for the record

regarding the projects I share:

Mostly people are respectful and gracious. Occasionally someone isn’t. Mostly I ignore that. Once in a while I feel the need to say something. I came across my paper mache teacup tutorial published by someone else as her own work. That is unacceptable. I asked her to remove the post. She has not and changed the date of her post to predate mine  – find her original post  here or here (click on the image for a larger view). It is also published on instructables.com and I have asked them to remove it.

I love making projects to share and will continue to. I love seeing what you make:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/1315046@N23/

I really hate it when someone does something like this. I experimented with the cardboard teacup shape for over a year. I didn’t find something and rework it. It didn’t come out of thin air.

teacuptrials

It was a lot of work, a lot of experimenting and template making and taping cardboard together and failing and trying again and again.

I would really much prefer to say nothing about this but there is a level of dishonesty here I won’t tolerate.

ann wood

69 Comments

  1. That is such an outrage that someone would do that, and then burying it admits to her wrongdoing. I think it’s healthy to bring it to light here. And when similar situations like this happen to me, after I get upset, I tell myself to just move forward. Thanks for this post.

  2. Missy French

    Artists all go thru trials and errors. Part of the process. For someone to use your idea and claim it as their own, that’s not an artist. That’s a copy cat.

    Your art work has inspired me to try things in my own work. Thank you!

  3. Oh well Ann, what to say… It always boggles my mind that people find it ok. I’m sure if you ask them;”Would you walk into a store and steal an item?” Majority would reply that for sure no, yet stealing on the internet is fine. I feel that most people don’t steal because it’s morally wrong, but because the risk of being caught is humiliating to them. It’s time to start exposing them. Thank you for this and all your other wonderful posts (I still haven’t finished the sailboat, but will soon :))), best wishes Klara

  4. For a moment, I thought she might have just made a mistake… until I looked at the template.

    She did link to your boats but didn’t link her “inspiration.” I made your tea cup right away…and IMMEDIATELY linked to you…as did others who made it.

    It only takes a minute to give credit where it is due. It is hard to believe that anyone would pass your template off as her/his own. Why can’t people just do the right thing?

  5. I hope undesirable instructables grows a conscious and acknowledges she copied from you. I can’t believe she even added a link to your boats. She should be red faced with shame.

  6. Ann, I understan you anger (I hope you are angry), but I fear this will happen again and again. And again. I learned from a friend who was ripped off, to embrace it! So I would write a post along this line: “I am so happy people love my designs. Like XX, who’s tried this project (…) and is passing it on to her reader (link).” Then I would make a picture link, maybe with the text “Copy cats”, er… sorry, I mean “Others who’ve tried my designs”. They may not link back to you, but at least you’ve set things straight… in a way. // Happy Midsummer from Sweden.

  7. I agree. You should be proud of your work. It’s ok to feel you have the need to express the situation and wanting your followers to know. I really like your work and I think you defending your genuine creativity is something to admire.
    So good for you, and keep giving us the oportunity to see and even do your ideas. Thank you.

  8. I think most people have seen, and heard of, some outrageous copy cats and it never fails to sadden and annoy on the behalf of the original artist. Shame on this person when they could have made these cups and pointed out your original in a fair and honest way.

    You’ve shared some fantastic projects for fans and handicrafters to try and it’s been greatly appreciated. I’m really glad that this kind of experience won’t stop you from doing that!

  9. I’m shocked and appalled, but not surprised one bit. I’ve had the same thing happen to me…it’s so hard to explain the feeling of violation that occurs when someone does this. I feel like my creations are a part of me and when someone does this they are taking something very precious.

    I found your teacup pattern on someone’s blog (who credited you!) and fell totally in love with your work. I have one sitting on my table, waiting to be decorated. I’m so glad you shared your pattern and hope this doesn’t discourage you from sharing in the future.

  10. I’m shocked and appalled, but not surprised one bit. I’ve had the same thing happen to me…it’s so hard to explain the feeling of violation that occurs when someone does this. I feel like my creations are a part of me and when someone does this they are taking something very precious.

    I found your teacup pattern on someone’s blog (who credited you!) and fell totally in love with your work. I have one sitting on my table, waiting to be decorated. I’m so glad you shared your pattern and hope this doesn’t discourage you from sharing in the future.

  11. I’m shocked and appalled, but not surprised one bit. I’ve had the same thing happen to me…it’s so hard to explain the feeling of violation that occurs when someone does this. I feel like my creations are a part of me and when someone does this they are taking something very precious.

