Monday, June 18, 2012

Jane Burden Morris In Ceramic (again!)

I'm doing another Jane, fixing the defects I found in her previous ceramic incarnation. She's much better now, and I have started the fine finish. I worked a bit more on the eyes as I found them a teensy bit too deep-set, I brought them out about 1 mm. Small changes make big differences in portraiture! I also evened out the nostrils, the hair and eyebrows.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pinterest Copyright Infringement: Finding Your Material Is Not Easy

It's very difficult to find your infringed-upon content on Pinterest - I suspect that Pinterest makes it purposely arduous.

Whatever you do, DON'T USE THEIR STUPID ONLINE FORM! If you make one little error, all your entries are wiped off, and you have to start from scratch. Here, I share some tips that I have picked up.

STEP 1: The Secret Hideouts
Type the following in your browser's address bar, replacing "" by your own domain name:

I believe that this page represents a selection of new, original pins. Repins don't show up on this page. This page gets updated daily around midnight, with a few re-updates during the night or slow times. In Firefox, open the thumbnail images in new tabs. Right-click on the large images and COPY LINK LOCATION and pate in an Excel worksheet, followed by COPY IMAGE LOCATION, also pasted in the Excel worksheet. You need this information for your DMCA notice. Don't close the tabs when you're done, keep them open for STEP 2.

Next, you have to check the secret hideouts for older pins. Type the following addresses in your browser's address bar, replacing "" by your own domain name, as you might uncover older, original pins:

Pages stop at 9.

You might find quite a bit of hidden material there. Again, from all these images, click and open a new tab. Then from these tabs, collect the LINK LOCATION and the IMAGE LOCATION.

PRO-TIP: Find the ZOOM OPTION in your browser's View Menu. It will shrink everything on the page, so that you'll see more images per screen shot.

STEP 2: Drill Up and Down The Repin Tree
For each tab you opened with an image, scroll down until you see the list of people that repinned that image. Click on the link to their PINBOARD. For instance, if your image has been repinned by Sally Skinnamarink onto "Stuff I like," click on the words STUFF I LIKE to get to see what Sally likes, not that you care. Here, scroll to check if there aren't more things of yours that she fancies. Again, open new tabs for each image, collection link locations and image locations

STEP 3: But wait, there's more!
Next, you'll type this in your browser address bar, replacing "widget+propeller" by keywords that may describe your material. Don't forget to add a "+" sign between words:

Scroll down the page, you might recognize your images. Same routine: for each image, open a tab, collect link locations, image locations, and chase down the pinboards of the repinners for more of your images.

SPECIAL NOTE: search result pages are very rarely updated. Weekly perhaps.

STEP 4: What, I'm not finished?
No. Now you're going to Google the following:


That will take you to more individual pins and pinboards with your stuff. If you reach a pinboard, use the search function to locate your website string.

STEP 5: Can I have a drink now?
No. It's good to work while thirsty.

Next step is a Google Image/Image search. Go to Google Images, and type in your search term, example, "widget propellers."

If you find an image that's yours on the page, click on it, and drag and drop in in the search box which will automatically enlarge when you hover over it. Like this:

You'll get a result like this one, pointing out all your image's twins on the internet:

Look in that search result for Pinterest results.

Open in fresh tabs, collect link and image locations.

STEP 6: Leave Me Alone, Man!
No rest for the wicked. You still have to write that DMCA complaint

Re-format all the image locations. They are in this format:

But you must reformat it to remove all the copies in their cache. First, strip off the beginning of each image URL:

You'll have this, for each image:


Did you know your image is stored in 4 different formats? To delete them all, change the letters in the URLs to have a version that ends with a b, a c, an f and a t.


Send them a letter like this one to

Remove these images from your servers (IMAGE LOCATIONS):

They are from my website (LINK LOCATIONS):


I have a good faith belief that the disputed use of the copyrighted material is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law (e.g., as a fair use).

I am the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyright or of an exclusive right under the copyright that is allegedly infringed.

This information is accurate.

You can rest for now, but be ready to start again tomorrow.

While you sleep, you can dream of a permanent fix:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Content Curation" A Fad Word To Elevate Copyright Infringement

I hadn't heard the word "curation" being used outside of the context of Art History PhDs working in museums to pamper the artistic heritage of our civilization until this year.

"Curation" is now used everywhere to describe the practice of assembling images from other websites without permission of the author.

A museum's curator bears the responsibility of a museum's budget, and the cataloging and maintenance of a valuable and irreplaceable art collection. An "online curator" does little more than pick out some pictures out of Google Images searches, labeling them with nonsense like "I like this!" and stuffing them in folders titled "things I like." While the museum counterpart does her work anonymously and quietly in the background, the online "curator" seeks to impress other "curators" with her fine taste in jewelry and easter eggs, seeking the immediate approval of "followers," "likes" and "repins." One makes carefully considered decisions in consultation with a board of directors, the other is a mouse-click away from grabbing other people's content and giving it away to Ben Silbermann.

