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Questioning an add for a class


#1

I am not sure how to approach this matter, but since I noticed a few
of the names in this add are members in orchid, might be a good
place to start. I will not name names of people or institutions,
unless absolutely necessary. here is the Add in an adult education
program for a class offered for this spring titled Masters in Motion,
it goes on to say "In this exciting new class, students will learn
the techniques of the most well known master metalsmihts! the First
class will focus on fabricating a link using Alexander Calder’s
riveting techniques. each following class will be spent making charms
in the style of artists such as Cynthia Eid, Sandra Enterline,
Alexander Calder, Vina Rust, Barbara Heinrich, Charles Lewton Brain
and Andy Cooperman. Students will Finish the class with a beautiful
bracelet reflecting all the styles the learned. Don’t miss
thiinformative Fun class. "I was wondering if any one had opinions on
this add, presenting a class in a museum program to students who are
reading these names and being swayed /attracted one way or another,
not because of the techniques taught but names associated with
star/master quality levels of education? I am familiar with the
persons level of expierince and she is at an intermidiate level
herself, just wondering if anyone in orchid land reading this had
the same reaction I had. specially the artists mentioned having their
names used in an add for a class that they may have nothing to do
with? in my mind it is just a case of name dropping, so they
canfill/meet the class quota?I would be intrested to hear from the
teachers/educators on list too.

Hratch Babikian Atelier
Hratch Babikian


#2

was (Subject: Questioning an add for a class) but i did not see any
responses, wondering if it was the wrong title and no one cought it?
or maybe no one intrested in the question.the older message starrts
here, I am not sure how to approach this matter, but since I noticed
a few of the names in this add are members in orchid, might be a
good place to start. I will not name names of people or institutions,
unless absolutely necessary. here is the Add in an adult education
program for a class offered for this spring titled Masters in
Motion, it goes on tosay "In this exciting new class, students will
learn the techniques of the most well known master metalsmihts! the
First class will focus on fabricating a link using Alexander Calder’s
riveting techniques. each following class will be spent making charms
in the style of artists such as Cynthia Eid, Sandra Enterline,
Alexander Calder, Vina Rust, Barbara Heinrich, Charles Lewton Brain
and Andy Cooperman. Students will Finish the class with a beautiful
bracelet reflecting all the styles the learned. Don’t miss
thiinformative Fun class. "I was wondering if any one had opinions on
this add, presenting a class in a museum program to students who are
reading these names and being swayed /attracted one way or another,
not because of the techniques taught but names associated with
star/master quality levels of education? I am familiar with the
persons level of expierince and she is at an intermidiate level
herself, just wondering if anyone in orchid land reading this had
the same reaction I had. specially the artists mentioned having their
names used in an add for a class that they may have nothing to do
with? in my mind it is just a case of name dropping, so they
canfill/meet the class quota? I would be intrested to hear from the
teachers/educators on list too.

Hratch Babikian Atelier
Hratch Babikian


#3
i did not see any responses, wondering if it was the wrong title
and no one cought it? or maybe no one intrested in the question. 

I sent a response, but was not paying attention-- possibly it was
removed for some reason, I don’t know.

By the time I read your first posting, the class in question was
marked as having been canceled, so apparently somebody figured out it
was an offense and an ethical violation, however belatedly.

I doubt that many of us here would be other than horrified at the
blatant exploitation of the names, let alone the techniques and
styles, of respected artists. Of course, this person was up front
about doing something that many others do whether acknowledged or
not. Copying of styles, techniques and whole pieces is never going
to go away, cannot be controlled or prevented except in its grossest
manifestations, and has been discussed on Orchid ad nauseum.

The only part of this that seems worth exploring, maybe, is the
question of at what point it is OK to openly try to emulate a
master. When they have been dead how long? I took my copy of the
beautiful book of Calder’s jewelry to my advanced class and
encouraged them to choose a piece in the book and try to reproduce
it. I think this was an interesting and worthwhile exercise (and not
at all easy, I might add!) Does anyone object to this? On the other
hand, I did not (do not) claim to be able to impart the essence of
his style to anyone. But there seems to me to be a very real
difference between emulating dead artists and living ones.

Noel


#4

When I read the title, I thought you meant an addition to your class
and not and advertisement, which would be shortened to ad. I was kind
of confused, and did not initially understand your question.

So you are bothered by an advertisement for a museum class that name
drops as a description of course work? I think only a limited number
of people are going to know specifically who all of the people on
the list are and what their work is like. No offense to the great
artists on here and in that list, but I teach art appreciation at a
community college and learning to associate names with art/styles is
a hard task for most students. They may also be disappointed to find
that this is not workshop presented by those artists, but instead
just working in their style. It is a lot to learn in a class, too.

