.

Visit my studio online.

LINE of Irons s;ymbolic of the hallmark maker's mark of Harriete Estel Bermankr

SHEARS hanging in the studio of Harriete Estel Berman
Visit my studio with your art group anytime by appointment.

Harriete



Thanksgiving Visual Feast Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. A day to simply celebrate our connections with friends and family.  A moment in time to acknowledge and share with those that make our lives more complete. No obligations other than to show up with some food to share. 

Each year I decorate my table with a theme.

Thanksgiving 2012 was a Mondrian inspired motif with Mondrian Birthday Cake, Mondrian Cookies, and table arrangement....you'll see it on Facebook, but here are a few photos.

Everyone was asked to wear primary colors. Here I am with my daughter Aryn.
Thanksgiving-2012-Harriete-Aryn

Red Gerber flowers in black vases were very simple. Yellow candles in black candlesticks.

Thanksgiving-2012-table-mondrian

Thanksgiving-2012-table-birthdayThanksgiving 2012 includes a pound cake in a Mondrian Theme. It was inspired by the cakes at the San Francisco Modern Art and the book "Modern Art Desserts" though I didn't follow the recipe because I didn't own the book until a few days later. Nuts!

Thanksgiving-2012-table-jellybeansWe even had red, blue, and yellow jellybeans in black dishes.

Mondrian inspired screen for our Thanksgiving.

A Japanese screen in the dining room was inserted with colored paper to push the theme further.

Thanksgiving-2012-table-VERTICAL

Best wishes for a pleasant Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Share your table with me on Facebook.

Harriete

Below are a few of my previous Thanksgiving tables with ASK Harriete readers. If you CLICK on the Thanksgiving year, you can view a larger album on Facebook (with more pictures). They start out fairly basic, but become more elaborate each year.

IMG_2091
Thanksgiving 2006 This was the year I made a pumpkin coach with gold wheels and vines all sprayed gold.....as if the pumpkin coach was coming apart right there on the table. I wish pictures had been taken.  It was a fantastic table. Poof the coach was gone.

Thanksgiving 2007
THANKStwig

"THANKS" in twigs on the wall made by my children. Twigs on pumpkin pie, and log shaped Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Frosting with Bark texture. Rough brown paper for a tablecloth.

LogCAKEtwigPIE

 

Thanksgiving 2008

IMG_0490

One of my favorite tables in grey, black and silver. If you look closely none of the chairs match. They are all different painted black, slowly collected over the years one at a time. Grey pumpkins tie into the Thanksgiving theme!

The drawing on the wall by my daughter inspired our black line linear theme.

IMG_0491

 

Thanksgiving 2009

ThanksgivingCenterpiece

The theme was brass and gold. I spray painted grass from the garden, and the grass mat runner going the length of the table. Vintage gold striped drinking glasses.  Brass under servers and gold plated flatware keep the metallic theme.

Table2

The brass sphere was my first hollowware project as a student.  I also spray painted the candles gold. Fall decorative gourds and orange flowers add color. Brown paper for a table cloth.

Table2009

Grapes make a great center piece. This looks like a still life painting.

Grapes

 

Thanksgiving 2010

IMG_6219

Thanksgiving 2010 was shades of grey, black, with lime green accent.

IMG_6223
Green flowers (yes, green flowers) from the farmers market with just a few white flowers for accent.

The desert matched our green theme.
IMG_6273
Spiral Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting  White Sugar Sprinkles and green candy accent. We always have both birthday cake and pumpkin cheesecake for desert.

 

Thanksgiving 2011

IMG_4150
Thanksgiving 2011 the theme was leaves hence a "flower arrangement" of leaves collected from the yard. Only a few orange lilies for color.

Thanksgiving Tablesetting 2012

First course is Pistachio soup. Gold metallic paper leaf is the place card.

Thanksgiving 2011 leaf theme
Nothing ever matches on my table. It is always a combination of plates and dishes collected over the years.

My favorite plate (shown above) displays a turn of the century Japanese motif.  I only have four of these. Glasses are vintage 1960's Libby with gold leaves found on e-Bay. Vintage gold plated flatware from the 1960's inherited from my grandmother. She bought this when it was all the rage. Hand washing flatware is a pain so I only use it for special occasions.

IMG_4161
Carrot Cake with sculpted Cream Cheese frosting in the shape of a leaf to follow our leaf theme.



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Left above is just a picture....scroll up to subscribe.

Next week posts return to  The White Tent or the White Wall. Topics including finding craft shows, reviewing your selection, submissions and more.

 

 


A Square Yard of Grass at REDUX

A Square Yard of Grass
A Square Yard of Grass                   1998

This work is currently in the exhibition titled, REDUX: Repurposed Materials at the University of Mary Washington Galleries in Fredericksburg, Virginia. View the exhibition on Facebook. If you live near Fredericksburg, I hope you can go.

A Square Yard of Grass by Harriete Estel Berman is about the environmental impact of lawns on our environment..Lwuy

REDUX: Repurposed Materials

EXHIBITION DATES: October 26 – November 30
    Download REDUX Catalog
    University of Mary Washington Galleries
    Ridderhof Martin Gallery
    1301 College Avenue at Seacobeck Street
    Fredericksburg, VA    22401
GRASScard
a Grass postcard is available for purchase.
                10 cards for $25.00 plus $5.00 shipping.
                Dimension of card: 4.25" height x 18" long.
                Folds to 4.25" x 6" long or
                Cut into 3 individual 4" x 6" postcards.

Below is my 8 minute Grass/gras' video about the construction of a lawn size sculpture of a grass lawn.


Grass
raises many points. These blades of grass are cut from post consumer tin cans and reflect upon our consumer society's preoccupation that everything can be bought including happiness and a green lawn.

Each blade of grass has printed images and advertising.

Beyond the sculptural presence and artistic impact, this sculpture carries a very serious environmental message. Lawn maintenance requires tons of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides which then wash into our surface water and ground water. In the Unites States, the lawn, or “turfgrass,” is the single largest irrigated crop, three times larger than corn. Add the air pollution involved in lawn mowers, etc. and you have a huge environmental impact.

Square Yard of Grass by Harriete Estel Berman is a sculpture about the environmental impact of lawns.AR

P.S. Back to the white tent display issues tomorrow and Tuesday with phenomenal ideas from window display.

Harriete


Pencils Say A Lot

Pencils say Star Student, and Gain 51 point on the Star Test about standardized testing.

Hopefully you've listened to the Seth Godin presentation in the last post. He makes some incredible points about education.  Quote . . .

"And when we put kids in the factory called school, the thing we built to indoctrinate them into compliance, why are we surprised that the question is, ‘Will this be on the test?’"

HB_Detail_1_P8193799
Measuring Compliance by Harriete Estel Berman

Godin continues: "So if someone is making art, they don’t say, 'Can I do one less canvas this month?'  They don’t say, 'Can I write one less song this month?'  They don't say, 'Can I touch one fewer person?'  If it's art, they want to do more of it."
HB_Measuring_Compliance

Education is a scary subject. You may not think so because it seems to be in the news all the time, but when personal becomes political, the system often seems to feel threatened. I've had institutions afraid to show this artwork about education. Why?

De Anza College Euphrat Museum of Art is showing
Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin.
_MG_7078
Pick UP Your Pencils, Begin is a gigantic bell curve 28' wide and 15' tall about the impact of standardized testing on our educational system.

The Art of Education
October 22 - December 7, 2012

Euphrat Museum of Art
DeAnza College

21250 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA 95014

PLEASE COME TO THE RECEPTION
Wednesday, October 24, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
I will be there, it is my birthday!!!!!

The Art of Education exhibition will include the Pick UP Your Pencils, Begin by Visiting Artist Harriete Estel Berman. Additional work by De Anza & Foothill Art Faculty and Staff will highlight the diverse yet interconnected work of art faculty and staff and their educational philosophies.

Harriete


THINK-ing CRAFT Addresses Education

PencilMasterbkgd600
Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin is about the impact of standardized testing on education. It will be shown at DeAnza College. The opening is next week. Please come if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Art of Education
October 22 - December 7, 2012
Euphrat Museum of Art
DeAnza College
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA 95014
PLEASE COME TO THE RECEPTION
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
I will be there, it is my birthday!!!!!

The Art of Education exhibition will include Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin by Visiting Artist Harriete Estel Berman. Additional work by De Anza & Foothill Art Faculty and Staff will highlight the diverse yet interconnected work of art faculty and staff and their educational philosophy.

