Tag Archives: Adele Sciortino

restoring faith and wonder, creating solutions

It was a rough weekend here in shiboriland considering the energy that had to be expended to sort out the problems created by someone who’s complete lack of ethics and honesty ended up with her taking all the materials from my online class and using them as her own.

Adele at A for Artistry responded quickly and became part of the solution by removing the class and communicating with me to complete resolution.  I thank her for that.  She further sent me the class materials that were to be posted for this online class-and guess what?  They were all my materials! My samples, my words, even photos of my own hands demonstrating the techniques!  I was blown away.  I thought that it was likely that she was using the materials in some way but jeeze. All she did was remove my name at the top and the copyright notice at the bottom and replace it with her own name.   Can you imagine?  Adele of course was horrified and feels terrible.  I will be taking further measures tomorrow by informing sites such as the Dyerslist, the Dyers Forum, and several other sites where she has been posting her workshops and let them know what has been going on. It will be up to them as to whether they remove the posts or not.

I will also be changing the nature of my online classes.  The class that was most affected was the older shibori techniques class. Most of the lessons were PDF based.  The blog featured other videos and such but the PDF’s are easier to steal.  It looked to me like she just printed them out, cut and pasted them and recopied or scanned them back in.  When I get a chance, I will be reworking that class in a way that makes it more difficult to steal.

We are both interested in creating a solution! That is how we can feel better about all of this-by creating a solution.

In yesterday’s post, I created a list of guidelines for those who want to teach…even Martha in the comment section chimed in with a very good addition to the list.

Today, I made a list of the things I would want from a teacher if I was hosting their class. I’m sure there are things you would add (please feel free to do so in the comment section). I think these sorts of things would help protect the host, other teachers, and the students from fraud of this nature occurring in the future.

  •  All teachers would need to have a decent online presence. Look, if you want to teach online, then it is essential that students can see your work and get a sense of who you really are. Blogs and Facebook pages are great for this.  They are free and simple to create.
  • Teachers would have a website or a flickr account where more information about them can be found as well as a collection of their own work for all to see.
  • Teachers would have email and respond to it in a timely fashion.
  • All this would be very transparent and easy to find-not “in the works”.
  • Class postings would include these links to the teachers sites.
  • I would want some references -past venues, student references.
  • I would probably do a skype interview. Or at least a phone call.
  • I would Google their name, their email address and review it all.
  • I would have them sign a contract stating that all materials submitted for the class are their own works and that necessary attribution is given when referencing the work of others. (this addition suggested by Adele in the comments below)

This would be a start.  What would you add?

This is the world we live in now and we better get smart about it. Mediocrity will become the new norm if we let it.  Things are changing. It’s awfully easy for this to happen if we don’t take precautions.   Remember this piece?  I am still working on it…it is about transparency…and hope…and seeing on through to the other side.

trans boro window covering-indigo

I do want to thank everyone who chimed in on this past post-especially those who offered solutions and ideas.  I know we are all outraged by this sort of behavior, but in the end it’s what we DO about it that will count. We can’t just sit around being outraged and exhausted by it all. That’s not gonna change a damn thing!

those who kill the creative joy

After yesterday’s somewhat subtle post and other ongoing nonsense which once again took up a bunch of my time to deal with -here is what is going on.

An online shibori techniques on silk class has been announced on another site.  (I actually know this person as she was a past customer who has previously asked my thoughts on formatting her own online teaching site-I shared my experience with her.  She even asked me to teach there.  I have not, preferring to do my own thing -as usual.)  Interested in her new online shibori class offering, I clicked to the class signup page.  I saw it was being taught by someone who has taken all my own online dye classes.   The images selected to present for the class seemed a bit off.  Having seen an awful lot of shibori I questioned the site owner as to whether or not these pieces were the work of the instructor.  She assured me they were.  I actually signed up for the class, wondering.

Then, I received my DYERSlist email for the day.  There, the List Mom is promoting this same online shibori class.  I wondered about this.  I emailed the List Mom and asked if I could also put a link to my online classes there.  I asked because it was my understanding that since this list is hosted on a public university site there was to be no personal commercial promotion.  I received back an email saying that no, I couldn’t post like that-that I would need to have someone else post for me, preferably someone who had taken the class. I emailed back and asked if she had taken this class. No response so far (impossible I think as the class hasn’t yet occurred).  OK.

So back to the class listing.  I decided my best recourse was to do a new blog post (yesterdays post) and remind folks that I too have a class offering online shibori techniques on silk.  So I did.  So as a matter of course I was looking over my class site and re-reading what I had written almost 2 years ago.  Uh oh.