Unbelievably, there are people that take this ridiculousness so seriously that the attribution of "curated material" is now a hot issue. What? No, really, I'm not kidding. Attribution is a hot issue with those self-styled "curators." They are trying to sort out graphical symbols to show that the material is attributed to its author... or... I hope you're sitting down... its discoverer! That's right, credit to the person who "pinned" or "curated" the image in their "things I like" folder is considered an academically valid option. Meanwhile, the fact that this "curation" is nothing but shameless copyright infringement seems to evade their discourse entirely.

They are imbued with a notion that their "curation" is a benevolent promotion of the artist's work. They have no right to take this decision from the artist. In fact, because Pinterest shows full-size images, there is scant follow up traffic to the artists' websites, forcing the artists to compete not only against their own content, but a large pool of their own content blended in with the best of everyone else's. While all eyes are on Pinterest, making Ben Silbermann rich on other people's creative content, these eyes aren't on the blogs and websites of those that struggle everyday to make that content.

Curated internet content, preserving our glorious heritage for the web-archeologists of the future.

See also:
Curation: It's Shit
STOP Calling It Curation

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Old Watercolors

Some juvenilia from my archival stash of ancient art... you can already see my love of lead lines!

Suburban Gossiper:

Girl With Self-Cut Hair
fashion self-cut hair

Red Haired Woman With Shower Cap

Woman HIding Behind a Truckload of Makeup

American Woman

Oldie But Goodie
senior old woman

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pinterest Kicks Sand In My Face

Pinterest has hired a new lackey to handle DMCA take downs, and with that, they have a new form letter.

Pinterest is such an arrogant organization, it defies common human decency.

Here I am, sleep-deprived, six websites to recode to be able to curb pinning eventually, hiring a programmer to make me a copyright-detection crawler bracing for the hundreds of Pinterest clones already sprouting all over the internet landscape, greasy-haired, house a mess, a handful of projects in suspended animation. This is what these idiots have decided was fit to send me:

If this resolves your concern, please do not reply. While we love to hear "thank you", these messages create more work for us. Thanks for understanding - and happy Pinning.

First of all, I'm not the one sending them thank-you notes, because I have no time for that.

Secondly, are they really complaining to me about extra work? Are they kidding me?

Thirdly, happy Pinning, with a capital "P?" Really Pinterest, HAPPY PINNING?

Here is a picture I don't mind seeing pinned:

copyright infringement pinterest

UPDATE! My latest round of DMCA responses from Pinterest is now devoid of the offending sentences. It's back to dry business, as it should be.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jane Burden Morris, Still Needs Work!

She cracked, but I'll make another copy, as I have a mold. Below are the photographs of my prototype:

I have found a photo of her and I digitally superposed this image to my 3D version in order to increase her likeness in my next version.

I need to move the eyes a bit, lower an eyebrow, make the mouth smaller and lower. With the help of Photoshop. I can see what these corrections might look like, and decide whether I should alter the prototype in that direction, or even further in that diretion:

PLEASE COMMENT! Should I make the corrections or not? Below is the current version on the left, and the mock "Photoshop" changes I would make on the right.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pinterest Woes

Pin It Button

What a week it has been, and my misery in continuing with no end in sight.

I'm stuck to my neck in the copyright quagmire that is Pinterest. Pinterest is essentially Napster-for-Images, but maybe quite a bit worse and insidious. The swathes of colorful bunny, cupcake and fantasy wedding images barely conceal the noise of the copyright infringement party that Pinterest is encouraging.

Instead of creating new content (I have tons of great ideas that are waiting to be put on paper ans scanned into a patterns), I find myself standing alone on a barge having to face the cannons of an unstoppable pirate ship.

Until this Pinterest issue is settled, I am creatively paralyzed.

If you post images on the internet, expect them to be :shared:!"
I hear this frequently. If you write a song, put it on a CD, and Lady Gaga does a cover and makes millions from it, aren't you getting what you asked for by recording your song and putting it on a share-able medium?

Embrace it! Isn't it great publicity to have your work getting exposure?
That's not true for everyone. Some webmasters may get extra traffic, but the nature of my images means that I get literally no significant traffic from Pinterest. I have over a thousand images there, and last month I got exactly three visitors. You can't, however, just look at it from an individual perspective. Think of the collective of small mom-&-pop content providers like myself, and a competing website where all their images are collated and centrally viewable. The viewership that was once enjoyed by small content providers is now occupied on Pinterest, who will make millions from content stolen from artists and photographers. Is it flattering to have popular images on Pinterest? Yes, but only for a fleeting moment, one's heart sinks quickly when realizing this does not translate in traffic, but goes against your own self-interest. YMMV.

