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.
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