Friday, September 2, 2011

For the Love of Tatting

I recently read a thread on the In-Tatters site that struck a chord in my little tatting heart.  Much ado has been made in our online tatting community concerning copyright infringement and the "tatting police".  I would like to take the opportunity to make my views crystal clear on this issue in regard to my work & designs.

(The above brooch was made with a fabric yoyo base, an antique carved MOP shell button, Miyuki rocailles, a Czech fire polish bead and was tatted with Sulky Blendable size 12 quilting cotton in "Buttercream")

Tatting is obviously very dear to me.  It truly is becoming a lost art.  There are many, many more practitioners of crochet, knitting and other lace making forms than there are tatters.  We are a seriously endangered breed of artisans.  ALL tatters are precious treasures in my eyes.  I do not care what method you use- needle, shuttle, Japanese hook, cro-tat, finger, etc.- you are a valued member of the tatting community.  The implement/method used to create tatting is no big deal to me personally.  Each individual will use whichever works best for them.  Additionally, skill level makes no difference.  Beginners to seasoned experts are all essential to the continuation of tatting. 

Concerning my patterns, I have very strong views!  I post free patterns on my blog & website for anyone to use.  If I post it for free, I mean it is FREE!!!  There is no higher compliment I can receive than for someone to take the time to tat one of my patterns.  I do not mind people using my designs for classes or demonstrations.  If someone wishes to use one of my free patterns to make an item and sells it- great.  Please be so kind as to give me credit as the original designer.  But please, do not claim my design work as your own- it's rude and will make me less inclined to share my work.  Purchase a pattern from me, make something and sell it- fine, but I do expect the courtesy of acknowledgement as the designer.  I see this as common decency.  It is how I treat others and fully expect to be treated in return.

I have had instances where a person felt it was their duty to report another tatter who was selling earrings and other items of my original design.  I checked it out.  Not only was this a pattern I had posted for FREE, but I was listed as the designer.  The tattle-tale was politely informed that I make my patterns available for all and that I was deeply flattered they were so appreciated by another tatter.  This person felt I should be enraged at such an incurrence upon my work.  The only negative emotion I felt was annoyance that this tattle-tale did not have more constructive things to do than to try to stir up trouble.  Said person was asked to please focus their energies on turning more people on to the joys of tatting rather than chastising and berating a fellow tatter.   Other designers are most protective of their work.  That is their perrogative.  As an artist, I fully respect each individual's need to protect their work and how it is disemmanated.  These are only my personal views regarding MY work & no one else's. 

Now, concerning my pieces which I do NOT disclose as free or for-purchase patterns- these are my intellectual and artistic property that I will most vehemently defend within the confines of the law.  These are the few pieces I produce that take exhaustive hours of tedious tatting and serious design work.  The pieces themselves are offered for sale on rare occasions in art galleries or my atelier site.  They are original works of art, much the same as an original oil painting or even a sculpture.  I pour my heart and soul into these works of art and will go off like a crazed monkey jacked-up on Mountain Dew if they are compromised!!!   That being said, I do NOT post images of said pieces where someone could easily discern stitch counts and the minute details that make them uniquely mine.   If you are inspired by them- fantastic.  I have no problem with this. A simple acknowledgement of where the inspiration came from is the polite thing to do.  As an artist, I do not feel this is unreasonable or extreme in any manner.

A HUGE thank you to Kersti for her In-Tatters thread that inspired this blog post.  I hope this makes my views crystal clear.  It is not my intention to offend anyone.  Indeed, my goal is to inspire and encourage as many tatters and potential tatters as possible in order to keep the art of tatting alive. 

Happy Tatting!!!

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  1. Your brooch is lovely! Thank you for your very eloquent post on your views on sharing tatting/patterns. I like your take on it. I haven't seen any of your other items yet, but I will be checking them out.

  2. I agree with most of what you're saying - I personally do not allow people to sell work using my patterns online - that's the only restriction and simply because I like to sell my own designs from time to time. However, I do feel very frustrated when I see simple generic patterns which have been 'designed' many times by many people being claimed as belonging to somebody. I feel we have a duty to ask and check before putting our names on a pattern that it is truly original. Nowadays this is so easy to do thanks to the internet. Copyright DOES belong to the originator of each design. Yes, improvements (or otherwise!) can be made to the originals but the original (as you point out) must be contacted and then acknowledged -with permission granted to make the changes.
    I disagree over tatting dying - it does go through phases and has done that consistently during the 50+ years I've been involved with it!! It's public 'face' changes and is currently becoming less forum or yahoo list orientated and becoming more about blogging. Wonder where the next incarnation will be!!!

  3. With so many people online these days, it's difficult to keep from being infringed upon. Once, a sweet person liked something I had said so much (about shuttle tatting vs needle tatting) that she decided to copy/paste part of what I had said into her web site. With such a kind compliment, I hated to have to let her know that what she had done was an infringement on copyright laws. At that point, I did grant her permission, but felt that I needed to enlighten her because the next person might not have been as kind to her.

    The poor dear offered to take it off of her web site, but I let her keep it up as it was something important that really needed to be said. But, in most areas, I'm very hard-core when it comes to copyright infringement.

    Thanks for not only offering the thread, but some good education on copyright laws.


  4. Your brooch is lovely, I totally agree with you and I have already put my views on the thread, I think it is lovely of you to allow your patterns to be used and are free, plus you give permission for anyone to sell the items they make.

    I have only just started designing recently and have already come across the generic problems with one of the patterns I made up, although I used it I did not say I had designed it nor would I. It is hard to make up a new pattern with so many tatters worldwide doing the same. It is easy to put bits together only to discover that someone on the other side of the world had the same thoughts.

    With the internet being worldwide it has opened up a whole new world to tatters and shareing ideas and patterns makes us stronger in a community. After all we are all the same we share the same art, it might be a shuttle, or needle we tat so why cant we be more happy with each other.
    Margaret (Tatting Margaret intatters)

  5. Dear Rachel,
    I put your Valdani Doily on my blog. But I mentioned you and link your blog to my post. I hope it's alright.
    If it is not, I'll take it off.
    Thank you.

  6. Hello north Louisiana, I am in So.Louisiana. I used to do beaded skirts for Catalytic burners, mostly Redolere. I am Bobbie Shamburger aka hunyeb on f/b if you care to see a couple of them. I don't know if you get to Houston but when we had our gift shop and was going there a lot there are wholesale shops on Harwin Street. If you are looking for beaded bracelets or just jewlry to use in beading this is a good place. ther is a shop all the way down Harwin St.almost to the interstate on the left where we used to get the bracelets. If you do plan a tritp there let me know and i will give you a couple of shops to visit. This steet is several miles long of nothing but wholesale, but you must have a license. Bobbie shamburger