Aren't thumbnails FAIR USE?
Absolutely. HOWEVER - Pinterest stores copies of FULL SIZE images on their servers, that is NOT fair use.

Shut up and use the "no-pin" metatag!
No, and for a few reasons.

(1) There are now a few hundred Pinterest clones and you can't have every single webmaster chase them all and update every page of their website to stop copyright infringement from all these clones.

(2) The no-pin metatag pops up a message that I have no control of, which says: "This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!" - what is this, are they encouraging visitors to pester webmasters for the right to "pin?" I'd rather pop up a message of my own composition that is going to be less than flattering.

(3) It creates a "default" setting that all graphical content on the internet OPTS IN to being infringed upon unless they actively OPT OUT. This is absurd beyond belief.

(4)People read the warning, but they still have the ability to pin!

File a DMCA take-down notice, that'll take care of things!
Normally it does except that Pinterest doesn't remove the re-pins and the re-pins of re-pins, and you have to dig them out yourself. They do have a form for multiple submissions, but they've arranged it to sneakily discourage webmasters. A single malformed URL submitted, and the whole list is wiped out and you have to start again. They are doing everything they can to carry on like thieves.

The take-down procedure humiliates the complaining artist/photographer. First, a empty spot is left without the image, but all the details of the website the taken-down image comes from remain left behind. Second, this is the letter they send to the offending pinners:
I'm Ben, the co-founder of Pinterest. I removed one (or more) of your pins today at the request of a copyright owner who preferred that their images do not appear on Pinterest. The photo is here for your own records:
This is a rare - we usually find that people are excited to have their photos shared with a larger audience because it can drive traffic back to their site. However, when we do get requests to remove these materials, we try to respect the wishes of the content owner efficiently. If you have any questions, please email our Community Manager, Enid (

I just wanted to give you a heads up. Thanks so much for using Pinterest. I hope you're enjoying the site! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Pinterest DMCA #ID [...] - Ben and the Pinterest Team

"We usually find that people are excited to have their photos shared with a larger audience because it can drive traffic back to their site" WRONG WRONG WRONG I am not excited and I get not traffic. Is it my imagination, or is Ben Silberman himself giving infringing pinners the green light to infringe some more, because publishers are overwhelmingly thrilled by copyright violations? He's personally encouraging infringement. I'm not dreaming; though I wish I were.

Dummy, use the /SOURCE/ trick! Example: should have all your images listed.
Right now, my website has ONE image listed in this manner yet there are hundreds crawling in the vast Pinterest bowels.

The pinning and re-pinning process is tentacular and a veritable nightmare. If A pins a picture, and B repins it, A has 1 repin. If C repins from B, A still has 1 repin, not 2 from the "grandchild" repin, and B has 1 as well. Every time I find one image, I find 10 more that it links from, and that it links to, and then I have to hunt down the grandchildren pins, the great-grandchildren pins, parent pins, grandparent pins... ad infinitum.

Like this:

Except that it goes on forever and I would need about 22 dimensions to express the full horror that is Pinterest.

And that's not all; many images are mis-attributed to Google Images. The other side of the coin is that I am starting to see people linking images to Pinterest as if Pinterest was the original source of the image! It is truly infuriating.

Did you notice the EMBED button? What is it?
Eh. That EMBED button allows any webmaster to repost the images that Pinterest has scraped through its indefatigable users and is hosting on their servers, on their own websites to be further infringed upon by yet another party! And guess what? There is no way to track those down, at all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jane is in the kiln! Jane is in the kiln!

My bust of Jane Burden Morris is being fired in the kiln right now. A chunk that cracked off, and was repaired painstakingly, apparently went into the kiln without re-cracking. This does not mean it will no crack again in the firing! I'm keeping my fingers crossed really tightly.

That's why I'm happy I went though the trouble of making a mold. Whatever happens to this particular ceramic embodiment of Jane, I can make another version in a faithful likeness - all I need is another bag of clay. Working from a large and complex rubber mold remains a technical challenge (I had to try three times to perfect the technique). I may be re-inventing the wheel as usual, but I haven't heard of other ceramicists using rubber molds, the standard molding technique being slip-casting in plaster.

Easter Egg For The Kids and Grandkids

Just a fun little Easter project to cheer everyone up. Click on the Easter Egg to reach the pattern page.

easter egg

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Fool....

This year I produced 21 versions of a pattern for a circle! There was a pattern for the moon, an orange, a wet telescope lens, a golf ball, an amber bead, a hockey puck an aluminium pie plate a ball of yarn and even a lime Jell-O mound... all just circles. I hope everyone realized it was April Fool...