On the other hand, if the museum has a core of loyal students that
take jewelry classes, they may be more aware of these individuals
work and want to pursue it in a class. I think it might be an honor
to be acknowledged as a master and have your style emulated as long
as the students are not outright copying.

Melissa Stenstrom


#5
was (Subject: Questioning an add for a class) but i did not see
any responses, wondering if it was the wrong title and no one
cought it? or maybe no one intrested in the question 

To tell the truth, in my initial scan, I didn’t see the question.
Starting a new paragraph after the quotation would have helped.

Personally, I’d have misgivings about all that “in the style of”,
and like you, I wonder if the artists know their names are being
used. I would like to see the bracelet which reflects all eight
styles, though. :slight_smile:

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#6

I don’t really understand your question-it’s very vague. Are you
concerned that the instructor is not capable of teaching the class?
Or that he/she is inappropriately name-dropping? Or that so many
varied & different styles in one bracelet borders on the
vertiginous?

Do good work,

Cristine McC


#7

Dear Hratch,

I did not notice your previous post on this subject, and I appreciate
your re-posting about the topic. I certainly am dismayed and appalled
at the use of my name, without my permission. I imagine therefore,
that the other artists were not asked for permission, either. I would
appreciate it if you would please send me the contact for
this person and institution, as I would like to ask her to change the
ad, and to apologize. I imagine that she does not realize what she is
doing, and it would be good to help her realize how inappropriate
this is. thank you so much for bringing this to our attention!

With much appreciation,
Cynthia
www.cynthiaeid.com


#8

Hratch, I agree with you. Such an ad seems like name-dropping. I
wonder if it will work, since anyone who knows who all those
well-known people are, probably doesn’t need such basic classes. And
if they don’t know the names, such an approach could be meaningless.
For my adult ed. class ads, I simply name the processes that we’ll
work on, without implying famous associations! And to say that
"students will learn the techniques of the most well known master
metalsmiths," as if those techniques are not basically the same as
the ones all of us use, sounds pretentious.

Judy Bjorkman


#9

It was obvious enough to find the ad you’re talking about at the
Delaware Art Museum, but I don’t see what the problem is. If the
teacher is teaching in the “style” of certain artists, she’s not
teaching their exact work. Anyone can copy a style but not everyone
has the skills. So, she’s teaching the skills needed to copy these
styles. Also, have you asked her if she has permission from these
other name designers to use their name in such a way? She may or may
not but it’s up to them to raise a stink, or not.

Years ago I attended and art workshops that was advertised as
teaching in the styles of Picasso, Monet, Gauguin and Dali. We
didn’t imitate them, but were showed what distinguishes one style
from another and the tips and tricks that they used to create our own
paintings in the style of the masters. Dali was still alive, never
got mad at them. Neither did Picasso.

I see nothing wrong with it, but it’s a moot question. Last I saw,
this “Masters in Motion” workshop was cancelled. Shame, seems a
great way to see and learn how designers differ from each other and
combine it into one funky bracelet.

Remember, in Fashion, and Jewelry is a part of fashion, there will
always be those who create in another’s style. It’s often the way of
beginners to imitate, until they find their own passion and way. In
any event, why does it worry you so much what someone else is doing?

Michele
MikiCat Designs
www.mikicatdesigns.com


#10

After a little googling, I found the school and read the course
description myself.

As one of the names mentioned in the initial post (and course
description) I emailed the teacher myself and explained how I felt
that the idea behind the course may not be the best way to educate
students.

Andy Cooperman


#11
I don't really understand your question-it's very vague. Are you
concerned that the instructor is not capable of teaching the
class? 

yes that was one concern Or that he/she is inappropriately
name-dropping? and yes this was the other concern Or that so many
varied & different styles in one bracelet borders on the
vertiginous? No not a concern Do good work, Cristine McCI just sent
a longish answer and opinion, seperatly earlier today and will stop
here since it seems I have said all I had to say on the Matter. I
just wanted people aware of a certain issiue. thanks again for
listening.

Hratch Babikian


#12

Miki,

Remember, in Fashion, and Jewelry is a part of fashion, there will
always be those who create in another's style. It's often the way
of beginners to imitate, until they find their own passion and way.
In any event, why does it worry you so much what someone else is
doing? 

