Monday, March 1, 2010


I am... perlexed..... after mulling this over for several hours, I have decided that perhaps my followers could share their thoughts and insights with me.

Several months ago, I sold 2 of my "wizard's tables" to a lady at a show. I learned that she was a dealer herself, though I did not know if she planned to re-sell the items. I explained to her (as I do to all my customers) how I make the tables, that they are all handmade by myself and OOAK.

This morning, I saw the tables for sale online. I was a little surprised to see them (especially since it has been a while since they were purchased) but what set me back a bit was there was no indication anywhere that I had made them. I know I am not exactly the Andy Warhol of the miniature world but I thought a little recognition might have been appropriate, no?

She doesn't imply that she made fact there is no reference that I could find to the artist at all.

Don't get me wrong....I was thrilled to see my work online....except no one but me knows it is my work :-(

So should I drop her an e-mail and ask her to identify the pieces? She did buy them outright so I guess she can do whatever she wants with them. And if she doesn't care to identfy "unknowns", I suppose that is her perogative. But then how will an artist become "known"? Obviously, I did sign and date the piece but that will be apparent only once it is purchased.

I really hate to stir up the pot with this one. Perhaps I should just let it go and not sell to people know are dealers anymore. But ideally, a dealer would handle my things so I wouldn't have to schlep all over the country to shows. Is it really worth getting someone annoyed with me?

Perhaps I should just be grateful that she bought the things at all and move on....... I am, as previously stated, perplexed......sigh.....



Michelle's Mad World said...

Credit is due, whoever it is. :o)) I'd drop her an email. Although she hasn’t implied she has made the items, she hasn't stated who has either. You should get a credit for a creation. You could state within you email that you are disappointed that she hasn't credited you as the artisan...I'd keep it polite but let her know what you feel. She could just say that she owns them and it‘s up to her what she does, it‘s not fair at all, but unsure what you could do if that happens.

I would suggest that in future if you sell to a dealer that it's with the understanding they give you credit as the artisan if they decide to resell. :o))

Michelle :o)

MidnightsDreams said...

Hi, I know a lot of us have come to this question, but no one wants to talk about it.I know I have asked it on my blog. In my thoughts and also not to stir the pot. I believe she should tell the artist name. In my opinion you where the one that created it and handcraft the piece. You took time from your family to create a work of art; something someone would treasure. The least she could do is give you credit for it. I've had a stamp made and start to place handcrafted by on the bottom of my work. So if it had gotten sold to another at lease my stamp was there.
I've sold to dealers before and I have no problem with it. Just ask them to let other know you are the create of this miniature. I hope this helps.

Eva said...

An OOAK piece should wear always the name of the creative artist.
If you need to sell and OOAK because of the mony at least you have to be honest with the creator and say her or his name.
It is a pity :(

Debbie said...

Tabitha when I had my Web site running, I always used to put the name of the Artisan next to the piece. But your not the only one this has happened too, I've heard of this happening to others.
Maybe its an oversight on the sellers behalf.
I agree with Michelle's comment.Try a polite email. Let us know the outcome xxx

Tabitha Corsica said...

I have looked her site over carefully. She does have a section of "Artisan Listings" where she groups items by the artisan under their name. (I am not on that list...) There is a disclaimer that says it is not a complete listing as there are artisans scattered throughout the site. However, I noticed many obviously hand crafted items under various catagories that are not identified.

It seems to be the way she does business..mmm.

But I will send her a very polite e-mail as suggested.

Debie Lyons said...

I would send her a polite email too. It is a common thing in mini land.

Debie xxxxx

Peach Blossom Hill said...

I am not qualified to weigh in but it would have been a courtesy to have given you credit. Even on my blog, I try to give credit to those who have inspired me or if I post a pix of someone else's work and I'm not even trying to sell it. I see this on sites, 'artisn made' or something like that with no credit given and it always makes me wonder, who is that artisan or is it a child in Cambodia or somewhere churning items out for a dime a day?


Tabitha Corsica said...

e-mail sent. We shall see....

WendiesMiniWorld said...

OOh its a can of worms question indeed, Id be upset by it too, and knowing me, I would seeth for hours, fume and then see an opportunity. Then Id send a polite email to ask if she could update her website with recognition to you, as her customers may want further items from the same maker & you could possibly do more business in the future?
donkey and carrot as it were.... the worst she can do is say 'no, theyre mine sod off', but at least you tried nicely. x

Tabitha Corsica said...

Wendie, that is also exactly what I did say in my e-mail...let's hope she takes it graciously.

nikkinikkinikki72 said...

