Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Unetchical or....

I came to my knowledge that my miniatures were sold at another miniaturists stand at a fair. The person had published lots of pictures on Facebook showing her fair stand including my miniatures and I also reqognized other artist´s minis too. I don´t mind someone else selling my items, but I sure would like to know, that she buys for resale purposes and that she informs her costumers about the miniatures origin.

I posted this in a miniatures sales group on Facebook:
"A question of ethic caracter: How would you feel if a costumer of yours sold your products as her own. I'm not talking about getting inspired and making ones own variation of another artist products, but actually selling the item, as it was bought from you, either alone or put in a display with other miniatures? I don't want to discuss who and where. I would just love to get your etichal view on this".

This is her answer in public (translated with google):
Declare that I have never said that I make with my hands all that you see, I try to do the decorator in 1/12 scale, what can I create it, I buy it on any other site online, the "revisit" transform , decorum trying to create sets. That said it happened that two people, friends and members to each other, they saw on my desk the tiny details that I purchased from them and they thought that I buy and resell individual figures saying that I made them ..... Do you know what a satisfaction!! I explained to them that, of 500/800, I have no idea, individual pieces that made my "settings" there were 6 or 7 their objects, ornaments x understand, I bought revisited with my taste and then glued along with many other things on my form one of the "sets". I am not able to build all, working both wood and glass that iron etc etc and I have never ever sold a miniature of my other guise! They wrote that the world of miniatures is rumbling, is in an uproar over this (which world, who?? Their friends?) ... AZZZ Excuse me if I do a good laugh, with a clear conscience I can afford it!!

I don´t want to drag a "Facebook war" to this blog, but I would like to know your oppinion to the etchics in a case like this.


  1. Oh Annie! After "visiting" FB today I know who you mean. Actually this person has just bought some stuff from me and thanks to you I know now what is going to happen to these miniatures.
    In my opinion she should inform her customers who made things originally.
    Actually personally I am not sure if I would go with the items bought from others to the fair and sell as mine...I just wouldn't dare...
    Seems like Catherine was right writting about signing miniatures by her own name when making them...

  2. It is a hopeless battle to take on. You can't realistically fight it on the ethics level anymore because of the current social media crazes on TV and Pinterest.

    What you are up against is the influence of thousands of DIY programs on television where "making it your own" is an acceptable practice that receives high public praise and the original creator of an object is never even considered worth a mention.

    That is the attitude taken by the person who gave the response. They have been brain washed into believing it is acceptable behavior anywhere at any time even in as small of a group as making dollhouse miniatures.

  3. Annie, I think she should tell who made the miniatures. It is not fair/ethical to sell it as your own!
    I would feel guilty doing that.

  4. Hi, this problem seems to be ongoing, I once made a comment about my work being copied and my ideas claimed as the persons own, I got shot down by others, I think it is wrong not to inform the person who you purchase minis from that you will be using them in settings to resell, theyn should give credit to the person who made them, I am not sure what the answer is, I do agree putting your signature on your minis, but then some are so small even this is difficult, I can only hope that those of us that do make and sell respect others work, if we were to name and shame those that do this, would this work? may be some one will have the answer

  5. Morally and ethically I think she should make it clear that the objects in her displays are not her own work and give credit where it is needed to the original artists.

    Legally though, as long as she's not deliberately claiming that all the work in her settings is created by herself, which from her reply she does not seem to be doing. I'm not sure there is anything you can do. Once someone has brought a product at the require asking price then what they do with it is in most practical senses up to them.

    In someways I guess I do something similar in that I buy dolls off ebay but then redress them to my requirements. This is for my own private hobby, I don't sell anything and if I did I'd give due to credit to the original doll artist. In fact even the few people that's seen my dolls house in private know the dolls are not made by myself. I can't make dolls faces, not unless you wanted Frankenstein. As I've purchased the dolls though I feel I'm entitled to redress them if I wish.

    In short I can understand why you feel peeved if you've not been given credit for you're work in a pieces that's being sold, but if's she's not claiming her settings are entirely self made I don't see that's she's done any great wrong either. It's 6 of one and half a dozen of the other as my gran would have said.


  6. Hi Annie, I made a post on FB about this but I think I will expand a bit here.

    If she resells them and implies or claims they are made by her own hand, then she is dead wrong. But if she simply resells, it is a really hard call because once she owns it, it is hers to do with as she wishes.

    There is a lady in the US who buys from artisans at the European shows and resells them here. I recognized some work and asked her about it. She claims not to "recall" the names of people she buys from and that since "everybody knows" she doesn't make the stuff herself, it's ok if she doesn't credit the original maker and buyers don't expect it.