Below is a phenomenal lecture by Seth Godin about the current educational system. Watch it! 
This video aligns with many of the concepts behind my artwork about education.

Pencil3GREENIn this video Seth Godin says:

"Some of you have a number two pencil.... the number two pencil is famous because Frederick J Kelly made it famous.

Back around World War I we had a problem because there was this huge influx of students because we expanded the school  day to include high school students. And there was this huge need to sort them all out. So he invented the standardized test. An abomination!

He gave it up ten years later when the emergency was over, but because he gave it up, because he called it out, because he said the standardized test was to crude to be used.... he was ostracized and lost his job as the president  of a university, because he dared to speak up against a system that was working."

THNKing CRAFT. What is the impact of standardized testing on education?


HUMOR IN CRAFT

Humor in CraftThe exhibition Humor in Craft opened first at the Society of Contemporary Craft July 20,2012. I so wish that I could be there! What a hoot! Curated by Brigitte Martin, the exhibition is based on the book she authored by the same name Humor in Craft.

"Humor in Craft" opens at Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI.

Exhibition dates: March 4 - April 19, 2014

Opening is April's Fool Day, April 1, 2014 

Get the book from your local library or bookstore to see silly, serendipity, superfluous or simply entertaining interpretations of humor. Nothing is expected or ordinary. The full color book includes 235 makers.

There are several catalog essays from a wide range of authors. A round of applause to everyone that attempted to write about humor. What a challenge!  I found the essay by Garth Johnson memorable as he offered historical background on humor in ceramics.


Below a selections of work from the book:
CorncodeCraigNutt
"Corncorde" by Craig Nutt
Installed at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Sweet tooth necklace
Sweet Tooth Necklace by Sanna Svedestedt

DonnaMcCulloughdress
Team Mobiloil, by Donna M. McCullough

 

There are many more fabulous pieces.
Get the book. There is something for everyone!

I am thrilled to say I have several pieces in the book Humor in Craft. Womanizer Kitchen Queen (1982) is included in the exhibition Humor in Craft.

WomanizerFULL72
The blender body and lid are all painted copper construction. Essentially, I fabricated by hand a manufactured object as a commentary about our consumer society. Carefully constructed using sheet metal the appliances are not found objects.

The ballerina inside the transparent plastic blender container pirouettes to a wind-up music box playing "May Your Wish Come True".   (15" height x 5" width x 5.5" depth)

Womanizercrown72
A custom made pierced crown on the top of the blender container says: Misstress of the Home. Mistress (in the title is misspelled intentionally.) I wanted the "MISS" to refer to the Miss America style of beauty competitions. It is also autobiographical as my name "Harriete" means "mistress of the home". Imagine that!  Yes, it's true!  I AM kind of obsessive about my house. No Kidding. Come and visit. 

Womanizer_panel72
Womanizer, Kitchen Queen has a 10 Button Panel with a plastic lamination. There is brass lettering on the front. The small black lettering says: LOVE, HONOR, OBEY, CHERISH, MIX, BLEND, STIR, CREAM, SPREAD, BEAR.

This appliance is one appliance from a series of appliances made from 1980 - 1988.  (scroll down on the sculpture page to see all the appliances.)

Immediately below is a SlideShare presentation with audio about how I designed and packed this work for shipping.

 

 


Space Available in Upcoming Workshop

Harriete Estel Berman working on her seder plate for TuBishvat
Recycle, Repurpose,
                             RETHINK Materials

 There is still space left! to take this workshop with me at the Contemporary Jewish Museum  on Earth Day.
Sunday April 22,  2:30 - 5:00p.m

$18 includes admission to the Contemporary Jewish Museum, materials, and refreshments.

Celebrate Earth Day with an art workshop focused on recycled and repurposed materials.

Pomegranate angle on my seder plate for TuBishvat by Harriete Estel BermanTake a peek at the exhibition Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought, roll up your sleeves for ideas and inspiration with artist Harriete Estel Berman, then gather your own creativity to make samples and hands-on projects that bring post-consumer materials and eco-awareness into your classroom. Co-presented by SCRAP.

TuBishvat Seder Plate by Harriete Estel Berman is on display at the Contemporary Jewish Museum eite SAe
  TuBishvat Seder plate  by Harriete Estel
  Berman titled Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,
  Assiyah, Yetzirah, Beriyah,   
© 2001
  Post consumer recycled tin casn,
  Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

The workshop will be inspired by my use of post consumer, recycled materials for over 24 years to construct artwork ranging from jewelry and teacups to entire lawns and sculpture with social commentary.  Judaica focuses on the concept of Tikkun Olam (repair of the world) with the use of recycled tin cans.

This workshop is designed for teachers to gather ideas.

If you want to celebrate Earth Day with me on Saturday be prepared to work outside. I organize an Earth Day Clean Up for my neighborhood every year. Weeding for 8 hours is on the agenda, but help for only a few hours is completely fine. This is in San Mateo. Come help!

Fawn in the back yard
Fawn in my backyard.

California Quail in the front yard
Quail on my front steps.

Roots at Jekyll Island in Georgia2010
Amazing photo taken on Jekyll Island, Georgia.


Do you BELIEVE the arts have a voice in education?

ImaginecreativityI just heard the author Jonah Lehrer on n.p.r. radio last night. I hung onto every word. His book titled Imagine: How Creativity Works speaks to the messages in my installation Pick UP Your Pencils Begin

 

 

 

 

Library Pencil from Harriete Estel Berman

The arts and crafts do have a value in education beyond just an art lesson, but the arts and hands on learning can not be accessed with a number. There is no standardized test for teaching creativity and problem solving  - the very skills that Imagine: How Creativity Works is addressing. 

We live in a time where every class and subject is accessed for its contribution to the curriculum. The arts teach:

  • creativity,
  • problem solving,
  • open ended thinking,
  • skills of observation,
  • integration  of left and right brain thinking,
  • visualizing three dimensional construction,
  • and so much more.

Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin

What is the impact of standardized testing
on school curriculum when everything must be tested and measured? What happens when the arts are squeezed into a one hour slot, rushed, over scheduled, when there is no time to breath or think? Think and advocate for the arts and creativity in education.


2 stanine installation of Pick Up Your Pencils, BeginMy objective with my installation Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin is to reach out to a larger audience about the value of the arts in education.

 

 

Do you know of an exhibition location in your school, university gallery, or local museum?

  • Dimensions of installation 15' height x 28' width.
  • Installation ships in five boxes.
  • Each box is small enough to be carried by one person. 
  • Boxes weight approximately 32-35 lbs each.
  • Installation takes fours hours.
  • Hydraulic lift or scissors lift is necessary for installation.
  • Installation is possible with 3-4 people.
  • Exhibition rental $300. plus shipping and insurance.

Contact me ;
            650 345-4078
            bermaid [at] harriete-estel-berman.info


Are you steering without a compass? Failure is an inevitable cul-de-sac on the road to success.

Compass I listen to Charlie Rose every day (or at least every day if I can). Charlie Rose offers no nonsense interviews with the world's leaders in every walk of life or occupation from science, politics, actors, writers, politicians, directors, producers, and entrepreneurs. 

Charlie Rose I often find the speakers inspiring. These are the smartest, hardest working and usually, most articulate people in the world who are able to bring ideas and introspection to the plain wooden table of Charlie Rose.

Today, I want to share a couple of thoughts that may be helpful to artists and makers. Of  course, these quotes weren't really about art, or art careers, I have taken their words completely out of context, but their words of wisdom warrant being heard. In fact, I think they should be our mantra.

CharlesSchulzThe first quote is from an interview with  George Shultz, Former US Secretary of State from Monday, January 24, 2011. I have been savoring this for over a year now. He said, "If you don't have ideas, you don't have a compass." This opinion works for both our art work and for our careers. If we don't have a compass we don't know what direction we are going. It is very easy to get lost. We need a plan. We need a one year goal and a five year goal.

CharlieRosePeterGuberContinuing with inspiring thoughts from Peter Gruber on Charlie Rose - March 14, 2011
PETER GUBER:
  "Failure is an inevitable cul-de-sac on the road to success." 

"So the idea is you learn from it.  You don’t want to make the same mistake twice.  You want to be able to grow.  You want to be able to recognize that most of the stuff, the fear that you express is really false evidence appearing real.  It’s not, you know, it’s not always going to happen." 

