Sunday, 15 February 2015


For years now, Originality, Technical Ability, Emotional Response, has been my tag line - but without the question marks!

A recent comment by The Idaho Beauty on the Working in Series post, needs a reply I think, as it brings up some interesting points especially relating to technical ability and it's place in artistic endeavour!

But first, Originality.

Copying. Well maybe we are all guilty of it slightly even if we don't know it!  We are all influenced by what we see around us, hear, think.  Take a heated political debate for example.  You listen to all the points and they influence you or anger you etc., and you reach your own point of view agreeing or not wherever you think fit. Your thoughts are your own work albeit influenced by others.

Taking that idea, we can see how playing around with something to make it your own can be how art becomes original. Being influenced and studying others work to make something, is not quite  the same as copying.I have sneeringly heard the word "derivitive" used by art critics, but in my book everything is derivitive. Nothing is new.

The quilt on the left is original in everything except those two last minute lizards on the frame; put on at the request of someone who likes lizards a lot! Whilst I was thrilled with the ultimate effect of the quilt I had created, it was spoiled for me by the addition of the lizards. I certainly wouldn't do that again! How awful of me. But in my poor defence, the quilt was a gift and it wasdefinitely not for sale. I think it was taken from my all time favourite quilting book here. but I can't quite remember.

Taking money by running copycat workshops or selling orginal designs passed off as your own is simply not on. It's stealing. Even if they are slightly altered, and not exactly copied, if there is part of the piece that can be recognizably someone elses work you can be guilty of copyright infringements.  We were taught at college that you could do this providing not more than a certain percentage was copied. This is simply NOT true. And what an arrogance to teach other people's work without even asking.

The latest Through Our Hands, The Magazine, which will be out very shortly, has an article by Laura and Linda Kemshall, as part of the Soapbox series, and it discusses copying under the title "Deja Vu"  It's not too late to sign up for your copy here.


  1. This is very funny! I made a quilt for my husband more than 25 years ago with lizards on the border. You can see it here: There really are no new ideas.

  2. Hi Terry, Hello and thanks for your comment. I tried to access the link but was told the page was unavailable! For this one, there were hundreds of available lizard outlines - enough to make an altered book - but this one was favourite.