Tag Archives: United States

How SOPA or PIPA could affect Jane Street Clayworks and what it means to you and me

American law digests

American law digests at the Law Society of Upper Canada's Great Library at Osgoode Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. By Alan Shin via Wikimedia Commons (an Open Source tool)

Note: Since I wrote this post, legislators in the U.S. backed down. More than 100 withdrew their support of SOPA and PIPA. They will be rewriting the acts and taking them back to committee. Canadian legal scholar, Michael Geist, quoted below, states that the U.S. has particular aims and will continue to work toward them regarding these issues. Some of those aims aren’t jake and we must continue to be vigilant. You can find his site through the links below. — Jan


Yesterday, I observed a 24-hour blackout at Jane Street Clayworks to protest legislation before the U.S. Congress, in the Senate and House of Representatives. The bills are named the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). On the face of it, it doesn’t sound so bad. In addition, I do not support piracy and anything that smacks of plagiarism is deeply ingrained in my nature. Yet, I am also a big supporter of Open Source material and the philosophy behind it. Having researched these acts, though, I am livid over this legislation and what it could do to Internet and the blogosphere. Call it what they will, it amounts to a fight between the Old Power/Big Power versus Innovation and Technology. Such legislation would have far-reaching consequences for journalism at large, online media, and the blogosphere, in addition to many areas out of the scope of this blog. There are a number of issues and I’m going to tackle a few that are relevant to JSCW:

But first, let me give you a little background information about myself. I am a trained journalist with an M.A. in Journalism and have also taught writing at the university level. My work, journalistic and literary, has been published and I have also been an editor of both a newspaper and literary magazine. Most recently, I’ve engaged in professional development about and for social media.

What SOPA/PIPA means to me and Jane Street Clayworks:

  • No more youtube.

Example: I use many youtube videos on this site. They are legitimate videos made by ordinary potters and ceramists who do demos and upload the videos. However, if SOPA/PIPA are passed, one of the first things that will happen is that youtube will go down. Youtube will become mired in litigation because entertainment industry lawyers will be going after copyright infractions and piracy. In fact, they are gunning for youtube. Yet, those of us who have learned how to convert an electric Skutt kiln by watching a Simon Leach video do not have bad intentions and our actions are not illegal. My placing such a video on my blog is not an act of piracy. Yet, they would throw the baby out with the bathwater and the whole site would go down.

  • No more links on this blog, despite proper attribution.

Example:  If SOPA or PIPA goes into effect, the following quotation with link will be taboo: “The proposed law, as it stands now, would require Internet Service Providers to block access to any site accused of posting, or linking to, copyrighted content,” according to Robert Hiltz’ article, in the Montreal Gazette. What of the person who wants to publicize news or upcoming current events like I do with Ceramics News Briefs International? I won’t be allowed post such information. It will be back to ‘Old School’ methods… paraphrasing without links to the primary source. The very idea of it is regressive and it would be highly deleterious to the Internet, like tossing computers and going back to typewriters.

  • SOPA and PIPA would mean that U.S. law would not be confined to U.S. boundaries.

Example: Because I can without legal reprisal, I will use another quote from the Hiltz’ article in the Gazette: “The proposed law would do this because, (Michael) Geist explains, it is written so any website domain name registered in the United States is treated as if it were a U.S. page. That means any website that ends in .com, .net or .org – Postmedia News’ website, canada.com, included – accused of breaching copyright could be blocked by a U.S. court.” I chose a .com address for this blog because I believed it gave me greater currency worldwide. I did not use .ca (for Canada) because I thought it too limiting in a Global Society. If SOPA/PIPA passes, I will be beholden to U.S. laws even though I have a Canadian website just because of this blog’s address.

Michael Geist, quoted above, teaches law at the University of Ottawa in Canada and he specializes in Internet and Media Law. His article, Why My Website Went Dark Yesterday” states

the U.S. intellectual property strategy has long been premised on exporting its rules to other countries, including Canada. The same forces that have lobbied for SOPA and PIPA in the U.S. are the primary lobbyists behind the digital lock provisions in Bill C-11 and the recent submission to the U.S. government arguing that Canada should not be admitted to the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations until it complies with U.S. copyright demands.