    I found your teacup pattern on someone’s blog (who credited you!) and fell totally in love with your work. I have one sitting on my table, waiting to be decorated. I’m so glad you shared your pattern and hope this doesn’t discourage you from sharing in the future.

  12. I’m shocked and appalled, but not surprised one bit. I’ve had the same thing happen to me…it’s so hard to explain the feeling of violation that occurs when someone does this. I feel like my creations are a part of me and when someone does this they are taking something very precious.

    I found your teacup pattern on someone’s blog (who credited you!) and fell totally in love with your work. I have one sitting on my table, waiting to be decorated. I’m so glad you shared your pattern and hope this doesn’t discourage you from sharing in the future.

  13. Do this: search Google to come up with her site. (I won’t recommend specific search terms, in case Google discounts a lot of identical searches).

    Click through. Back up to Google. Mark “Block all results from [her domain.]”

    Enough people do this, she loses her Googlejuice. Without that, she ceases to exist for most intents and purposes.

  14. Catherine Wood

    Soldier on Ann Wood. We love to see what you create and thank you for sharing your original ideas. It is unfortunate that everyone cannot do the right thing. I wanted to put a nasty comment on her blog but as my fiance pointed out, you took the high road and so should I.

  15. When I consider the amazing engineering of this cup (which I made and blogged and linked back to you), the trials and attemps at cutting, taping, and configuring over a year’s work , then the generosity of sharing, I blanched when I read this. Its vile. You did the proper thing by dropping a dime on her. thanks for your always inspiring work, Ann.
    Best,
    Julie

  16. Ann, good for you for standing up for yourself, your process, and your work. Blog thieves make me nuts.

  17. Ann,
    Thank you for speaking up.
    1. I feel inspired by artists of your great caliber.
    2. I feel disgusted by liars. I always taught my students that plagiarism is lying, cheating and stealing.
    3. Thank you for trumpeting those good apples who give credit where credit is due.

    Keep on inspiring us. I’m so very sorry this happened.

  18. Oh Ann… That is just TERRIBLE! You are absolutely right to say something! It is your work and just rediculous that people cannot respect that. I know you take so much pride in your designs and keep at it! We LOVE LOVE LOVE them and are always so excited to see what new things you come up with!

  19. Hélène

    Dear Ann,
    I have been a great admirer of your work for a long time and I am absolutely schocked bei the impertinence of some people in the internet.Sybille says she is a designer in fact she is just someone who steals ideas, poor,poor Sybille and lucky you
    because lots of people just love your creativity!Please go on to enjoy us with your wonderful little birds, cups or whatever it is,
    Salut, Hélène

  20. wow, the nerve of her to post a link to your other work and then act like she invented the teacup! i’m stunned. this is just terrible for you, but i am glad that you are still willing to share your ideas. know that all of us reading here are rooting for you!

  21. now that is really low. i really hate poser-bloggers, especially those who copy the works of others. and what’s more, they edited the date of the post! don’t worry,Ann, your followers are still here for you

  22. Karen Katz

    I’m so sorry about what happened to you. I have long admired your work. You don’t deserve to be treated that way.

  23. This is basically my biggest fear about putting my work online, and I hear about it all too often, it scares me! Once I saw someone else doing it and let the owner of the work know. I also left a comment on her blog and she commenced stalking me all over the internet and slandering me wherever she could! It was horrible, she was totally in the wrong but was somehow convinced that she was right. The only good thing to come out of it was that I never named and shamed her (except to the owner of the work) but she ended up doing it herself by telling everyone that I was a liar. What I am getting at here is that people who do things like this ALWAYS slip up and always get caught. Good on you for standing up for yourself and your awesome work!

  24. Dear Ann
    I’m so sorry you’ve come across such a sad and pathetic individual. As a successful artist I guess it’s always impossible to avoid such imposters. At the end of the day the originating source is so evident because of your exquiste talent, your sense of finesse elegance and attention to detail. This fraud has NOTHING of the likes. But how infuriating…

  25. An artist is someone who is inspired by the work of others, they absorb the creative ideas that they love and inevitably it all helps to develop their own imaginative process. People who blatantly copy are not artists and they are doing themselves a disservice.

  26. Jill in Florida

    This happens all the time. It seems to be excepted in the design world by so many. I have a friend who had designs stolen off of fabric she designed, copied/scanned directly from the fabric(including the fabric grain) manufactured as part of a product and sold by a very popular gift designer. Not the first thing stolen of hers and it will not be the last.