Some thing seemed odd.  I clicked over to the class on A for Artistic and saw the write up for the class with new eyes.  It is word for word the intro to my class.  Seriously.  Word for freaking word. I hadn’t recognized it the first time around as it has been a long time.  I wonder what the other materials for the class look like?

Screen Shot 2012-09-21 at 2.01.08 PM

I took screen shots of it so you can see it yourself-in case it gets changed.  I imagine once I post this  it might be removed (and the link above may not continue to work).   I approach it this way for a reason… as an example of what can go wrong when you host classes by people you (apparently) don’t know… when you don’t check things out yourself…when the urge to make a buck or two or to gain some sort of attention gets ahead of doing the right thing.

And who knows what is in the mind of someone who is copying and pasting the work of someone else and calling it their own?  In that moment doesn’t some kind of bell go off?  A twinge of guilt perhaps?  You obviously know what you are doing is wrong (of course you do!).   And now you have drawn others into your chaos…those who host your class…those who promote it sight unseen…people who sign up…other artists and makers that are part of the association or co-op where you teach and who support you and cheer you on.   Even I was taken aback by this brazenness.  Huh?? Just clicking to the previous link I newly discover that the write ups for her other shibori classes now posted all over the internet are very, very close to those I have written for other venues such as Quilt Festival, HGA, JANM and so forth.  This sort of nonsense calls everything you do into question. How can you not understand this?

OK.  So can we have some rules to follow here?

  • Create your own class descriptions.
  • Write up your own handouts.
  • Use images of your very own work to promote your teachings.
  • Create original content-both visually and in words
  • Have a little respect.  If not for others, just for yourself for cripes sakes.
  • Recognizing that much art is derivative, and that we learn from one another, provide a reasonable, if not complete, reference to your source. Give them credit and then add your own twist. (added from Martha’s suggestion in the comment section- thanks Martha!)

Some may think posting this is “unfair” or harsh.  I am willing to take responsibility for this and hope that whatever wrath I suffer will be balanced out by someone thinking twice before doing this again-to me or any other person trying to make a living off their work and using the internet in that pursuit.  I hope it helps in some small way.

Those of us who make a living encouraging creativity, artistry, learning, & craft want to share what we do and see others take what they learn and make it into something of their own. Speaking for myself, I want to enhance and expand your creative joy and sense of wonder. I enjoy teaching you new things in new ways…offering a new view.  I am not looking to see it duplicated or slightly modified so you can put it out there as your own.  What purpose does that serve anyone?  These sorts of instances take away the joy I find in doing what I do.  Please don’t kill the joy.

Last night I dreamt that every time I lifted my hand to the sky, a hummingbird landed on it. They were beautiful! And last week, I held a dragonfly who was on the verge of drowning in the backyard pond.

he sunned himself in the grass and flew away-

Online Silk Shibori Techniques workshop

I thought I would remind folks newly interested in learning shibori techniques that my original online shibori techniques workshop is still available in my online bigcartel shop.  It has been there for over a year now  since I originally posted it- many have taken it.  After the first initial run of the class I reworked it into a self-study class for a very fair price of $25 (that’s $5 per lesson!).

Here is the intro to my online shibori workshop:

The beauty of shibori is that it was created in a much simpler time, yet resulted in some stupendous fabric designs and possibilities. It was created out of ingenuity and a desire to have decorative fabrics for the masses. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to make yourself some basic shibori fabrics. In fact, most of what you need can probably be found in your kitchen, your garage or just hanging around the house.

As an anniversary of sorts, I am going to include a 20 minute skype call with the purchase of this class through the end of October.  You can use this call for a review of your work at the end of the class, for one-on-one help on a particular technique, or just to chat.

It’s always a pleasure to encourage creativity and wonder through shibori. Shibori is good for that. It encourages problem solving and original thought-I think that is what drew me to it in the first place and has continued my interest. I am also going to go on into the class and update a few things, perhaps add a little here and there as well.  It’s been a while since I checked in over there.

As always, the online class is always there for you regardless of timezone and time of day. No commuting necessary.  There for you when you are there and ready to check in.  No roll call needed, and you’re never late to class!

My other online classes include:

Let’s Dye with Indigo!


Indigo Mandala Workshop with Richard Carbin and Shibori Girl

I give you the techniques and you make it your own! You can be assured that the images I post here, on my flickr, and in my classes are of my own work (unless noted) and not of the work of others. Some examples include: