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  • Group Consensus?

    A couple recent events have me wondering how most carvers feel about the work they produce once it becomes someone else’s property. Gifted or sold the question would be the same.

    A month or so ago I was contacted by a potential client through my eBay listings about doing a commission. We had agreed on scope and price and timeline. When discussing finish the client informed me of their plan for painting the carving.

    Then the other day I responded to a Facebook post by someone who had purchased a carving with some condition issues planning to restore it but had decide that he would also re-carve several areas of the carving he felt could have been done better and remove things he felt were in error.

    Wondering when you have gifted or sold a carving is that still your art or theirs to change however they choose?
    Nebraska
    AKA Ed
    Last edited by Nebraska; 12-27-2021, 09:13 AM.

  • #2
    Well, Ed, ownership obviously goes to the buyer or donee, but it's atrocious and insulting to alter someone else's work. If the original carver had any way to contact the offender, they should at least be asked to remove any marking that indicates the original carver.

    In your case where the buyer intends to paint the carving, perhaps your only recourse would be to stipulate that the carving would not be signed, as you can't be responsible for an altered piece. Depends on how important the sale is to you.
    Arthur C.
    Senior Member Louisiana
    Last edited by Arthur C.; 12-27-2021, 03:49 PM.
    Arthur

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    • #3
      I'm with Arthur on this one. I wouldn't sign it if they were going to alter it. I don't understand why they didn't carve it themselves, if they figure they're improving the piece.

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      • #4
        Possession is nine-tenths of the law! Seems to me that they've got the right to paint them, recarve them, or even use them for fire wood, but as Arthur states, it's one hell of an insult!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Eddy-Smiles View Post
          Possession is nine-tenths of the law! Seems to me that they've got the right to paint them, recarve them, or even use them for fire wood, but as Arthur states, it's one hell of an insult!
          Not really asking for legal advise. I’m thinking more the ethics of one artist changing something that the original artist considered finished. Like buying the Mona Lisa and “fixing” the smile or deciding that she should have blue eyes, maybe a cat in her lap. Since I have see carvers rework other people’s work was wondering if most of you are ok with that or think it’s wrong.

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          • #6
            Well, Ed, my ethics say that it shouldn't be altered and he can carve another from scratch. It is your work. Signed sealed and delivered. Buy a historical great sculpture and modify it to your likes...can't see that as a positive thing in the art community. What is, is. History. JMO
            Bill
            Living among knives and fire.

            http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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            • #7
              Well, I guess I better put the arms back on the Venus de Milo...
              Arthur

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              • #8
                A carving to me is like my children. Once I conceive a carving, I develop feelings for it, maybe crazy, but that is the way I'm. I'm well embedded in Arthur's camp, but just like my kids, once they left home, they were pretty much on their own .
                . . .JoeB

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                • #9
                  I agree that I wouldn't sign something that I knew someone intended to alter.

                  I'm sure things we do not know happen all the time, but if I knew that was their intention, I'd either refuse to sign, or decline altogether.

                  I don't carve for a living, so it's not a big deal for me financially, but I guess deep down we all hope we are building some sort of reputation, whether that's with customers, or with our kids. It doesn't matter. I want my name on my original stuff.

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                  • #10
                    If the owner of one of my carvings is skillful enough to change it, he (or she) can also change my mark.

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                    • #11
                      It is my art when it leaves. If they change it or add somthing or paint it I do not like it! But it is theirs. And it becomes their art when they change it not my work. I only know of two of my carvings, both canes, that has happen to. Both were painted. One did ask my to make another cane and I was to busy!`
                      We live in the land of the free because of the brave!
                      https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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                      • #12
                        I tell people who purchase my work, it is there to do what they want to, and it is theirs but WHATEVER THEY DO to it, do not ever tell me about it. This request started when someone bought my work and a month later turned around and sold it for ten times the asking price...I found out on the grapevine. Only my art in my house everyone is told do not touch it, clean it, or blow on it...LOL and even the cats respect that one.

                        I have worked on pieces where there is more than one artist ....and we are carving into each other's work. On that work, I did not sign it never felt like it was my work. But the name on the work was the one that created the main design and plan. Do I believe in changing the Mona Lisa to a cat on her lap.....heck yes go for if, you got the guts and money and getting your name plastered worldwide in the newspapers...LOL Way I see art does not last forever unless you live in Eygpt. Although could be timeless in books perhaps.

                        As far as art restoration I have seen some big-time work totally destroyed...where restoration workers try to glamorize the work...to the total destruction of the piece. Art restorers have a difficult job. They have to meticulously work on old artworks to restore them to their former glory. But occasionally, things go wrong, resulting in hilarious consequences. The art restoration attempts have made the world laugh and caused artists to cry in despair or turn over in their graves. I learned a very long time ago you can not control what happens to the art after it leaves your hands. I figure if they give it to some idiot to restore or recarve it if they did a bad job, then scratch my name off it. Look up art restoration failures on an internet search...one example... they had a painting of Christ and the end result of restoration is now called a monkey. In the world of restoration, wars, disasters, and more...., poop happens.

                        . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

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                        • #13
                          Usually when I complete a carving, I am done with it. Usually! My fun comes in the creative process and in making the piece, not in possessing it afterwards. So i sell or give away most of my pieces. I do have photos to look back on what I created, but once it's gone I don't worry about it too much. When I help someone at the club to carve a face or fix something they are struggling with, I don't sign my name as I know that it is not going to be entirely my carving, but I have had someone paint a doll that I carved for them. I knew they were going to do that up front and they wanted to paint it themselves, so they could say they had a hand in the creation of the doll. I know the post that you commented on, where the guy repaired a leg that had a bad spot in it. But he wanted to recarve one of the buttons on the jacket because it was in the wrong place? I guess he never considered that it could have been a snap instead of a button, in which case it was in the correct place. I would have only repaired the leg if I was asked to, but would never change the button. It starts becoming your carving, your interpretation, instead of the orginal artist's. It's okay to do that with rough outs, if you give credit to the designer, but not so much with a completed carving!
                          'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

                          http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
                          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
                          http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

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                          • #14
                            Thank you all for taking the time to comment.

                            My thoughts:

                            Yes, once I sell a carving it is the owners to do what they please, just as I hope they would not use it for firewood. I would hope they wood appreciate the carving for itself and not feel inclined to change it.

                            I do think it disrespectful and wrong to change someone else’s original work.

                            Sales and commissions are fun for me I get to enjoy the work the person receiving values the work and I have more space on my shelf for a new carving. I only take on commissions when the subject is something I think I would enjoy carving and doing a few commissions doesn’t make me a professional.

                            I have space in my home for about a dozen carvings and that is enough for me.

                            I did turn down the “to be painted” commission. Full disclosure the painting was only one reasons for passing and not the most significant one.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nebraska View Post
                              Thank you all for taking the time to comment.

                              My thought

                              I did turn down the “to be painted” commission. Full disclosure the painting was only one reasons for passing and not the most significant one.
                              I turn down lots of commission work for lots of reasons, as I get older it has a long line of what I will do and will not dos... Life is hard enough these days. The painting would be number one not to do it, and recarving would be the second no way,....the third the person that owns it sounds like they would not be happy no matter what you did to the carving as it would be easier to recarve the whole thing myself without touching an old carving. I do not take customers who look like big trouble and this one has red flags all over it.

                              . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

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