    It is a compliment on your excellence and talent, an unfortunate compliment but a compliment none the less.

  27. this just happened to me. there are so many ways to be inspired by someone else without crossing the line. what are people thinking?

  28. Personnellement, j’ai utilisé votre tutoriel pour faire des tasses, et je les ai mises sur mon blog en faisant un lien vers votre blog. J’avais essayé de mettre un commentaire sur votre article pour vous signaler tout ça, mais le commentaire ne passait pas. Celui-ci va-t-il passer ?
    Merci encore pour ce tuto, j’ai fait plein de tasses en cadeau, et puis j’en ai fait faire à mes élèves pour la fête des mères !
    Merci encore. Bises. Annabel

  29. I am another long term lurker and a huge fan. Please do let people like that put you off or stop sharing we all love your work and the generosity of sharing patterns like that and the world would be a lesser place if we let them win by becoming scared of sharing. The true artist always shines through I truly believe that !

  30. Dear Ann,
    I am a big fan of yours and have been ever since I saw your boats featured on Kickcan and Konkers. I finally had the chance to make some of your boats this winter, of which I have kept one and given the rest away to special people (my 4 godsons) as birthday presents. Because I do calligraphy on the sails, a couple of people have asked me to sell them. I refused – out of ethics – it’s not “my” idea. I feel horrified and sorry that someone has taken your beautiful teacup tutorial and claimed it as theirs. YOu are right to speak out.

    Your work is truly sublime. In fact, I pity the person who feels they have to steal to exist. Thank you so much for sharing Ann, you have inspired me so much. There are leaders and followers. You will always be one step ahead of the poor soul who has no creativity or ethics. Be thankful for that – we are!!

  31. I am fairly new to the whole blogging world and I’ve been so impressed by the sense of community and the sharing of ideas and creativity. It really has been an inspiration. Your tea cup has, in particular, been a big source of that inspiration. I fell in love with your tea cup on someone else’s blog a few weeks ago and I couldn’t believe your generosity in sharing how it was made. I obsessed over it for a week or so before finally getting a chance to make my own – it was a disaster, hey – it was my first paper mache since primary school – but I have a whole load of card stacked for all of my other attempts. I’ve lurked on your blog since – your work is just brilliant. I hope the rotten blogger feels her shame soon enough and apologies are forthcoming. Thank you for the tea cup anyway and all your other wonderful work.

  32. This is a good sign that you’ve hit the big time. I know it sounds backwards but these crap experiences seem to be a sign that you are doing something and LOTS of people are taking notice. Keep up the brilliant work it’s making a lot of us happy!

  33. … OMG.. that’s shocking!… I too used your template but gave credit and linked to your blog. It would seem to me to be the polite thing to do… but some people are just not polite!

  34. Interesting how her sidebar asks for those who use her photos to credit and link back to her.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. It’s sad she didn’t have enough belief in her own talent and/or enough decency to give credit where credit is due.

    What goes around comes around and all your positive energy will bring back great things to you.

    Thank you for sharing your pattern and work with us.

  35. Jacqueline

    Hi Ann,

    I completely agree with you….very uncool and unfair of this person to claim the tutorial as theirs. You could send a cease and desist letter. Also right now and in the future when you design a specific template for said project I think it would protect you to trademark/copyright the design, with a warning on the instruction page. I am sorry this happened to you.

  36. My comment on her blog is “awaiting moderation” and I doubt it will actually get published, but at least I know she will read it, “You have clearly copied Ann Wood’s work here. This is a violation of copyright law. Inspiration is not the same as copying.”

    Sorry you’re having to deal with this. xoxox!

  37. this happened to me years back…I’d taught a bear making class, gave out the pattern and then saw my words and work written up in a magazine as belonging to someone that took the class- it was pointed out to me by most everyone that had been in attendance, so it wasn’t my imagination. It was like being slapped in the face, so I know the shock you must have felt, too. I did confront the woman and had as much luck as it seems you did… ‘oh, it was just a class project, i didn’t think it mattered’ was her reply.
    What’s sad, is that it makes you really think twice before sharing again.

  38. I’m a big fan of your work, Ann and think that’s awful that this person did that to you. You are so kind to offer these patterns and projects for people to make on their own, and then for someone to steal your ideas as if they are their own. Shame on her! People don’t realize that creating is work and takes time. Stealing that from you (or other people who create) is unacceptable. Like my Mom always says, “What goes around comes around….”