SOPA virtually guarantees that this will continue. Not only is it likely that the U.S. will begin to incorporate SOPA-like provisions into its IP demands, but SOPA makes it a matter of U.S. law to ensure that intellectual property protection is a significant component of U.S. foreign policy and grants more resources to U.S. embassies around the world to increase their involvement in foreign legal reform.

One of my friends recently described the United States as “avaricious.” I will add to that, saying it is also litigious by nature. The world doesn’t like what is happening, though. According to Google, seven million people signed its petition protesting SOPA. Will it make a difference? To date, eight legislators have backed down and it looks like the acts will be rewritten. I don’t hold out much hope for revisions because the powers that be won’t let up. I enjoy writing for Jane Street Clayworks and working on a blog about creativity and all things ceramics. It has been one of my little dreams, exploring ceramics. No one likes a bully and bullying is something that is aggressively dealt with these days in schoolyards everywhere. Yet, it looks as if the U.S. is poised to bully its way toward what it wants, regardless. As Geist states,

Canadian businesses and websites could easily find themselves targeted by SOPA. The bill grants the U.S. “in rem” jurisdiction over any website that does not have a domestic jurisdictional connection. For those sites, the U.S. grants jurisdiction over the property of the site and opens the door to court orders requiring Internet providers to block the site and Internet search engines to stop linking to it. Should a Canadian website owner wish to challenge the court order, U.S. law asserts itself in another way, since in order for an owner to file a challenge (described as a “counter notification”), the owner must first consent to the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts.




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Display racks to enhance your artisan tiles

Tiles by William De Morgan, 1872-1882, manufactured by Josiah Wedgwood and Sons. Source: Wikimedia Commons

This summer, I learned that a tile I’d given for Christmas wasn’t being displayed. Well, I know that when it starts belonging to someone else, it is their business and what they do or do not do with it doesn’t pertain to me. Still, it did ‘ouch’ and brought up an issue: my lack of sources for displaying the things I make. The display hardware I’ve seen consists of wooden racks, Chinese style, and brass plate hangers that grip the piece from behind. Neither works well for my style of work. So, I decided to investigate, as I’ll soon be needing some. What I’m looking for are nice racks for my artisan tiles, something that would be sturdy, yet not detract, and nothing that feels modern. My tiles are Arts and Crafts style. This timeline spans the second half of the 19th Century in Great Britain and 1905-1925 in the U.S. In addition,  Orientalism was the rage for a decade, starting with the 1880s. Think Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado.” Ostensibly, these modern Chinese stands could be used, but I think they would detract from my tiles because of the ornamentation. Originally, such tiles would have been inset into wooden furniture, wall panels, and around fireplaces. Plate rails would have been used, too. But not all tiles would have been displayed that way. Because I am unable to try any of these out on my tiles, I am going to do a bit of photoshopping…will ‘place’ my tiles one-by-one behind the racks to see what I think looks best. If you know of any sources I might like, in addition to the one listed below, please let me know. I’d appreciate it! — Jan

Part of a panel of tiles designed by William Morris for Membland Hall and executed by William De Morgan, 1876. Source Wikimedia Commons

Tile Racks: Fine Home Displays carries some nice items. It also has Better Business Bureau accreditation and takes orders from Canada. The following are called plate holders, but they could easily double for tile racks, ones that hang.

  • The Loop Design is black with a matte finish and retails for $12.89-$14.89; comes in two different sizes.
  • The Scroll Style holder goes for $15.89-$18.89; comes in these colors: gold, steel, dark steel and black. Two sizes.
  • The Iron Easel is black and quite plain and I like it. Sells for $15.89. It’s quite large and can double as a bowl rack.
  • Chair Motif Bowl Holder for $19.89. Lovely; must include it! Wrought iron, an antique gold finish, it is now out of stock, but you can be notified when it’s in.

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Autumn 2011 International Ceramics Workshops

Summer vacation is almost other and parents are just a little addled from having had the kids home all summer. Judging from what parents are saying lately, they are in need of a little R & R. What better way than to explore your creativity? No multitasking…only an awareness of your own current projects. Stress and fatigue will melt away as your energy becomes grounded in clay. You will feel refreshed, renewed. Aren’t you worth it?

courtesy of Ceramic Arts Daily


September 19 to October 4, Crete
“Crete: Ancient and Contemporary Throwing and Handbuilding,” with Giorgos Dalamvelas and Denys James.
Discovery Art Travel 250-537-4906 |  denys@denysjames.com

September 9 to September 24, Skopelos
“Mia Muse,” with Suzy Birstein.
The Skopelos Foundation for the Arts
PO Box 56
30 24240 24143 | info@skopart.org


The International Ceramics Studio
Kapolna u.11
36 76 486867 | icshu@hotmail.com

September 7 to September 13
“Freedom on the Wheel,” with Gareth Mason.

