Years ago I was working on a project for an interior designer.
She gave me a picture of a Giacometti Dinner table with the squarie
legs set diagonally so a flat face was on the corner and diagonal
reinforcing rungs at the bottom, a small platform for a sculpture at
the x of those braces and a few other distinct things, the legs had
platforms for tall thin sculptures out from the corners.
I really like this, she said, but I want to do coffee table that is
5 ft sq.
Ok now you can imagine the difference in tall and slender and Gimly
the stocky dwarf. I set about playing with ratios, and looking for
I lost the corner mounted sculpture stands, kept the square legs and
squashed them down to nearly a third their height so the column
stayed the same but was short and fat. I took that form and lost foam
sand cast it in fairly coarse playground sand to get a real
interesting texture. I scaled up the stringer size so it was not lost
against the mass of these now stocky corner legs. Designed my own
center sculpture stand. Got some commercial bronze angle framed up
the top with the smooth extruded stuff, did a nice patina and
The Client was happy.
A couple years later I was in the Guild Sourcebook and I put in a
picture of my one of a kind table.
I immediately received a cease and desist notice from some lawyer
representing some other person making faux finish steel tables with
diagonal stringers and legs. Claiming they owned that detail.
Don’t think so…
I might not, but you sure don’t “Johnny come lately.”
On a similar note my friend Bruce received a cease and desist order
claiming damages to some 22 year old who claimed a piece that had
been published in a newspaper was an obvious copy of his client’s
brilliantly inspired work. Bruce told them he had no intention of
stopping making art in any manner that he cared to explore, but that
ceasing wasn’t really a problem since he had stopped making that
style 37 years ago when he got bored with it. It sold well, it just