Hi Susan.
I have looked everywhere to try and find out if the way this lady is selling an item made by an artisan without crediting their name is legal.
I cant find anything concrete on this so can not advise.
This type of thing will always happen with any art form and there is nothing we can really do. Art in all its forms is constantly moved onto new ownership.
I know it must be frustrating for you but you will just have to ignore it.
Perhaps a polite email to the lady would be a good idea, asking her to make an alteration to the listing.

Here is something i found on a UK copyright site. The part where it says the author needs to be credited, i think applies to this type of sale. The author part also applies to any art form.
If no autihor artist is known then they can not be credited. But the lady knwos who she bought it from.

Here is the link and below the part i think applies in this case. I am sure copyright laws in the states are the same.

It is an offence to perform any of the following acts without the consent of the owner:
Copy the work.
Rent, lend or issue copies of the work to the public.
Perform, broadcast or show the work in public.
Adapt the work.
The author of a work, or a director of a film may also have certain moral rights:
The right to be identified as the author.
Right to object to derogatory treatment.

Tabitha Corsica said...

I have heard back from the dealer but I don't know what to make of her answer. She gives two reasons for not listing my name:

1) She is selling it for more than what I sell it for (only $10 more) and if she listed my name, buyers could search for me by name and see if I was offering something similar and then buy directly from me.

2) She wants to carry unique items that no one else has and if she lists my name, other dealers may contact me. While that would be good for me, it would be bad for her. Right now, she only mentions an artisan's name if she knows other dealers are already carrying their things.

Apparently this business is very competative, yet she doesn't want to carry one artist exclusively. I guess that wouldn't necessarily be good for her either.

I think that Nikki is correct....I do have a right to be identified as the artist so now I guess I have to decide if I want ot press the issue.

The dealer said that if it was very important to me, she'd mention my name. Frankly, if it wasn't important to me, I wouldn't have contacted her but whatever....

Anyway, thank you all for your counsel. I'll let you know what I do.


Tallulah Belle said...

Hmmm so lets see.

She thinks your work is very good that she can sell it at a higher price.

BUT.....she doesn't want you getting the money for it.

She thinks your work is so good that it will sell.

BUT she doesn't want anyone else selling it.

Personally, I think I'd be inclined to either make a fuss or buy it back and not sell to her again.

I think it is extremely unfair of her to make money from you, which is technically what she is doing albeit only $10, but not let you receive any benefit or any credit.

Very unfair in my opinion.

nikkinikkinikki72 said...

Hi Susan.
Is it on ebay? If so then phone them today and ask where you stand on this.
Maybe if you want an answer do you have a trading standards in the states?
We have one here and maybe they could advise you further.
To find the info you want and if this lady is selling legally then i think an organisation like that would be your best bet.
I only ever sold to one lady in the past knowing she would sell them on, but she was upfront, put my name with everything and so i was happy.

Michelle's Mad World said...

I agree 'totally' with Jayne....

I would sign all work in the future Tabs, that way there will always be some way of someone knowing who made the item.

Michelle xx

Ara said...

I agree with Jayne as well... and perhaps in future you could add a little certificate of authenticity with a small disclaimer that says if it is to be resold your name must be mentioned.... and then at least you would have something to point to if someone bought something directly from you. I truly hope it works out and your get some recognition!

Tabitha Corsica said...

I do sign everything I make, Michelle...and add the date as well. Ara, I had thought about a little certificate of authenticity, about the size of a business card. I got such things when I bought turnings from a Canadian fellow whose name escapes just at the moment ( embarrasing!)

I have decided that I will respond to her reply by simply saying, "Yes, it is important to me. Please mention my name as the artisan" and have done with it.

What she doesn't seem to understand is that the items are uniquely one of a kind items and mentioning the creator will only enhance their value and her chances of getting her price. I'm still shaking my head about it.

Whittaker's Miniatures said...

Hope you got it all sorted ! I think you definatly should be mentioned. Another lady on Etsy is selling a lovely Wizard table and mentions all the artistes work that are included on the table which I think is both kind and basically the civil thing to do. I dont think her arguments are at all justified, if she wants to sell your work exclusivly she should have approached you about it first!
Congrats, you have been chosen in our mirror giveaway draw so send me your postal details and Ill post it of ASAP and hope you love it! Kate xxx

julietk said...

I know I am a bit late to give any advice here as you have already dealt with it but I think it is professional curtesy to give credit to the maker of a OOAK piece. Does this person make things or only sell them? If she was maker she would probably understand more about how an artist feels about each piece they have toiled over.I have enjoyed reading your blog today. I came across it on my browsing travels. I will be back soon :-)