That is so true. If I spent as much time looking at others designs,
as some people do, I’d never get any work done on my own. I am not
saying it’s bad, but rather a bit of a waste of time. There will
always be similarities in designs/colors/materials as there is only
so much ‘original’ work and use of materials and geometry.
Eventually, given the huge boost in artisans around in the last 2
years alone, the truly ‘unique, original and one of a kind’ will
perhaps become un- noticed for a time.

Each individual has a particular way of holding a tool, which hand,
how much weight behind the tap or blow of the hammer, how steady they
are with the torch or saw. This became very evident to me when my Vet
asked me to match a Sterling hammered heart earring she had lost that
was an Anniversary gift from her husband. It was pretty simple, and
only involved minimal forming of 18 gauge wire, hammering and a bit
of solder. You would have thought I was replacing the Queen’s Tiara!
I went through a dozen, before I got one that was close to identical.
I’m also way too critical of my work sometimes, and am always
striving to ‘make it perfect’…sometimes, I need to take a deep
breath and just do it.

Dinah


#13

I guess there was a little bit of misunderstanding on my part of the
titling of the subject, i had sent another email with the same
content but different subject/title, titled masters in motion trying
to rectify the mistake but i did not see it posted, I might have
missed it. either way thanks for the responses and opinions. My
Bother with the presentation is, when it comes down to it, it is not
the fact that students will emulate or copy the work or the style or
the technique, but the fact that the teacher is presenting the class
with the names of these artists that have nothing to do with the
course, and their names are being used as advertisement for the
class. sort of sensationalism ?as some of you mentioned, If one were
presenting/teaching this class one would have just named the
techniques and styles by their actual names, Example: as riveting or
chasing or fusion or fabrication with mixed media, etc, with further
definition if needed, but they chose to use the names of well known
artist to advertise the class. which for me is the same as stealing
the intellectual property of the individual artists, dead or alive.
if I were to teach a painting class on cubism or pointillism or
impressionism etc. I would present it as that with out the use of the
artists names who used or made these techniques famous, unless I was
teaching the history of, Picasso or Renoir, or Dali, etc. I
understand the need to fill classes, and in these hard trying times
it has become a challenge, but there has got to be some self imposed
boundaries ? presenting it or advertising it in that fashion was /is
inappropriate. even if the class got canceled it does not make my
question/point moot, as Michele had mentioned. My Personal bother is
also that there are people out there posing as teachers and filling
their classes, semester after semester, with out really having the
experience or the knowledge to be taking on such classes. I am aware
of the difficulty for institutions on keeping higher standards in
adult education programs or museum programs, But our field is hurting
because of a lot of misor lack of being
taught by people without any real education credentials or equivalent
there of and posing as such.

and in the mean time I have watched good if not great teachers loose
their positions because of class cancellations. I have nothing
against emulating a teacher or an artist/masters style or type of
thought, living or dead, after all we all went through that in
college, or poly tech education, in actuality these are necessary
tools for students to practice and learn on. taking on a master
piece, studying it and trying to practice the techniques set forth
in the piece as examples. but i believe it would take a fairly
dedicated artist and teacher to keep these lines crystal clear, to
the effect of I had one teacher who refused to show his work to his
students, and when I questioned him about that his response was,
“Did not want to infect or influence the pure creative thought of a
student”. he was okay showing it after graduation though. I
personally have been doing this when i teach. it is harder since
most students want to see their teachers work, so I take example
from that one teacher and expose my personal work after the course
has ended. as to dead or alive, in this case I would have found it
responsible to get in touch with every artist/master that i would
mention in my class AD to see if it was okay to mention them or
their technique or style to my classes. which seems that they had
not done so.

Remember, in Fashion, and Jewelry is a part of fashion, there will
always be those who create in another'sstyle. It's often the way
of beginners to imitate, until they find their own passion and
way. In any event, why does it worry you so much what someone
else is doing? 

well Michele you are entitled to your opinions, I would hope that my
writtings are well thought out and important enough that I am not
wasting any ones time let alone mine.

Thanks to all for listening and reading
Hratch Babikian


#14

Hi Michele,

I have to say that I don’t agree with your assessment. I have read
and reread the course description and corresponded with the
instructor and am left with the conclusion that, whatever the
instructor’s ultimate goal may have been, the description comes
across (to be charitable) as capitalizing on someone else’s perceived
celebrity and implies that students will have the opportunity to make
their own versions of these artists’ work.

All in the guise of education.

Seems tacky and I am surprised that a museum school would allow this
type of description to appear in their catalogue.

