Wednesday, February 24, 2010

turn of events

The events of the past couple of days have left us surprised and a bit tired out. I had to remove my 'fighting back' post because it worked! We are now being taken seriously and there is no need to make the point. The response was huge. I thought a few people would send in a note...nope, my inbox is full. Its a good feeling, to know that there are so many folks that have our back.

I'm researching symbols that embody community, family and good intentions. As an artist who is completely entranced by symbolism, its often more time consuming to develop the perfect image to accompany an idea. I want to share how this experiance has affected us. How can I put into words how it feels to be small and then to see so many come to our aid? I can't, not really. So I will send out this token into the world, to remind us that we are not alone, or powerless.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Ok, I debated with myself and with Greg about posting this, as it generally plunges me into a pit of fury, then depression when I think about the subject. We are being knocked off again. Our pieces are being molded and reproduced without our consent. We actually have the receipts from when they purchased the goods from us. Now, this in and of itself is not new or surprising, as it happens all the time, its just this time the person is in full knowledge. They know who we, know that this is our sole source of income and know that this will hurt us. Over the years I've kept these incidents quiet, since they are so unpleasant to think about.

But I lost it today when I opened my favorite beading magazine Stringing (I still love them. Its not their fault.) and found some of our work credited to the offending party. My heart lurched and my eyes stung as I stood there, feeling like I got slapped. I knew this company had over thirty of our designs reproduced- a customer in San Francisco had an 'incident' with the culprit (and I will love her always for it!) and phoned us immediately with the news of what this company had on the table - our work in other metals and seeming much smaller and not as detailed. We have a lawyer and she will undoubtedly flatten them with the law. But since our discovery, this company has stolen from FOUR other artist friends! So much of the line is composed of stolen designs.

This incident has left my family deflated and angry. We usually try to make a bunch of designs, to prove that WE don't have to steal and that our well of creativity is deep, but this time, we haven't made anything. I've found myself wondering if it wouldn't be smarter to focus on designing finished work, so its a little harder (and more expensive) for thieves to get. Or, buying land near the ocean and painting landscapes for tourists and living off the bounty from our garden. Alright, that is mostly fantasy, since my landscape capabilities aren't great. Its just these companies are taking the joy out of what we do. Its hard to make new work when you know that piece will be stolen. I feel like starting over, so this horrible feeling will go away. Anyway, I'm not sure if its a good idea to post this, since its so private and its going on right now, but I have to trust that sharing this bit of our struggle will somehow help. I'm also certain this company will continue to 'add' to their 'line' till they are stopped and want to warn artists to be on the lookout. So here is the main company guilty of copyright infringement:

Forever Silvers

If you are vending on the west coast and want more info on this person, email me. I also want to thank (again!) all the loyal customers that spoke up for us and helped us during this stressful time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

mini vacation

Hello! I've spent the last couple of weeks in a sort of mini vacation, while Greg and Andrew were in Tucson. I say 'vacation' because it was a break from routine. For starters, my best buddy Jessica came down for a visit (here she is with Azalea, surrounded by empty mugs of liquid truffles at the Chocolate Lounge). We've been friends since college and when we get together its always an adventure. We traveled south to Orlando for the International Doll Expo and had a great time admiring all the dolls. We called it research and developement since we've been planning to make the perfect doll since we met. I brought Max strapped to my chest and he was a hit - we kept getting stopped so folks could admire a 'real' doll!

When we got back to Asheville, I repainted this doll for Jessica, to spread the fun. Although its more like some crazy addiction...ask any doll collector.

One thing we like to do when we get together is cook. We made lots of delectable feasts, pictured here is a steak seared in butter, parmesan bacon risotto, broiled brussel sprouts and little peppadew peppers stuffed with cream cheese and crab. It was delicious.

I filled these capules made by Shannon Hill with miniature drawings, the tiniest polymer mushrooms and miniscule crystals, capped with pmc. A couple of artists that worked with Shannon are working to reproduce the capsules and we'll be carrying them as soon as we get a batch.

I liked this picture of Azalea and Max, she is so loving to him (can't you tell?). Well, Jessica went home Sunday and I was bummed for awhile, so I holed myself in my studio to continue sorting my stuff and tinting drawings in my sketchbook with watercolors. It was nice to fall back into a rhythm again. Greg and Andrew got home late Wednesday night, road weary and bearing gifts. The house is bustling with activity, a change from how quiet it is with just Azalea and Max.