October 12 to October 18
“Cast and Colored Concrete,” with Ferenc Csurgai.

October 20 to October 26
“Cast and Colored Concrete,” with Ferenc Csurgai.


October 13 to November 3
“Moroccan Ceramics and Adobe Architecture,” with Denys James.
Discovery Art Travel 250-537-4906 |  denys@denysjames.com


Colorado, Snowmass Village
September 12 to September 23
“The Joy is in the Journey,” with David Pinto and Stacy Snyder.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center
5263 Owl Creek Rd.
970-923-3181 | dcasebeer@andersonranch.org

Georgia, Decatur
MudFire Clayworks & Gallery
175 Laredo Dr.
404-377-8033 | info@mudfire.com

September 23 to September 25
“Drawing and Line,” with Diana Fayt.

October 28 to October 30
“Naked Raku and Alternative Firing,” with Charlie Riggs and Linda Riggs.

November 4 to November 6
“The Intuitive Figure,” with Debra Fritts.

Illinois, Chicago
September 24 to September 25
“Handbuilding with Soft Slabs,” with Marc Digeros.
Lillstreet Art Center
4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.
773-769-4226 | emilyschroeder@lillstreet.com

Illinois, St. Charles
October 28 to October 29
“Attention to Detail,” with Tom Turner.
The Fine Line Creative Arts Center
6N158 Crane Rd.
630-584-9443 | info@fineline.org

Iowa, Cedar Rapids
September 15 to September 16
“Soda Firing,” with Brad Schwieger.
The Ceramics Center
329 10th Ave. SE, Ste. 117
319-365-9644 | /ICC_juriedshow.htm |

Maine, Deer Isle
August 28 to September 3
“Object/Maker/Storyteller,” with Kevin Snipes.
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
89 Haystack School Dr.
207-348-2306 | haystack@haystack-mtn.orginfo@theceramicscenter.org

Maryland, Baltimore
Baltimore Clayworks
5707 Smith Ave.
410-578-1919 ext.18 | mary.cloonan@baltimoreclayworks.org

September 24 to September 25
“Botanical Abstractions,” with Leigh Taylor Mickelson.

October 1 to October 2
“Creating Custom Decals,” with Justin Rothshank.

Michigan, Fennville
October 22 to October 23
“Simply Elegant,” with Elizabeth Lurie.
Khnemu Studio
6322 113th Ave.
269-236-9260 | dawn@khnemustudio.com

Montana, Missoula
October 8
“Intimate Porcelain: Fingertips to Form,” with Carla Potter.
The Clay Studio of Missoula
1106 A Hawthorne St.
406-543-0509 | director@theclaystudioofmissoula.org

New Mexico, Abiquiu
Ghost Ranch, Hwy 84, between mileposts 224 and 225
575-571-4430 | workshop@nmpotters.org

September 9 to September 11
“For the Love of Good Pots,” with Susan Filley.
New Mexico Potters and Clay Artists (NMPCA)

October 2 to October 8
“Micaceous Pottery and Fall Traditions of Northern New Mexico,” with Camilla Trujillo.

October 9 to October 15
“Clay Lanterns at Ghost Ranch,” with Camilla Trujillo.

October 9 to October 15
“White Heat: Cone 10,” with Barbara Campbell.

Tennessee, Gatlinburg
September 4 to September 10
“Wood Fired Pots: Expect the Unexpected,” with Michael Kline.
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
556 Pkwy.
865-436-5860, info@arrowmont.org

Virginia, Lorton
October 21 to October 23
“Approaches to Form and Surface,” with Suze Lindsay and Gay Smith.
Workhouse Arts Center
9517 Workhouse Way, Ceramics Bldg. 8
703-584-2982 | dalemarhanka@lortonarts.org

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Holiday time in N. America! Canada Day & the 4th of July

Happy Canada Day!

Happy 4th of July!

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