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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Joan Sterr's Damselfly and Copyright issues

I promised you that I would show you another terrific piece by Joan Sterr. This wonderful piece was done in response to our Art Quilt Guild's challenge for August. Guild members write words on pieces of paper indicating themes, inspirations, and techniques and put them in a container. We pull individual slips out of the container for the group to do. You don't have to participate in any or all of the challenges. They can be as large or as small as you want.

In August, the challenge word was "frost." Joan had a photograph she had clipped from a Sierra Club Calendar from the 1980s. She interpreted the photo into this absolutely wonderful piece. If I had had half a brain I would have done a close up, but I was working with my little point and shoot and was trying not to hold up the production during "show and tell."

When she showed us the piece and the photograph, that illicited yet another discussion about copyright issues. All pieces which are derived from images which are not the artists should be credited with the name of the photographer as inspiration. Indeed, that should be said for other elements as well. With copyright-free items of course you don't have to contact the artist or the owner. However, for all other items, you should try to contact the artist or owner of the image.

Joan's face fell when we talked about this. How was she ever going to find the photographer after all these years? Thanks to the internet, she was able to find a website for the photographer, Bill Ivy, and emailed him. Mr. Ivy was very happy to give her permission. Here you can see the original photograph.

Joan did well to do this. We, as quilters, should always cite the inspiration when it comes from something else. Quilters in traditional shows should indicate whose pattern they used, or from what book they took the design. While lots of quilters do their own designs and patterns, it is only right to recognize the thoughts of others....and it does make it much more easy for historians ; ) .

I hope you enjoy this great little piece from someone new to the art quilt world.

3 comments:

Robin said...

Joan,
Beautiful Job!
Lisa, thanks for sharing it.
I also appreciate the reinforcement about copyright.
R

Michigoose said...

Thanks, Robin. I know Joan will appreciate this.

I think one of the most important things is that sometimes, even after a great deal of time has passed, obtaining permission for using an image IS possible. Of course, it's always better to have it ahead of time, but still the internet opens all sorts of venues to obtain permission.

Acknowledging the source is not as difficult as we often think it is. Of course, taking our own photos is best of all, but the changes that I would be able to take pictures of the Antarctic or see a wolverine in the wild is next to nothing.

Anonymous said...

Joan, gorgeous piece! Esp. like the swirly stitching around the poor frozen bug.

Lisa, great blog! I loved hearing about the barley harvest at your brother's farm. Have you ever read "Desert of Wheat" by Zane Grey? It's set in the same general area.

Linda Laird
quiltlady@san.rr.com