  39. You have a huge following, please know that we know (easier to type then say)thats its your work……I am so sorry this has happened to you…..

  40. I am new to your work and your website and am in complete awe of your talent. I had turned away from my work for sometime but you have truly inspired me to continue creating. I am saddened to hear that someone has stolen from you. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how generous one is there is always someone who feels the need to take even more. I applaud your graceful yet direct approach to the matter. I am upset for you but know that as the true artist you will always shine brighter and the copy cat is just, well, a copy.

  41. As a fellow artist who gets pillaged here and there, I can’t but send you my deep sympathy. I once had a person who sold one of my designs, antedated them, sold them, and worse : tried to sue me for copyrights infringements. I was very lucky she forgot to look closely at my website, the design was older than she thought and she had to give me back all the money she made from it. I was so disgruntled I sent all the money to UNICEF…it actually made me feel very good, so now each time one of my designs is stolen (I even found them once on Ohdeedo) I ask the thief to send money to my favorite charities. Word went in and I get less stolen! So it can go better, and people are learning…don’t give up! Cheers, and thanks for sharing !

  42. You have handled this with grace.

    Karma will do its work so that you can focus on doing what you do best which is inspiring others with beauty.

    I especially love how you’re willing to share with your readers.

    Living is risky and dangerous. But fear not: what you do can’t really be copied because it is yours, and only yours, and your readers can instantly smell a rat!!!

  43. Dear Ann,
    Grrr I feel so angry for you. Looking at pictures of what you make is always such a treat, (I’ve just seen the picture of those little owl talons and they look awful! I want to squish them like they were fat horrid spiders. This isn’t to say they aren’t amazing, but they gave me the scary willies!)you are so incredibly talented. I wish there was an internet police that could stop this happening, but reallly people should know in their hearts that it isn’t nice or proper to do.
    I hope she takes down her post, I’ve tried to comment on her site but I don’t think I am doing it right as it doesn’t seem to register.
    Something similar happened to me recently, (I don’t blog, can just about manage to send an email!) I made some crochet brooches and was selling them in a local shop run by a friend. A woman who blogs and sells her things came in saw my brooches, actually commented that she liked them, picked them up to have a good old look at how they had been made, went home, made her own, took photos of them, blogged about them saying she had seen some brooches she had liked (but didn’t mention where she had seen them, or who had made them…hmmmm thanks for that!) and then put her photos on her blog. She then had the cheek to ask her readers if they would like the pattern! obviously people said yes, but what annoyed me (as well as her ripping me off) was these readers all put comments like “what a lovely brooch” “ooh you’re so clever!” (not sure what is clever about copying someone else so completely, personally just think it is very mean)so she then put up a pattern how to make my brooches! It only gets better from here, a friend who knows her had a table at the craft fair organised by the mean woman, and “meany” knew me and my work would be there, and actually telephoned my friend and said she didn’t want my brroches to be there as she had made some herself! I had to sit at the craft fair at the next table to “meany” and look at the copies that this woman had made of my work. I could see the stitches from like 2 metres away so wasn’t impressed at all. I was just so shocked I couldn’t say anything, and I didn’t want to cause a bad scene for my friend. I make my living from what I sell and it has made me feel really sad that someone would do this.
    I wish people could just be honest and make their own work with out stealing the livlihood from other people.

  44. your tea cup is also on pocketfulofdreams. I have just sent them an email saying the design is yours not funkydoodahs x

  45. Very sad to read this.
    I am a long-time lurker and big fan of your work.

  46. Sad to hear, but one will always from time to time, experience things like this (I’m an artist myself).
    Remember, you made it first in the best way! Go on, I’m a fan of yours!
    Greetings from Norway.

  47. I am so very sorry to hear this. You are absolutely right this is unacceptable and you did the right thing by publishing this.
    I have been following your blog for quite a while, I adore your work and I am ever so grateful for all the hints and tips and the templates. It is such a treat to work with them. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  48. Good for you for posting your thoughts. I am in complete agreement with you. Sometimes you wonder where people’s souls are? I work as an artist and have this happen a few times. It is wrong. At the end of the day know this. You will forever have fresh beautiful ideas and creations. The person who takes from you will never and what a sad place to live in. You are amazing and so so talented. Just a joy to see your creations. Much appreciation to you and luck to you always. Kelli

  49. Hi Ann,

    it seems the blog and photo have been removed! Justice!!!
    I hate it when people steal other people’s ideas.
    I love your birds, always look at your blog when there is a new item.

    greetings from the Netherlands,
    Anne

  50. What a disappointment! Your work is unique, as well as, an inspiration to everyone who is interested in crafting, etc….especially in blogland.