COMPASSdrawing "So if you become, not immune to the failure, but you recognize that failure is a part of the process, when you take really good creative chances, when you really take good business chances, you will have failures.  And the idea is you learn from them and move on.  If they own you, if you surrender to them, then the pain is unbearable.  If you haven’t failed, you haven’t lived life to the fullest." 

Compass3draw PETER GUBER continues: "And you know, I think the idea is that failure and success are this close together, Charlie.  Inside every failure are the seeds to great success, and in every great success are the opportunities for failure."
END QUOTE

Harriete Estel Berman working on the pencils Whenever I am working on a new project, I think "failure and success" are very close together. Only hard work, skill, perseverance, intuition and insight help you find your compass. Experience has taught me not to give up.

Working on the pencil project Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin was discouragingly slow. I worked on it for four years. Talk about scary! Its finally done, and the work is being exhibited for the first time. I hope you can come to the reception on March 22, 2012 from 6-8 pm, at Castelleja. if you live near Palo Alto, CA. The next phase to make a video is going forward.  

So keep working...every day with a plan. And work on your compass.

Harriete
Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin
Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin
15' height x 28' wide, a as thick as one pencil

Anita Seipp Gallery
1310 Bryant Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Please come to the reception on March 22, 2012
See you there.

Gallery Hours:  10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
                         Monday through Friday and by appointment


Sticker Shock or A Real Bargain - It's All Relative To Framing

An editorial by Ryan Jones in The Crafts Report (November 2011) brought a fascinating TED Talk to my attention. Dan Ariely explains how "framing" different options can influence purchasing decisions.

Quoting Ryan Jones, editor of The Crafts Report, "Some people wonder why they should bring along some higher-priced items to a craft fair, especially if it's unlikely they will sell them. But, framing means that your highest-priced items can be a sales tool ...". Listen to the TED Talk by Dan Ariely to learn more about this concept.

TEDlogoI recommend listening to the TED Talk all the way to the end because it explains the logic behind why we artists should always have a big show stopper piece of artwork in our booths or in an exhibition to sell the smaller items. After the video, take a look at an example about how I am trying to apply this reasoning for my Judaica.

FIG Leaves and figs in an abstraction on my Tu Bishvat Seder plateHere is my practical example.
Right now I have a Seder plate for Tu Bishvat in the exhibition DO NOT DESTROY at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The price places this work outside the average consumer. My aspiration (or wish come true) is that a museum will buy this work for their permanent collection. 

Yellow Flower Scroll Mezuzah by Harriete Estel Berman Yellow Flower with Scroll Mezuah from recycled materials by Harriete Estel BermanTwo weeks before the museum exhibition opened,  I contacted the museum gift shop about selling some of my Mezuzot. Each mezuzah is priced at $175. That may put some people into sticker shock compared to the usual gift shop item, but it is a real bargain for the labor, preparation, skills, and design in each mezuzah. 

At the same time,  the mezuzot are affordable examples of my work with an environmental message that can be used every day. 

Everything is relative, and there are many factors that may influence the purchaser's decision including the perceived value of the artwork in the exhibition, and the validation provided by being included in the museum exhibition Do Not Destroy.

Keep this strategy in mind for your booth or next show. While the masterpiece of the show may or may not sell, it may be a prime factor in selling the other work.

I sold seven mezuzot during the show.

Harriete

 
Inside STAR of Tu Bishvat Seder plate by Harriete Estel Berman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Assiyah, Yetzirah, Beriyah ©  2011 by Harriete Estel Berman

(Above photo) Close up view of the center of the Tu Bishvat seder plate. If you shine a light on the center of the seder plate it reflects a Star of David on the ceiling(shown below.)
Star REFLECTION on CEILING  from Tu Bishvat Seder plate by Harriete Estel Berman

Tu Bishvat Seder plate by Harriete Estel Berman
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Assiyah, Yetzirah, Beriyah
                                                          ©     2011

Artist:Harriete Estel Berman
DIMENSIONS: 6” ht x 24” w x 20" d

Follow Me on PinterestIf you are interested in viewing the design, and fabrication of this Judaica TuBishvat seder plate, CLICK HERE to view an entire album on Flickr with step by step photos for this work in progress.


Prepare for Success - Workshop for Your Quest

CompassLooking for your path to success?

What direction do you want your work to go? What insights would you like to gain from someone with 30+ years of experience? Is your work consistent with your marketing?

 

April 28-29In April, I will be teaching a professional development workshop at Revere Academy as part of their Masters
Symposium
in San Francisco, CA.


Prepare for Success

April 28 - 29, 2012

 

Map of San FranciscoInternet Option
If you can't travel to San Francisco, Revere Academy is offering on line participation at a reduced cost! It would be nice to see you in person, but if you need to stay at home while juggling the rest of your life, this is a way to listen in on your computer.

Webinar participants will be able to view the instructor and Powerpoint presentations in real time via their computer, as will as submit their own questions and images for review by the instructor, much like the students who attend the class in San Francisco. Because this is the first time Revere has offered a webinar class,there is a special, one-time introductory price for the class of just $79!Download Prep for SuccessPR

Webinar participants are required to have a computer with a high-speed internet connection. To register for the webinar, call 415-391-4179.

MOO Business cards with images of artwork, jewelry and Judaica by Harriete Estel Bermand  ocardsHORIZONTAL72Appropriate for all media, this two day intensive workshop with Harriete Estel Berman will provide tons of information to super charge your professional development and gain from my 30 years of experience.

Learn how to use the power of social networking, blogs, and web sites to develop visibility and get your work noticed. Other topics will include maintaining proper records for the IRS, managing inventory, how to update your resume, and evaluate and upgrade your photos.

We can cover anything you want.  Your questions can guide the topics to be covered. 

Follow Me on Pinterest
Here are some suggestions for topics:


Professional Development resources

Your 20 second commercial

Guidelines for a critique group

Identify your business model.

Establish Your Professional Goals
   Define Objective
   Define Success
   Are your objectives and definition of success            consistent?
   How do you expect to achieve your objectives?
   Define your market.

Pricing and fabrication methods.
   Pricing Structure
   Falcher Fusager’s Pricing Formula
   Guestimation
   Comparative Pricing
   Include your Overhead
   Cost of goods sold
   Pricing Concepts.

Inventory Record Form
   Inventory Records:  Documentation and Provenance
   Hallmark or sign your work

Digital Image Package
   Label examples
   Image description sheet
   All prints and digital files information.
   CONTACT SHEET SAMPLE

Resume vs. CV
   Resume categories
   CV
   BIO

Artist Statement Recommendations
   Artist Statement Tips
   Artist Statement with description
   Envelope for your package

PUBLICITY EXAMPLE
   PUBLICITY  IMAGE
   SELF PORTRAIT
   WORKING IN THE STUDIO
   PHOTOGRAPH EVENTS

Emails and social networking

Strategies for juried opportunities

Publicity and Marketing 100+ ideas
   Book recommendation
   Pitch letter
   Mailing List strategy
   Thank you
   STATIONARY

Wholesale/Retail
   Minimum order for wholesale
   Return Policy

Delivery of work in person
   Shipping – One of a kind work
   Unpacking & Display instructions
     To Display
     Packing and Shipping
     Maintenance Instructions
     Shipping
     CONDITION REPORT
     SIMPLE PACKING LIST 

Profit or Loss?
     What are your options?
     Do you act like a business?
     Expense record examples.
     3 rules to test deductibility
     Expertise?
     Time & Effort?
     Track record
     Record of sales
     Do you act like a business?  I.R.S.

COPYRIGHT & Fair use

www.you
        Website resources
        Web what you need to do and why
        Blogs - blogosphere
        Basic SEO to implement

Any Questions: Contact me directly
bermaid [at] harriete-estel-berman.info
(area code 650) - then 571-7726
http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info


Preservation, Conservation, What is Appropriate Restoration?

At the 2003 SNAG Conference in San Francisco, I listened to one of the most surprising lectures I've ever heard. Between the hours of 8:00 - 9:00 in the morning a collector, Steven Cabella, gave a lecture titled, "Twenty-five years of Collecting Studio Craft Jewelry: Insights, Observations and Historical Patina". His collections are mid 20th century objects including furniture, though this lecture focused on his collection of mid 20th century jewelry.