    When I first started making miniatures, I sold some OOAK items to a person I knew was a dealer (I was thrilled at the time!) and she resold them without crediting me. That upset me alot and when I asked her about it, she replied that if she identified me, customers could go directly to me and not buy from her. Since I was only doing OOAK items, I thought that was a pretty weak argument.

    In my opinion, for what it is worth, I believe anyone who routinely resells should identify the artist of the things they resell, even if they use small items in a vignette which they then offer for sale.

    I won't sell to known dealers/resellers, if I can help it. But sometimes it is hard to know where your things will end up once they leave you. Signing everything you make is helpful but not always possible.

    Unfortunately, the only thing unethical is her reselling them and saying they are her creations. And short of calling her out on that, there isn't much you can do.

  7. Dear Annie, I see that all the subjects were enucleated so I do not have much to add. I think that selling the creations of others as their own, is quite counterproductive in the long run, because sooner or later someone asks you to make one like it, and you get stuck. I know for a fact that a person who has a great success in the world of miniatures, sold my cookbooks as her through Facebook. This was reported to me by several people, but in the end I resigned myself, as I am ashamed to give life to squalid controversy ... I have my dignity, too bad for those who do not have it.
    That said, you can see that your creations bear your name, even when it is not written on it, in fact they have been recognized as made ​​by you :-)
    Mini lovely hugs

  8. Hi, Annie
    I have the same problem, and I got very offended by seing pictures of my items on Facebook displayed on a stand for a fair. At the same time I identified some of your miniatures too and I knew she was a costumer of you too. I had no idea that she was selling our miniatures and I think the problem is double: Both the selling on a fair without stating that the items came from other persons, and publishing pictures on Facebook too where people compliments the stand and the minis without telling something. The pictures doesn´t reveal if she sells the items separately or as her own work. I asked the person to state that she used my miniatures in her displays but she didn´t seem to aknowledge the problem. She wrote back that she even repainted some of the items and that I should consider that it´s only a matter of small objects ;-) She agreed to stop using my miniatures though, and I won´t sell her more. But I can´t help thinking: What if I had a stand on the same fair? Would people think that she made the miniatures, and that I made copies to sell? How would people know?

  9. First time reader here.

    It is unethical for her not to clearly state/explain which items in her displays/scenes she didn't make herself--even if she painted or in other way altered them later to fit the scene.

    It is not illegal, though, so other than making it clear to your buyers that you would appreciate credit if/when they resell your stuff, there's nothing you can do.

  10. I can see your point, indeed I think her behaviour is not only immoral but also is illegal, the problem is how to prove it and embarras this person.
    I think you are fighting a losing battle unless you will find a way to sign your creations, like painters do. (Perhaps you should use a fire stamp)
    On the other hand, if the exibition is of miniatures artisans, the organizers should assume total responsibility, and perhaps as far as you are concerned, you should make a formal complaint in order to avoid this fraud.

  11. Annie, it's a rotten thing to do! Obviously this person has no conscience at all. There is no winning with people like that and arguing with them is a waste of time. I think that just having confronted her with what she has done is the best thing to help you heal because something like this has to hurt and keeping it to yourself would have made it worse for you. Just know that you are loved and respected in the miniature world, dear Annie!

  12. dear Annie, I've already written on FB and know my thoughts.
    I also think that there is no honor to copy and / or sell other things, posing as their ... will remain a bad memory of her, in memory of the people who buy from her, and reading her blog, and see her photos, because now the blogosphere knows .... ;)
    we are not all stupid, the wonderful things you do, you will immediately recognize, your signature is already there!
    kisses, Caterina

  13. Hi, I buy a lot of items from artisans and miniaturists both at fairs and on the internet. I enjoy buying direct from the artist and feel very lucky to be able to own such beautiful things.
    As a buyer I would like to see these people named and shamed on here and on Facebook so that I don't make the mistake of buying from them.
    Of course your work should be credited but if sellers such as this won't do it then you should do it yourself.

  14. Dear Annie, I am so sorry for you that this kind of things have happened to you. I think I understand what you feel. Some years ago I found one text written by me. Someone had used my text as his/her own. It was really unpleasant. All the best and lovely spring time. Many many hugs Kati

  15. I think kudos to you for posting this and for expressing yourself on the matter. There seems to be an unspoken rule that we only ever put a pretty face on things for public view and don't do anything to rock the boat. But the truth is that there are many people in the mini realm who are wounded by the less than honourable behaviour of those who should know better. I agree with Janice, as a buyer I like to know whose creation I am buying. Karma is the greatest balancer.