  As a teacher myself, I feel that a disservice is being done
  to the students. Studying the work of established artists as a
  way to understand the ideation and processes that drive their
  work is certainly valuable. But the way that the class is
  described sends the message, I believe, that the work and style
  of any of the artists listed can be handily broken down into a
  series of techniques. As you surely know this is certainly not
  the case. This class also seems to be product driven.. 

  I believe that offering a class in the way described runs the
  risk of presenting current work in the field as being a series
  of formulas and in the end sends a message that is not healthy
  for the field.

Take care, Andy


#15
Remember, in Fashion, and Jewelry is a part of fashion, there will
always be those who create in another's style. It's often the way
of beginners to imitate, until they find their own passion and
way. In any event, why does it worry you so much what someone else
is doing? 

When this is presented as an educational experience at a Museum
School I believe that a line has been crossed and a disservice done
to the school, the students and, yes, to the artists emulated.


#16
Remember, in Fashion, and Jewelry is a part of fashion, there will
always be those who create in another's style. It's often the way
of beginners to imitate, until they find their own passion and way. 

Im sorry this is just rationalization for design theft. Studying
another’s style is one thing but selling work in that style is
theft. Yes it goes on in fashion and jewelry all the time but that
does not make it right or proper. Do your own good work not someone
else’s.

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#17
In any event, why does it worry you so much what someone else is
doing? 

Bugs the hell out of me… simply put, it is irresponsible of
anyone to appropriate someone’s name and reputation to further their
own interest. A museum should know better than this. I wonder how
incensed they themselves would be if someone used an image resembling
a painting in the museum’s permanent collection to sell used
refrigerators??

Stating that such a name association is done all of the time is no
excuse. Today in this digital age are we to be thrilled when someone
easily appropriates images of our work without asking and uses them
for their own ends?? There seems to be a casual attitude about what
is proper and what is not. Hratch did the right thing by calling the
museum on this. There is no need to allow jerk like behavior which
potentially will affect each and everyone of us.

j

J Collier
Metalsmith
http://jlcollier.com


#18

Andy Cooperman’s post to the instructor probably articulated the
feelings of all the metalsmiths listed in the course description.
Each artist makes a statement with their work. It is something
personal, it is an expression of something that the artists is
invested in, part of their voice of who they are, how they perceive
and experience life.

My opinion is that some metalsmiths learn techniques to earn money,
some to play, and some to explore and express something personal.
The techniques are learned or developed in relationship to what needs
to be expressed.

My opinion is that in Europe no instructor would dare advertise they
were teaching students to emulate other artists work. Having students
make poorly executed knock off pieces of crap would not be honoring
the original artist or their work.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#19

As a former student of the teacher in question, I wanted to add my
perspective to the conversation. While I can understand that the
course description might seem to promote an inappropriate emulation
or reproduction of others’ techniques or styles, my experience with
this instructor convinces me that that is clearly not her intent.

The target audience for this course description is students who have
already taken the beginning and intermediate courses in this program
(indeed, they are prerequisites). Advertising simply that riveting,
soldering and fabrication techniques are to be covered would not
necessarily convey the focus of exploring the process of applying
similar techniques to very different stylistic ends. (Though,
ultimately, it may have been best for her to have described exactly
that).

In considering whether or not to register for this 8-week course
(which I was unable to do because of scheduling conflicts), I found
the naming of specific artist styles to give me a point of reference,
a particular context with which to frame the possible learning
experience. For me, I found the mention of specific people to be
extremely helpful (in contrast to my feeling repulsed by an ad for an
adult ed class offered elsewhere which stated that students would
learn how to make exact replicas of pieces of jewelry seen for sale).
Perhaps it is only in having had experience with the instructor that
I didn’t have a negative reaction because it’s been clear she would
never support students copying (particularly if they had the intent
to sell) the work of others. Routinely in classes with her, over the
course of a semester, students asked questions about specific styles
or applications of technique by “master metalsmiths.” She might then
discuss the use of a specific technique or approach as a conduit for
personal expression and encourage their use as a springboard for
finding each student’s own creative solutions. I have come out of her
courses having been pushed to consider, in terms of both fabrication
techniques and creative expression, multiple options and perspectives
as I develop my personal style.

Lisa D.


#20
My opinion is that in Europe no instructor would dare advertise
they were teaching students to emulate other artists work. 

Wait…What? What does Europe have to do with it?? Even if true,
what’s your point? Probably couldn’t do it in the old Soviet Union,
either, you’d be shot! I don’t mean that seriously, just doing a
reductio ad absurdum.

The point is that even if legal, it is unethical and probably also
misleading. The museum removed it. OK, next subject?

Noel