Below is a screen shot of the prank.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jane Burden Morris - In Clay

I just wanted to see her in three dimensions. So I made her out of clay. Well not quite. First. I made her out of WAX. That's because was is a stiffer material, and this stiffness makes it easier to create a complex shape without worrying about some masses like the large shoulders drying at a different rate than the narrow neck, or the neck being too soft to support the head. From this wax model, I created a rubber mold encased in plaster. The wax model was extracted from the mold by steam melting. I pressed a layer of clay against the inside of the mold, and I have to say I had to try 3 times to engineer a way for the clay to dry evenly enough to safely remove the clay figure from its mold. That was quite tricky, but I got it. Victory! Now I can smooth the clay surface (something that would have been difficult to do on the wax model) at this stage.

Having a mold means that I could make many copies!

She's still moist and pliable at the moment, she needs a nice slow drying before she hits the kiln.

Jane Burden Morris

Jane Burden Morris

Jane Burden Morris

Jane Burden Morris

Jane Burden Morris

Poppy Seed Heads - Victorian Style

Here is a simple glass painting pattern in a formal Victorian style, yet inspired by nature. The poppy seed heads are an unusual subject with understated grace.

Click on the image to reach the pattern page:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Maybe The Last of Jane Burden Morris?

This COULD be the last. I don't know. I don't know if I can stop myself if I come across another photograph. I confess to be in the process of making a 3D clay figure of her. The clay is drying right now, it should be ready in a few weeks. I will post pictures when she's done.

Click on the image to reach the pattern page:

Jane Burden Morris

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jane Burden Morris... Another One!

I still haven't exhausted the subject. I am working on two more. This is the first of a new trio:

Click on the image to reach the pattern page:

Jane Burden Morris

New website launched

This new website is devoted exclusively to stained glass painting patterns.

There is only ONE pattern right now. More will be added in the next few months. Click on the logo to check it out:

Remember to sign up for my brand new Twitter feed to receive notifications of new patterns on your mobile device:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Stained Glass Patterns - Preliminary Sketches

I currently have 22 more "victorian botanicals" in the pipeline.

Before I hand-draw and digitize them, I draw up a quick sketch while I'm watching TV... here are a few of them:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Back In The Swing Of Things

And now for a couple of glass painting patters of Jane Burden Morris. It looks like an obsession, but now I feel that I have exhausted the subject. I will make these two in glass sometime this year - numbers 15, 17 and 18. I plan to make these out of clear textured glass only, no color, just some tracing black and grisaille. The thumbnails are colored mostly to show people where the glass pieces are.
Jane Burden Morris
Jane Burden Morris

The patterns can be found on this Jane Burden Morris Glass Painting Patterns page.


I haven't drawn any patterns for a whole year, and now I'm back in the game. Why did the drive dry up, why did it return? I have no idea, it just came and went, I have no choice but to roll with it.

Maybe I felt taken for granted, haha!

Here is a glimpse into future plans.

I want to continue working on glass painting patterns. Not because they are popular, but because I'm hoping that the availability of ready-made patterns will encourage glass enthusiasts to learn the technique. It opens up the door to so much creativity! This larger amount of possibilities, however, is just like a larger blank page; it's even more daunting and intimidating. It's a public service for the greater good of the craft.

I enjoyed the recent series of Victorian Botanicals, and plan to do many more in the future.
  • Peony
  • Lady's Slipper
  • Helleborus
  • Anemone
  • Viola
  • Uvuvula
  • Jack In The Pulpit
  • Fern
  • Primula
  • Incarvillea
  • Iris
  • Clematis
  • Papaver
  • Meconopsis
  • Hosta
  • Stink Cabbage
  • Oak Leaves and Acorns
  • Maple Leaves and Samaras

    I'm also considering adding some glass painting to some of these that have a lot of delicate details.

  • Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Glass Cactus Garden for Your Windowsill

    Visit the SPECIAL PROJECT PAGE on for an assortment of exotic cacti and succulents to place in a clay pot and feature on the windowsill. Knobs can be made by dropping solder without flux on the cleaned leaned lines, and spines can be made with wire or other creative means.

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Painted Glass Suncatchers

    Scroll down this page of painted glass suncatchers to find a new series of cartoon animals with a modern graphic touch. These patterns require fired paints. Consider the patterns suggestions, and use grisailles, matte, enamels and silver stain to your heart's content.

    If you use Art Of Stained Glass's Online Pattern Resizer and Printer, the circles in the patterns should print in a consistent size from one pattern to the next. ART OF STAINED GLASS provides glass painting instructions.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Victorian Stained Glass Patterns

    Click here for the pattern page for Victorian Botanical Stained Glass Patterns

    I just finished a series of stained glass patterns inspired by Victorian aesthetics, featuring some of the botanicals that were popular in illustration and graphic arts at later periods (arts & craft movement and art nouveau), such as waterlilies, cyclamens, arrowhead, snowdrops, climbing gourds and nasturtium. I blended the styles and eras a little, I hope the results are pleasing.