For over an hour Cabella offered strong opinions from his unique perspective as collector that I have never heard before. It seems that he often loans objects from his collection to exhibitions -- his support of the arts community is commendable. What shocked me though was his STRONG opinions about preservation and conservation of mid 20th century objects. In his lecture he railed against restoration of jewelry in his collection such as polishing the work to its original finish.

Let me make this perfectly clear:

  • The silver jewelry was originally exhibited and sold with a highly polished finish in the mid 20th century.
  • In one example, the silver jewelry was restored in the original maker's studio (by the maker's son).
  • Cabella did not want the silver jewelry restored to it's original appearance but wanted the patina of 50 years to be evident.

Cabella very consciously wanted the patina of wear and fine scratches from a 50 year life span to remain and not be removed.

As a maker, I was conflicted by his opinion.  I had never questioned my own expectation that my work should be cleaned & polished for every exhibition. 

I wonder if the original maker would want the jewelry polished for an exhibition or not?
What is appropriate restoration? Should 50 year old jewelry look like "new" even 50 year's later?

Would the maker think the jewelry looked better with the "patina" of 50 years? Or should artwork look "aged" just because it is old?  Should older work look its age?

I don't know. I only know that this particular collector wanted the jewelry in his collection to not look "like new".

As an artist, I have to make choices in materials all the time.  And the decisions that I make today will affect collectors and curators somewhere out in the future (. . . hopefully).  

Everready Working  Woman by Harriete Estel Berman from 1984
Everready Working Woman by Harriete Estel Berman from 1984.

The sculpture shown above is from 1984. Titled, Everready Working Woman, this piece is an autobiographical sculpture. It will be shown in an exhibition, Humor in Craft, in Phoenix during the 2012 SNAG Conference.


When work that is 28 years old goes out to an exhibition, should I touch up the chips in the painted finish, fix the lipstick, and polish the metal?  I certainly planned to have the work look great for many years after its creation.  So how long is long enough to not look old?  When is it OK to start looking its age?

Have you ever thought about this issue? Any comments or solutions? Stay tuned to the next post where Merry Renk offers her opinion (uniquely seasoned and reasoned by 92 years of experience showing her silver jewelry).

Harriete

Everready Working Woman by Harriete Estel Berman from 1984wwORKING
Everready Working Woman is not a found object. It is carefully constructed by artist, Harriete Estel Berman, using traditional metalsmithing skills to create an appliance that appears to look like a manufactured object.

Details include a real drill chuck in the front, optional mixing beaters.
A Wonder Woman electric cord lariat with suction cup plug at the end.
View the spark gun through the yellow plastic window.
A lipstick cartridge fits up inside the handle.
The six-color eye shadow compartment housed in raygun body contains real make-up.

Copper and brass construction with painted or nickel-plated finish.
Everyready


Links to information mentioned on Jay Whaley Blog Talk Radio with Harriete Estel Berman

I'm live with Jay Whaley Blog Talk Radio on Thursday, January 5, 2012. The first interview of the New Year starts at 3:00pm. California time (the center of the universe or the edge of a rift, depends on how you look at it.)

Below are links to information that were mentioned on the radio show. A one stop resource for our conversation.

If we mentioned anything that isn't listed here, let me know.

Normally, I don't show a link in the text,  but it is listed here so you can copy the text easily and share it with a friend.

Let me know if you need anything else.
What's on your mind?

Harriete

PencilPoint3763closeup72“Pencils Make a Point” in American Craft  Magazine is a two page centerfold featuring the very personal and political side of craft. Harriete Estel Berman worked for four years collecting pencils from all over the United States and internationally as a  commentary about the impact of standardized testing on education. The bell curve curtain is 15’ ht and 28’ wide.
Read this informative article from the December/January 2012 issue of American Craft on line: http://www.americancraftmag.org/article.php?id=12761

Amercan Craft Article Pencils Make a Point about pencil sculpture.


Do you wonder "How This Article in American Craft Came to Be" featured in American Craft magazine?   Lots more is happening including the beginning of a new video about this work, tune in to find out more.http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2011/12/how-the-article-in-american-craft-came-to-be.html

                        *****

Alyssa Endo working on the pencil sculpture on the floor.kng8.24.2010_72Are you interested in learning about the assembly of this bell curve of pencils? There is an extended page on my web site with images of the fabrication from the last four years showing.  http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/sculpt/pencilPage.html

                


                      *****


TuBishvatOlivegreenonly72.800.7481Are you interested in the design and fabrication of Harriete Estel Berman’s work in tin cans. She recently finished new work for a show at the Contemporary Jewish Museum that opens in February.  Along the way, she created a Flickr album so you can view, step by step how Harriete designed this Seder Plate from concept through every step in the fabrication. http://www.flickr.com/photos/harriete-estel-berman/sets/72157627467970893/
View the finished work on her web site at: http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/juda/TuBishvatSeder.html

                          *****

AlysonStanfieldHarrieteHarriete Estel Berman is teaching
Prepare for Success
April 28-29, 2012

http://www.revereacademy.com/s/masters-symposium/prepare-for-success-with-harriete-estel-berman.html

This class is part of the Revere Academy Master’s Symposium series. If your interested there will also be a Skype level participation  for the first time ever at Revere.

 

                          *****

Symposiumflyer_1000WEB Forging Communities

 

 

 

 


The essence of success by Sienna Patti
http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2011/11/the-essence-of-success-by-sienna-patti.html

The Difference Between a Goal and a Wish by Brigitte Martin.http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2011/11/-the-difference-between-a-goal-and-a-wish.html

 

                          *****

 

Did you know that the SNAG 2011 
Professional Development Seminar
is available on line?
Recorded during the Houston SNAG Conference you can watch and listen to all six segments on the SNAG Professional Development Seminar page. http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/.docs/pg/10571
Or
http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/profguidelines/ProfDevSeminar.html

         
NICHE MARKETING and PHOTOGRAPHY IN FLUX were the themes.
This informative programming is available online at no charge courtesy of the NEA, MJSA and SNAG.

Issues include:

  • How to develop new markets for your work.
  • Ideas for marketing your work and visibility for your blog.
  • The importance of photography in marketing.
  • Are new standards emerging for photographic images?
  • Are the images representing your work well crafted and compelling?
  • What makes a good cover photo?
  • What camera features should I look for before I buy?
  • What are the ethics of Photoshopping images of my work?
  • Who owns the rights to the photograph?
  • What kind of "master image" should my photographer provide?


Additional discussion of all topics continues on ASK Harriete:
http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/professional_development_seminar/

Here are the links to individual topics:.
Niche Marketing link
http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/.docs/pg/10571#Niche%20Marketing

Digital Images File Extensions
http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/.docs/pg/10571#Digital%20Images

Photography in Flux – Three photographers
http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/.docs/pg/10571#Photography

Digital Photography Handouts
http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/profguidelines/PDS2011DigitalPhotographyHandout.pdf

Photography in Flux – Editor’s Perspective
http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/.docs/pg/10571#Photography2

How to Build a Better Drop Shadow
http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/.docs/pg/10571#PhotoShop

Questions and Answers about Niche Marketing and Photography in Flux
http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/.docs/pg/10571#2011QA

 

Professional Development Seminar 2010

Not Just Another Pricing Lecture
http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/.docs/pg/10571#Pricing


Looking for the Map Quest Version for Your Path to Success?

The New Year renews our optimism and focus on professional development, but we all have questions.
Map of San Francisco, California
What is your professional goal for the New Year?

Do you know how to get there?

Are you looking for the Map Quest version for your path to success? Can we offer directions?

Join me on Jay Whaley Blog Talk radio. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

3:00p.m.

ASK Harriete your questions live!
Join the conversation. Get Answers.

If you "register" you can participate in the live chat room.  . (Sometimes registration on Blog Talk is "fussy", so give yourself a couple of extra minutes before the show) Or log in using Facebook. This is super easy.

Or phone during the show  The call in number is (646) 716-571
Ask the show your questions.  One of my goals for the year is to open the conversation. What are the pressing issues in the arts and crafts community?

This online radio interview can be directed by your questions and is relevant to artists and makers working in all media.

  • What are the tips to success you want to know?

IF you can't listen live,  email Harriete or Jay Whaley studios your questions in advance.
[bermaid [at] harriete-estel-berman.info.
http://whaleystudios.com


Prepare for Success!
April28-29BROWNgrn
I am  teaching a workshop at Revere Academy as part of their Masters Symposium.

Stay tuned for more information on
Prepare for Success at Revere Academy in San Francisco, CA.  Dates April 28-29th, 2012.

