|Project by poopiekat||posted 12-11-2009 at 11:55 AM||1391 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
This is an older project and was once the discussion in a thread entitled “Theft of Intellectual Property.”
In coastal Maine, I had a customer who came by my antiques emporium frequently, looking for old artifacts for her high-end gift shop, which specialized in rustic crafts. She purchased my sheet-music cabinet, like you’d typically see next to a piano in an older home. In her shop, it was used as a fixture for marketing some handmade candles. People kept asking if they could buy the cabinet! So she asked if I could make some, and sell on spec. I built 12, some stained, some painted, some with crackle finish, some unfinished. They all flew out the door, and two weeks later she asked for more, with specific colors or modifications for her customers. I got them all out right away. But… that was it!! And the last time I was in, to pick up my $$ commissions, I saw knock-offs from other makers, all rather crudely made, definitely not my work!!! The ones I built were a composited design, including elements of several different examples and a few features found in those reprints of 1900’s Sears Roebuck and Wards catalogues. I was mostly annoyed that, with my handle on the antique and rustic furniture biz, I’d come up with a design that proved to be successful, and now others were profiting from my self-financed venture. I had just bought 500 BF of yellow poplar, which suddenly had no immediate use to me otherwise. Grrr! I was already making these Noah’s Ark cutaways, which she was marketing successfully with hand-carved animal pairs from another artisan. I asked her for $$$ up-front on the unsold ones, and ended up taking them off consignment. That was the turning point for me; to never again sell on spec or consignment, or do customer work. I’d buy distressed oak furniture, do all the stripping, fabrication and finishing, then haul it off to the antique shows where there is little ‘public relations’ involved. It was nice to take the stance of take it or leave it, rather than grovel for approval!
Anyhow, this one, a leftover, is poplar and birch, serves us well in our kitchen for the cat’s food, her brushes, toys and treats.
-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!