Thursday, June 09, 2005

Now About Charting 

I got a little off track in the previous entry. I needed to compare one of Louisa Pesel's charts with one of mine when researching a copyright issue.

Now both of us worked from the same original textile BUT there are subtle differences in our charts. One stitch or two stitches in that line? Filled in motif or a few stitches left out? Even when two artists work from the same source their resultant graphs are invariably different by a stitch or two. Sometimes our eye is fooled into completing a motif a certain way when the stitch doesn't exist, sometimes the embroidery is badly pulled out of shape and we do the best we can to anticipate the original stitching.

I do keep an eye out for folks who are copying charts from my books and using them commercially and I look at their work with care to see if it is a stitch-for-stitch copy of my published work or if there are differences. Many motifs from early textiles have been published by several designers, but there are usually small distinguishing changes from designer to designer. An exact copy of one of my charts rings alarms for me.

So in this instance - different is better.

Great to see you getting back in the swing of things -
the copyright issue is one that intersts me as I had assumed that the insitution that held the textile owned the copyright for the whole piece. For instance inthe case of a sampler - the sampler itself would be copyrighted.

Am I correct in thinking that the individual motifs are not copyrighted as they have been worked constantly over the years?
So if you designed a sampler from traditional motifs but the overall sampler was your own - is that still a breach? It is just something I have often wondered as I charted some samplers in the V+A collection when I was there for my personal education more than anything else. But it would be nice to think it was OK to use them for other things if I chose to.
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