    I suppose many would say that jealousy is a kind of compliment, but certainly not, when copying artwork (without due credit to the artist) and claiming it as her own.

    Keep up the good work. The posers will be called out.

  51. Ann, I hope this does not change your mind about sharing your projects. I love your work and the projects that you so generously share with us are just amazing and fun and inspiring! My daughters and I get so excited every time you put a new one up! Thank you!

  52. What a shame this has happened. I saw your tea cup long ago and fell in love with it. Don’t know that I will ever try to make one, but hope this experience doesn’t deter you from sharing your lovely designs.

  53. When someone steals another’s ideas or the more tangible designs, ideas, directions, it bothers me alot. It’s especially disappointing when the thief is a creative person (or maybe just a wanna-be creative type) … and always a bit jarring when those who are stealing others’ work and claiming it as their own don’t see anything wrong in their actions. When I was designing and making original hats, another milliner (a much more commercially successful one) told me she was “going to steal” one of my hats. It was mind boggling.

    I love your work and the generous way you share your process. While I would understand if this experience changes your attitude about the things you share, I hope you will always know that many love and respect your vision and your incredible work.

  54. I had a look at the link. Frankly, it’s just plain stealing. That blog is now on my black list.

  55. How discouraging. Thank you for sharing your work — glad to hear you’re not planning to quit that.

    I wanted to share this website that addresses this very problem in a loving, constructive way …
    http://linkwithlove.typepad.com/linkwithlove/

    From the page:
    “It is our goal to inspire positive change in the way art, photography, design, words, music, film and ideas are shared on the internet. We believe that intellectual property needs to be handled with love and respect. We believe in the goodness of people. We believe in the power of the internet. We believe that Maya Angelou was absolutely right when she said “when you know better you do better.”

    We need your help. We need your support. Learn more. Spread the word. Post our badge on your sites to show that you LINK with love.”

  56. Ann I am so sorry when I read your post it made me so sad 🙁
    There are unscrupleous people out there that steal the art from artists to just make themselves some money…

    Nothing can beat the real thing, and you are the real thing darling…

    Big hugs from me…

    Katherine xX

  57. I rarely comment on blog posts, but when I read this one I just wanted to tell you how much I love your art. It is so unique to you. I agree with Katherine Cooper that “you are the real thing” and people who love your art recognize that.

  58. I love your stuff, and find it so so so extremely ignorant that someone would steal it! And then have the nerve to POST is not only on their blog, but on sites like Craft: and instructables!!

    it certainly makes me question the entire content of her blog, and that would not gain her readers or respect. ugh.

    I absolutely love your owls!! And the gorgeous clothes you destroy to make them makes me cry a little inside.

  59. Something like that happened to me. There is nothing really to be done this side of litigation, and what artist(there are some not many) can afford the time and currency that would take. Your owls are beautiful, I just love the expressiveness.

  60. that’s such a disappointment. I hate to think that the blogs I’m following are actually stealing ideas from someone else. your work is original and creative, plenty of people recognize that and know the real thing. 🙂

  61. amberlee16

    http://Fun.kyti.me/index.php/2011/02/paper-mache-tea-cups/

    The owner changed the post a little bit, even links to one of Ann’s projects for sale….but you can see she has her “own” version of the directions/instructions for this adorable tea cup…. My friend stopped blogging altogether because of people like this (she calls them Looters and Theives)…so sad when the creative minds like yours and my dear friend are diminished because of greedy people who wish they had a tenth of your talent.

    I just found your blog from another blog and adore the gorgeous items you have here. Thank you for sharing them with us!

  62. Dear Ann,

    I really love your website that was mentioned in the current Burda magazine in which it was explained how your cups are made.

    In my opinion it is a shame what this person did and it would be a great pity if that would stop you from going on with your shared projects.

    cheers
    Ulrike

  63. One thing the cant take away with them when they steal an idea is the the soul of the idea and their teacups dont sing from the heart like yours. I dont want to make one of theirs but I am itching to make one like yours!
    Kay

  64. I found the teacup pattern via your blog, and we have really enjoyed creating mini-masterpieces using your template. I thank you so much for sharing it!

    I find it hard to believe that anyone can feel they are entitled enough that they post others’ work as their own.

    I am glad you are still sharing regardless!

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