When we were recently down at the Bellevue Festival of the Arts, I was, as always, struck by the talent and artistry of the participants.

But, this time, for the first time, I was aware of the number of booths where they had large, glaring “NO PHOTOS !!!” signs.

I can understand if someone has a painting, or a photograph, that they may not want someone to be able to go to the local photo lab, and create a copy of their image… but I saw these signs also in booths with Furniture, Ceramics, Jewellery, Hats and other goods.

On the OTHER hand, I came across Greg Delaney.

His whimsical brooches, sculptures and whatnots were fun, enchanting and frivolously captivating.

He puts his stuff online, writes a Blog, and allowed me to take his picture, while he was working on his product:

(The quality of the photograph, is a result of my Blackberry, and not a reflection of his work !!!)

He appeared to be secure in the knowledge that anyone taking a photo would not “steal his soul”, even though he seems to inject a little bit of himself, into every piece he makes !

You can click to read his Blog, The Daily Delaney, here.

You can also see some of his wares on another website he has… http://sites.google.com/site/gregkevindelaney/

It struck me as a massive insecurity on behalf of the OTHER artisans, that anyone taking a picture, could draw up the resources, bypass the development process and produce a product comparable to theirs.

I looked at the whimsy and fun he injects into his pieces, and while someone may try to imitate him, he alone can create the pieces you find on his site.

 

Similarly, My Sister-In-Law Shelley, has made up a number of pieces of jewelery, and posted them on the web.

Part of their charm… (IMHO) …is the stories she creates for each item: http://www.ShelleyWoodin.com/

 

In today’s marketplace, I believe that the true artists have to embrace the opportunities that the Internet and Social Media afford them… to reach a larger market, and not be afraid that someone… somewhere… might be able to make a copy of their idea.

Kudos to Greg and Shelley for having fun, and fearlessly putting their stuff “out there” !!!

 

 

Every year, on the same weekend, we journey South on a trip to Bellevue, WA, to go to the Bellevue Artsfair.

So we have just returned from our annual pilgrimage to all things artsy and crafty.

The range of artisans is astounding, and shall, in a few days, be the subject of another post.

But, in the meantime, I have been taunting folks on Twitter and on Facebook with what may (IMHO) be our greatest find ever.

On the same weekend, in the same “neck of the woods,” there is a store at the CrossRoads Shopping Mall in Bellevue.

On the outside of the Mall is the Common Folk Store.

They are a store that defies description and convention…

It is a retail store, that has some of the sensibility of a pawn shop for special “remember this” items.  It also has new and re-purposed items.

Think of a Restoration Hardware store, only with WAAAY different items !!!

And EVERY year, on the same weekend, the owners clean out their barn/warehouse/home.

And so it was, on a sunny Saturday morning, we found ourselves looking at this beautiful piece of old world technology.

From the back, it doesn’t look like much…You've got mail - Back view

From the front, at first, it looks rather plain…

You've got mail - front view

And then when you look closer…

You've got mail - up close

You can start to appreciate why this gorgeous piece will soon take a place in our home.

You've Got Mail - Front

But, first it needs some cleaning, and a case built around its current rather “rough hewn” exterior.

But, once it has a base, sides, a top, and the dead wood bugs have been removed, we are going to have a place for our friends and visitors to stop and talk about.

I’m looking forward to posting the finished images in a month or so, once I get the project done.

In the meantime…  ????