Even though Revere Academy is focused on jewelry arts, and metalworking skills, this workshop is appropriate to all media.

Skype.greenbackgroundThere will also be a SKYPE level participation.
More news soon!



This two day intensive
with Harriete Estel Berman will provide you tons of information.

Subscribe to ASK Harriete for information through out the year.

Harriete


Happy Chanukah or "Eating Chinese Food on Christmas"

Chanukah already started and I forgot to tell you about my favorite books and resources for contemporary Judaica. The selection is small, in my opinion, but the potential audience for this genre has room for growth.

500 JudaicaLast year Lark Books published 500 Judaica: Innovative Contemporary Ritual Art. (Affiliate link) I  am very pleased to say that I have have several pieces in this book.    


A Collector's Guide to Judaica

 A Collectors' Guide to Judaica(Affiliate link) has an interesting selection of historical pieces with informative text. (It only has a few 20th century peices of Judaica.) 

 

 

 

Are you looking for images of contemporary Judaica that is not the generic gift store item?

L'ChaimThe Contemporary Jewish Museum still has a selection of catalogs from their Invitational Exhibitions. (The Museum Store ships domestically and internationally. Place an order by email, store@thecjm.org, or phone, 415.655.7888.)

In the order listed here (right):
L'Chaim!: A Kiddush Cup Invitational

 

Making ChangeMaking Change: 100 Artists Interpret the Tzedakah Box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ScentsofPurposeScents of Purpose: Artists Interpret the Spice Box

 

 

 

 

 

New WorksOldStories 


New Works, Old Stories

These catalogs are not listed online, but they are all beautifully executed with images of Judaica within traditional forms and beyond the expected.

Email me, I will make a recommendation for a catalog based on your interest.

BermanBookManCreation

Participation in the exhibitions at the Contemporary Jewish Museum has offered me the opportunity to create museum quality Judaica.

Many of the pieces that I made for these exhibitions have been purchased for the permanent collections of museums.

BermanBook7DayCreation

Shown to the left is "And there is Light" a spice book that holds a Havdalah box. 



If you are interested, all of my Judaica is shown on my web site.

Book with Havadalah Spice Box by Harriete Estel Berman
"And There was Light"                  2004

Seven hinged panels to create an accordion style book with removable Spice Box. This contemporary Judaica is constructed from recycled tin cans, spice tins, vintage steel dollhouses, 10 k. gold rivets, aluminum rivets, stainless steel screws. Available for purchase or exhibition.

Each panel    14.25” height x 9” width
Length of book completely open is 54".

 

Menorah by Harriete Estel Berman
Facets of Light        1999

Menorah constructed from pre-printed steel from recycled tin containers, "Pushke" Boxes used for the Jewish National Fund, and pre-printed steel from vintage doll houses. Aluminum rivets. One-half inch acrylic cubes function as feet under the menorah. Available for purchase or exhibition.

3" height x 21" width x 25.5" length

Menorah Jewish Star by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled materials.


M2L_YellowFlowerScroll72. askH
M2L_YellowFlowerScroll_bkah

Yellow Flower Scroll Doorpost Mezuzah
Dimensions: 7.25” Inventory number M2L.220
Retail Price $220. (Scroll not included)


"Prepare for Success" in an Art & Craft Business

[Shameless self promotion -- take a workshop with Harriete on business development and ASK Harriete your questions in person.

We all want to improve our tools for success.  In a two day workshop, gain a wealth of information on ways to accelerate your art/craft business skills.

April 28-29
Prepare for Success:
Crash course in running an arts and crafts business

I will be teaching this workshop at Revere Academy, San Francisco, April 28 and 29, 2012.  The hours for the class are 9 am to 5 pm.

DSCF2736

This class is not just for jewelers! While Revere Academy usually appeals to the hands on metalworking skills, in reality, all media have similar issues in running and managing an art and craft of business.



 

RAISE YOUR EXPECTATIONS.

Harriete Estel Berman organizing the installation of Pick Up Your Pencils, BegininstSaysSTOP72.800Professional practices are the day to day skills that lead to long term success.

Align your business activities to the style of your work.  The fundamentals of an art/craft business can be rewarding.

Learn how to use social networking, blogs, and your web site to develop visibility.

What are your one year goals? Five year goals?

Is your resume organized and updated? Learn some simple ideas for your business "housekeeping". Is that an oxymoron?

 How is your inventory management?

Are you maintaining proper records for the IRS? 

Pencil Point from Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin

Are your photographic images good enough?
Let’s take a look.

BrownbagSubmit specific questions in advance or plan to be spontaneous in the workshop.  The workshop is expected to be responsive to and directed by the participants. There is time for dedicated attention for each person.  

Bring your lunch if you want to spend the lunch hour discussing your work and marketing.

How do you define Success?
Is your work and business approach consistent with your goals and objectives?  
Is your definition for success a goal or a wish?

Raise your standards or at least redefine them.
Invest two days in your future.

Amercan Craft Article about Harriete Estel BermanRecent article in American Craft  Dec/Jan 2012 about my work. 

HARRIETE Estel Berman standing in front of my work at the Minneapolis Institute of Artsminneapolis
Harriete Estel Berman standing in front of her Seder plate at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.


How To Define Success?

Symposiumflyer_1000WEB The upcoming symposium sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Area Metal Arts Guild has me thinking...

A portion of the programming is titled, "What does Success Look Like in the Jewelry World?" The panel discussion will be lead by Sarah Turner, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Panelists include Lola Brooks (artist, faculty at Rhode Island School of Design), Brigitte Martin (Founder, Chief Editor of Crafthaus), and Sienna Patti (owner of Sienna Gallery).

The conversation continues right after lunch (1:30 p.m California time) with Professional Practices: Conversation, Questions, and Commentary. I am upfront and center stage to  answer questions from the audience. Hopefully, the previous speakers can be included in the "conversation."

TaraBranniganWe will have live Twitter feed by Tara Brannigan, and you can follow along, and even ask a question. No matter where you are.

 

 

The big question remains...How do you define success?

GryoscopeIs the definition of success external or internal? By external, I mean by measures such as the number of books or galleries that represent your work. External might be how much work you sell. Internal is how you feel inside. Do you meet your personal goals?

What do you mean by “Success”?

Is reputation a marker of success?

Is making money a definition of success? Do you have to make money to be successful?

If you sell work at high prices, is that a definition of success?

Is it possible to be a successful artist and never make any money?

Is money the sole definition of success in our society? 

What is the relationship between critical attention and financial success?

Measuring_cupsuccessThese are some really good questions.  If you're like me, perhaps you wrestle with these questions all the time.  All of the advice offered through the Professional Guidelines, ASK Harriete, or the Professional Development Seminar is based on experience and a measure of success.  But each measure of success is only one ingredient. Every recipe for success is going to be different.

I lay awake at night torturing myself. By daylight it  is much easier not to think such stuff and go make something in the studio.

This Saturday, the topics are live and shared for all to consider. I'd love to hear what you have to say. What is your question that if answered would bring you success?

How do you measure success?

Harriete800.72.7567
Harriete Estel Berman working in the studio on new Judaica Seder plate for Tu Bishvat. You can see the entire process of fabrication in a special album on Flickr.

RELATED POST:
What do you mean by “Success”? by Andy Cooperman


COMING UNGLUED: Learn How to Rivet and Screw (without screwing up!) - A Workshop with Harriete Estel Berman

To Be Both A Speaker of Words and a Doer of Deeds by Harriete Estel Berman00
COMING UNGLUED:
Learn How to Rivet and Screw (without screwing up!) 

is full!!!


DATE:
Nove
mber 19th, 2-5pm   fee: $40
Registration is filling up!
Contact SCRAP to sign up for the wait list...
so that you will be notified for the next workshop or subscribe to this blog's feed for ASK Harriete
(in the left column.) Another option, I understand that sometimes people don't show up even though they registered....so maybe if you are at SCRAP at 2:00p.m. you can fill an empty slot.


DevilInsideFRONT72grbkRecently, I've made two pilgrimages to SCRAP, A Source for the Resourceful in San Francisco to set aside interesting materials for our three hour lesson.

Learn how to attach layers of diverse materials together using simple riveting methods and small screws.  Paper, fabric, buttons, cardboard, plastic, metal, charms, and trinkets can all be made into presents or pins.
   
 Words Like Winter Snowflakes2Arrive early to hunt and gather at Scrap. Bring your own mementos to incorporate.  No previous experience needed.

If you are ready for a more advanced lesson, you can learn how to hide the pin stem or brainstorm lots of ideas with examples from up-cycled materials.

So much fun to learn, so little time.

Enroll early! Space is limited and the cost is modest.

SCRAP is a resource for the "artist" in all of us. Check it out!

Harriete

Authentic Iconic Copyright, Trademark and Patent

Authentic Iconic Copyright, Trademark and Patent

 

Collect Your Money Pin by Harriete Estel Berman
Collect Your Money Pin by Harriete Estel Berman

 

Devil Inside Pin holds a condom  for the devil inside
The Devil Inside Brooch by Harriete Estel Berman

 

Pin Words Like Winter Snowflakes172
Pbox1web
Words Like Winter Snowflakes by Harriete Estel Berman

Winning the Race With Time by Harriete Estel Berman Winning the Race With  Time back of pin by Harriete Estel Berman72
Winning the Race with Time Brooch

Learn how to make the back of your pins look great!

 


Use Your Camera As An Impartial Opinion - A Third Eye

I've been working really hard for the last three months on a major piece. The deadline is looming, I can't take a day off to look at my work with a fresh eye. This is a real concern.

TuBishvat seder plate in progress by Harriete Estel Berman
TuBishvat Seder Plate in progress. View every step from the past 2 1/2 months on Flickr.

emiko oye and Aryn  Shelander work on the TuBishvat seder plate in progress by Harriete Estel BermanLeaves7457.72800Sometimes, I am lucky enough to have my husband, children or studio assistant offer their opinions. Thank goodness!

 

An impartial opinion and a fresh set of eyes are absolutely essential.

emiko oye and Aryn Shelander working on the TuBishvat seder plate in progress by Harriete Estel BermanAryncloseleaves72.800.7462
emiko oye and Aryn Shelander working together to fine tune the images in tin.

But all too often, like last night, I am by myself making really important decisions with no one to offer an impartial opinion, a third eye. After hours and hours of working each day, I am running into decision fatigue and can no longer see my work objectively. Does this ever happen to you?

It's a real problem -- the brain compensates by filling in less than perfect information. How can I find out if my next solution is "working" visually? How can an artist see their work with a fresh eye when there is no time to take a break?

TuBishvat seder plate in progress by Harriete Estel Berman TuBishvat seder plate in progress by Harriete Estel Berman

Here's one solution:

USE YOUR CAMERA FOR AN IMPARTIAL OPINION
A few quick photos in the studio can really help you see your work in a new way.


TuBishvat seder plate in progress by Harriete Estel BermanTuBishvat Seder plate without leaves at the top of the apple.

Take out your digital camera and take a few photos.

Upload to your computer and evaluate the images.

Here is an example.  Compare two possibilities.

TuBishvat seder plate in progress by Harriete Estel BermanTuBishvat seder plate in progress by Harriete Estel Berman

The left image has three leaves on the top of the apple. The right image has one leaf over the top of the apple.  Which do you like better?

The photos can help you see your work in a whole new way. 

Next time you're "stuck" trying to make a decision, take a few photos.  Or, . . . another person I know scans her work on her scanner.  Either way, capture an impartial opinion - a third eye and a fresh perspective on your work.

It really works!

Harriete

Next Post: Planning the best possible photographic images of your work.


Handcuffs, As Jewelry? - Symbol of Oppression in Fashion

When my daughter was fourteen I started “The Fulsome Game” (see photo below), inspired by the comparison (or should I say the shocking similarity) between three different game boards from 1966, 1967 and 1995. Adding to the culture shock for this women’s lib mother/artist were the magazines marketed to young girls filled with underwear, make-up, nail polish and articles about “how to look good” or “what do boys want in girls.”

Fulsome_fullview72

Our culture sells this fulsome game of excessive advertising, consciously and subconsciously selling an incessant message that limits females to stereotypical roles that superficially focus on appearance instead of substance.

Fulsome Game by Harriete Estel Berman sends a powerful message.

When will women be unshackled from the limitations of these formulaic and limited roles?

DiceGRRoll the dice…

Well, I couldn't believe what I found in a recent issue of Elle Magazine discovered at the gym. What I thought was going to be entertainment turned into concern when I noticed this image below
                                  handcuffs as jewelry!

EllenHANDCUFFSshoes

I (reluctantly) borrowed the magazine and scanned the page for your viewing. 

ElleindexHANDCUFFS

The above image was taken from a full page fashion spread of HOT items currently "in fashion." Something is wrong
here if "hot fashion" items are handcuffs for women as jewelry. 

Sure you can say, "don't buy it".... but I am objecting to the message.

In case you think that the one pair of handcuffs was an anomaly here is an entire page of hand cuffs as fashion accessory from the same magazine.

 ElleHandcuffsFASHIONspread

Interesting that the handcuffs are shown with very high heels on both pages of fashion images. The high heels give the appearance of longer legs, but at the extreme they incumber womens' ability to walk. The extreme high heels themselves are like ankle shackles. Handcuffs as jewelry??!  Bondage as metaphor?!! An amazing combination of shackled hands and ankles.

I want to be as fashionable and attractive as most other women....but why is it that "fashion" thinks it is attractive to wear items of subjugation and pain (handcuffs and extremely high heels)?

MORE BACKGROUND BELOW ABOUT MY COLLECTION OF GENDER specific games that inspire my past artwork (some highlighting handcuffs).
Come to my studio
to see the extensive collection of toys.

Fulsome Gamer by Harriete Estel Berman uses handcuffs to send a powerful message. _fullview72

As mentioned at the beginning, "The Fulsome Game" was inspired by three vintage game boards that I collected in my feminist study of our material culture. 

What ShallI I Be Board Game owned by Harriete Estel Berman inspires artworkThe oldest game is titled “What Shall I be? The exciting game of Career Girls” © 1966.

It offered six possible careers to young girls playing the game: ballerina, model, actress, flight attendant, nurse, and school teacher. 

Game cards in the box make a range of comments, some positive and many negative, for example
YOU ARE A QUICK THINKER. Good for: Airline Hostess and Nurse”
YOU ARE OVERWEIGHT.  Bad for: Airline Hostess, Ballet Dancer and Model."
"YOU ARE PRETTY. Good for: Model and Actress."
"YOUR MAKE-UP IS TOO SLOPPY. Bad for: Airline Hostess and Mode."l
"YOU ARE A SLOW THINKER. Bad for: Airline Hostess and Nurse.Another game board."

Continuing with more revelations from my collection of gender specific toys:

Front.72 Back72

Side372Above and left is the front and the back of a “Campus Queen” lunch box circa 1967. The lunch box came complete with a thermos, two magnetic game pieces and a spinner.

The game board had spaces with statements like:
"YOU NEED A HAIRDO FOR THE PROM, GO BACK TO THE BEAUTY PARLOR” and “YOUR HEM IS DOWN! WAIT 1 TURN TO FIX IT!"

Roll the dice, advance thirty years!   In 1997 my eight-year-old daughter was given a Barbie game called, “’ We Girls Can Do Anything GameWe Girls Can Do Anything’ Game, Travel the Path that Leads to the Career of Your Dreams” © 1996.

After all of these years the career options had improved only slightly (didn’t the feminist movement have any impact)?   Now, the career options are: ballerina, fashion designer, actress, musician, pilot, and doctor, but every character is dressed in Barbie pink including the pilot and doctor.

I could not hold myself back from this commentary in the piece "The Fulsome Game" .

Here is a really interesting video that adds some further perspective. Read the comments. What do you have to say?

Harriete

 

 


Make Work YOU WANT TO MAKE and then... THE WORK Will Find a SHOW

Harriete,
I have spent the afternoon reading Ask Harriete.  Often times, I see a show I feel my work would fit into...due to the subject matter, title, etc., however, there is NOT enough time to create a piece and get it submitted in time .  After reading what you say in the Etsy Recycler's Guild interview of Harriete Estel Berman interview (from Etsy Recycler's Guild  , I am surprised to see, that you most likely enter shows after the work is done. 

Or as you once told me, you shop the work around in order to find an exhibition space.  So, what can you offer to those of us who have the problem?  

Mary Anne Enriquez

Harriete Estel Berman standing near Measuring Compliance at the exhibition ManufracturedbstandingThis issue often causes artists and makers to feel overwhelmed.  Your schedule is already full and then an opportunity arises that would demand even more time. Who can just drop everything and start
                                                    something new?

Although I do make work for some shows (and will show some examples in the next post on ASK Harriete),  I prefer to make work that I want to make based on my long term goals.

I recommend that all artists and makers make the work they want to make.

Measuring Compliance Poster
Measuring Compliance Poster
portrays sculpture by the same title.
Measuring Compliance © 2006
Recycled materials, 3rd grade desk,
3rd grade chair, banners, custom made
straight jacket, yardstick, rulers.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

It is the artist's or maker's responsibility to bring  important or significant ideas to fruition without the dictates of a theme, exhibition or invitation. Maybe these ideas are big, expensive, demanding, or even scary. So what if it takes a year or more to finish because you have to put it down, work on your day job or other art work that makes money. Just keep working with the big goals in mind.

If you wait for a show invitation to start making something big or important, you may never get around to creating significant artwork. Too often, I have heard from artists expressing disappointment that they didn't  get invited to be part of a particular exhibition even though they had been thinking about making something that would have been "perfect" for the show.  Don't wait for a show to prompt the making . . .  start making.  By waiting to make something "for a show" ... they lost an opportunity.

The emphasis is on making work that is challenging, significant, and stands on its own . . .  not making work that fits into a show in a few weeks.   Make work that you will be proud of for a lifetime.  Sooner or later a show or some other opportunity will turn up that is right for your work -- not the other way around.

Alyssa Endo working on Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin HERE IS AN EXAMPLE:
I just finished the project Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin.
It took the better part of five years. I often had to put it away until  I had time or help available to work on it.

Penci lBrotheres Pencils in Pick Up Your Pencils Begin by Harriete Estel Bermans582bellcurve

Most often, the bigger or high risk projects aren't necessarily the ones  that will sell, but they may become the "show stopper" that establishes your reputation years later.


Close up of Pencils fabrication Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin by Harriete Estel Berman Here is my real life example.    The  day before I finished Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin, a major magazine emailed about writing an article on a topic highly relevant to this work! Wow!!!!! They need photos of the installation, so now I need to find an exhibition space.

This wasn't magic. I have also been working on documenting the construction of this artwork, writing about it on my web site, Facebook, my blog, Crafthaus and other social networking sites.

Website for Harriete Estel Berman The editor had become aware of this project from my web site. I've had a link on my HOME PAGE ever since I started the project.

Apparently editors and writers spend some of their time "trolling"  the internet for ideas and new work. Marthe Le Van, editor for Lark Books talked about this during her presentation for the Professional Development Seminar. A lesson to all of us to keep making your work, documenting your progress, never give up...steady progress wins the race!

MAKE WORK YOU WANT TO MAKE and then... find an exhibition space.

Anyone know of an exhibition space for Pick UP Your Pencils, Begin?

I'd love to hear your ideas! There are 3-4 weeks before the article goes to press.

Harriete

You can see the documentation of Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin on my web site.

NEXT POSTS on ASK Harriete:

  • Is it fruitless to even think of creating something fast to get into a show?
  • How Do You Find Exhibition Opportunities For Finished Work?

The Billboard Art Project Breaks ART BOUNDARIES in Duluth, MN

Normally we see art and craft in galleries, museums, stores, or online -- seldom does a venue actually reach out to the general public.  Well, that's about to change!  The Billboard Art Project breaks through all the ivory tower gates and grabs the attention of the commuting audience with BILLBOARD SIZE IMAGES of art.   AND . . . my artwork is included in the Billboard Art Project!   How exciting!

Two teacups by Harriete Estel Berman  from Consuming Conversation on a Billboard in Duluth MN as part of the Billboard Art ProjectA billboard obtained from Lamar Advertising by The Billboard Art Project will display site-specific artwork for a continuous period of 48 hours on their billboard in Duluth, MN. They selected 59 artists from all over the U.S. and Europe to have their artwork images exhibited in an eight-hour show that will repeat six times. The images in this post will be shown along with the other artists beginning at midnight Friday night through Saturday and Sunday until midnight Sunday night. Wish I could see the real thing. 


Three cups from Consuming Conversation by Harriete Estel Berman  on a Billboard in Duluth MN as part of the Billboard Art ProjectIn addition to providing artists with a free venue to display their art, free art shows are provided to the public, thus initiating a dialogue between artists, viewers and the public landscape. How cool is that?

Three Art Jewelry bracelets by Harriete Estel Berman are part of the Billboard Art Project in Duluth, MNtH
WHERE: Billboard Art Project - Duluth, MN

LOCATION: Digital LED Billboard at the intersection of
               E Central Entrance and S Blackman Avenue
              (southeast corner)
               Duluth, Minnesota, 55811

WHEN: Saturday, August 20th at 12:01 a.m. through
           Sunday, August 21st  11:59 p.m.

Series of Golden Girl Bracelets from the Californina Collection of Jewelry by Harriete Estel Berman is part of the Duluth, MN Billboard Art ProjectlleABOUT:
Billboard Art Project is a nonprofit organization that acquires digital billboards normally used for advertising and repurposes them as roadside art galleries. Projects are held in cities all over the country and are open to all individuals and groups who are interested in participating.

PARTICIPATE in the Billboard Art Project:
If you want to submit images of your art or craft for future locations, more information can be found at The BillBoard Art Project. Each city has different requirements, dimensions, and deadlines. Read the PDF super carefully! You have to resize your images to fit the Billboard dimensions, and it takes time to label your images properly. Your fabulous images could be a billboard.  I think this is a fabulous idea!

Harriete

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS for Duluth, MN listed below:
Alex Lange, Alli Miller, Amanda Mead, Becky Kehrwald, Brian Barber, Brian Nogues, Brian
Rauvola, Cat Bottoms Newby, Chau Dang, Claire Accardo, Connie J. Frisch-Cherniak, Dana M. Johnson, David J. Thompson, David Morrison, Elizabeth Shores, Ellen Mueller, Erin O’Daniel, Erin Rolf, Flavio Galván, Ginny Lloyd, Happy Accidents, Harriete Estel Berman, Jacob Riddle, Jason Sayner, Jeredt Runions, Joelle McTigue, Joshua Barber, Julia Whitney Barnes, June Bisantz, Justin Anderson, Justin Jorgensen, Karlie Thomas, Katerina Lanfranco, Kelsey Bosch, Kerry Woo, Kiyomi, Kristian Bjørnard, Laura Cinti, Laurel Beckman, Laurie Paravati, Luisa Pulido, Marcellous Lovelace, MaryAnn Cleary, Michael Harford, Michele Guieu, Mitchell Bercier, Nadia Pacheco, Natalee Parochka, Natalee Phelps, Phyllis Fox, Rachael Gorchov, Rachel Halgren, Sarah Jacobs, Scott Murphy, Seeking Kali, Shaun Irving, Stephanie Thompson, Tracy Stampfle, Wes Kline


Craft Forward Symposium 2011 - Keeping Your Radar Up for Opportunities

CraftforwardBANNER
The Craft Forward Symposium 2011 is sponsored by the California College of the Arts on April 1 to 3. I've been hearing about this upcoming symposium for over a year through a whispering "telephone game" in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Symposium is almost on my home turf. (Actually it is an hour a way from my house.)  I plan to attend and gobble up every word.  I don't want to miss a minute!

Grass_SWangle The Symposium will also feature an exhibition titled, Manufractured. This show is a new iteration related to the book of the same name (which includes a whole chapter about 41+veDJYNuL._SL160_my work). The premise of the exhibition is that all the work uses re-purposed manufactured materials. (More in a future post.)

The lead up to is Craft Forward symposium and the exhibition Manufractured are good examples for every artist and maker.

Radar-dish_Antenna 1) The importance of keeping your radar up for opportunities. You've got to be listening to the rumors, working with your local arts organizations, and reading your magazines to catch the opportunities. (see the bottom of this post for another opportunity.) 

While the list of speakers makes this a really interesting EVENT (YES, EVENT with capital letters), it doesn't seem that it was very well publicized. Why?

Measuring Compliance sculture about education by Harriete Estel Berman 2)  Every artist and maker will benefit from the nuggets of information from the speakers of Craft Forward. I plan to write something about every "session" so that everyone can benefit from this symposium.

Subscribe to ASK Harriete or check back regularly.This is our chance to hear what the leading lecturers, curators and writers have to say about the future of our respective and collective medias.

Every post will be as brief a possible. I will try to organize each blog post:

  • Title of lecture with session speaker(s)
  • Summary
  • What did I learn?
  • What were the thought provoking issues raised? 
  • What questions were Asked and Answered?
  • Background about the speakers.

GameBoardgreen1wed Share this information with your fellow artists and makers. Give a shout out! 

"Craft Forward examines the multifaceted practices that both distinguish and blur the historically charged boundaries." "The symposium brings together a diverse group of makers and thinkers to explore the ethos of craft and its resurgence in the 21st century."

This blog post is your early notice. Stay tuned for daily blogs for about two weeks until each and every lecture, presentation, event and discussion is covered.

Stay tuned.

Harriete

Below is information from the Craft Forward web site about who is sponsoring the symposium:
"Generous support for the Craft Forward symposium is provided by an anonymous donor and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Additional support is provided by Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and by the Chalsty Aesthetics and Philosophy Initiative, made possible by a grant from the Chalsty Foundation. Special thanks to the American Craft Council for their partnership in the realization of the symposium."


What does Craft Forward mean to you?GameBoardgreen1wed

MOO cards HORIZONTAL72 P.S. Great MOO discount if you never bought Moo Cards before. A 20% discount off  your entire order until the 30th of March. Use this unique code M6QMNG

Remember, it's only valid until 11.59pm (PT) 30th March 2011 - so place an order before then! You should also  know that the 20% discount does not apply to Shipping, Rush Printing, or Logo Design.


MAKERS: A History of American Studio Craft - HOT OFF THE PRESS!

IMG_5245 Arriving home from my family vacation at the beach, I found a mountain of mail waiting for me.  But thrill upon thrill, there was my copy of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, HOT OFF THE PRESS!  Ordered weeks ago, it has finally arrived!!!!!.

This book took five years of research and intensive effort from Bruce Metcalf and Janet Koplos. As mentioned in a previous post, this book was designed and written as a college level text book on the history of craft in the 20th century published by The University of North Carolina Press. It looks like a text book with only about one picture per page. This is definitely not a picture book. IF you aren't familiar with craft history you might want to read this book next to an internet resource for quick reference.

Makers: A History of Studio Craft

Essentially, it is the one and only book of this kind published to date. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to read the entire book word for word, cover to cover.

Joking aside, I am not kidding. This book is bound to be a milestone in the studio craft movement of the 21st century.  

SLIMfast
Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture
Recycled tin cans, battery motor, alum.
rivets, dial, screws.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 1994
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

The first chapter starts with "The Roots of Studio Craft" in the 19th century, but thereafter, each and every chapter covers one decade after another in the 20th century. My joy and excitement is that an image of my work, Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture, is included in the final chapter titled, "1990-1999 Mastery As Meaning" along with a column of commentary text.



So far the best price I've found for Makers: A History of American Studio Craft is on Amazon.com In the interest of full disclosure, clicking on the link and purchasing a book will provide this blog with a few cents as an affiliate link.

IF you don't want to buy your own book, then I suggest you ask your local library system immediately , and put your yourself at the top of the waiting list.

Harriete


How do you find venues for your work? Asking ASK Harriete, the artist, a few questions

"Hi Harriete!
Ive recently been listening to all the past Whaley studios blog radio programs and have gotten up to your interview a few weeks ago. What a great interview! It gave me a chance to know a little more about you and your work...from your own mouth!

After listening I had a few questions about your installation/museum work: How does it work? Do you come up with an idea, make the work, then try and shop it around to different venues? Or do you try and fill an already perceived need a venue may have? Or something else?

What sort of monetary arrangements are there (if any) for just showing the work (instead of the piece being acquired by a museum)?

Stevie B.

Blades
Grass/gras' sculpture close-up © 2001
Recycled tin cans, steel base
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

That's a lot of questions.I will do my best to give you some quick answers.

Grass/gras sculpture about our consumer society by Harriete Estel Berman
Grass/gras' sculpture close-up © 2001
Recycled tin cans, steel base
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Mostly, I come up with an idea, make the work and then "shop it around", as you call it.  This takes a  considerable amount of time from start to finish. For example, the Grass/gras' installation took a year to make plus another year to finish the Grass/gras' video. The series of 200 cups titled, Consuming Conversation (see images below), took four years plus another year for the two videos. In both cases I photographed earlier examples and started promoting the work before it was finished. Considering the entire effort, both projects took several years from inception to the finished work because I need to keep up on other work that makes money during the same period.

It often takes years until a piece becomes known, shown in exhibitions, or published in books or magazines with images widely distributed. The Internet really helps with that aspect of promoting your work, but it is important to maintain your focus and keep on working no matter what.
 

SLIMfast
Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture
Recycled tin cans, battery motor, alum.
rivets, dial, screws.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 1994
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Sixteen years after completion, Hourglass Figure: the Scale of Torture is  included in the book Makers: A History of Studio Craft.  I haven't seen the book yet, but this is really big news! You have to plant your seeds and nurture them. You can not wait for opportunities and invitations to show up, you need to create the momentum by working all the time.

Pencils Sharpening System in the studio of Harriete Estel BermanI have been writing about a current artwork in progress involving a bell curve made from #2 pencils on my web site and Facebook. This is the fourth year of working on this project, but I am really trying to finish it this year. When I have some preliminary photos, I will start looking for exhibition spaces.

There is no money that I know of for these big projects. Once in a great while I get a little money to make a video or to speak about a piece. Big projects like this are time consuming, drain my financial resources, drive me insane, fill me with self doubt and torture -- it is not a picnic.  Yet this is what I see and must do.  It is my expression of art.

Next post answers the question: "How do you transport the larger work?"  Another real world question from several readers  of ASK Harriete.

Harriete


Consuming Conversation a series of 200 teacups construced from recycled tin cans.

Consuming Conversation © 2004
Teacup sculpture from recycled tin cans.
Handles are sterling silver, or bronze.
This was the first photo I had for the
series and started promoting the series
through this image with note cards
and images. 
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


Anticipating History - MAKERS: A History of American Studio Craft

41OiZd-LhGL._SL160_ Makers: A History of American Studio Craft is the only comprehensive survey of modern craft in the United States and the release date is July 13, 2010!

This book follows the development of studio craft media including  fiber, clay, glass, wood, and metal from its roots in nineteenth-century reform movements to the rich diversity of expression at the end of the twentieth century.

Culminating after over five years of research and dedication from the authors Bruce Metcalf and Janet Koplos, this book provides a college level history of 20th century craft. But there is no need to go to college for this class, as the book gives in-depth perspective to inform your studio work. 

Many times craft is considered just a description of materials or techniques when in fact, craft can contain social and political commentary. As we enter the 21st century, the act of making or crafting by hand is in itself a social commentary.  When "makers" deliberately decide to make work in a time of mass produced consumer goods, craft is not just a media, not just a verb, but a symbolic action. 

Increasing Quantity Diminishing Value a sculpture as commentary about our consumer society by Harriete Estel Berman
  Increasing Quantity, Diminishing Value
 Recycled tin cans, copper base
 Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 2001
 Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Due to the depth and range across so much media, this book is destined to be the consummate resource about the history of 20th century craft work.  By understanding the roots of craft media in the 20th century, both the makers and their audiences can more fully appreciate and recognize the value of craft in the 21st century.   

I've already pre-ordered a copy.  Personally, every time a UPS truck drives up near my house, my heart jumps out of my chest.  Is my book here yet?  I am so excited!  But then I go back to work  . . . anticipation is  . . . well, more inspiration until my book arrives. Can't wait!  And I have a secret to be revealed as well!!!! 

Increasing Quantity Diminishing Value a sculpture as commentary about our consumer society by Harriete Estel Berman
 Increasing Quantity, Diminishing Value
 Recycled tin cans, copper base
 Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 2001
 Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Harriete

So far the best price I've found for Makers: A History of American Studio Craft is on Amazon.com.  (Even better than the price I paid, Aw Shucks!!!)  In the interest of full disclosure, clicking on the link and purchasing a book will provide this blog with a few cents as an affiliate link.

Grass closeup view of Increasing Quantity Diminishing Value a sculpture about the environmental impact of lawns.
Increasing Quantity, Diminishing Value is about the environmental impact of lawns on our environment. Constructed entirely from post consumer tin cans, this series of grass sculptures highlight the grass lawn as an ultimate consumer icon of American culture. Watch the video featuring the construction and motivation behind the Grass/gras sculpture on my web site or YOUtube.