View Full Version : Up too late...
07-06-2004, 11:50 PM
...and I have been completely absorbed by all the threads here. I stumbled across this site from the kineticart.org site about an hour ago. So, I guess it is about time to jump in. I've been making a living from my wind sculpture for over 6 years. As a full time artist I am thrilled to find such an active board with so much pertinent information. I will look forward to some lively discussions.
Welcome to the group. Your wind pieces are fun and I can see why so many people have purchased them. The smaller ones are very affordable. It is interesting that there is such a distinct separation with the small ones being pictorial and the larger ones mostly abstract.
Could you explain more about the patent? I assume that it is the mechanism? What did it take to go through the patent process? I don't know of any other artist who has done this (though some may have) and am curious about the process.
07-07-2004, 10:25 AM
Welcome, Lisa. Congratulations on making a living from your work, that is a great accomplishment. And I'm with JAZ, tell us more about the patent and the process.
07-07-2004, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome.
JAZ - Yes, it is true that my smaller pieces tend toward the representational. Although my creative passion is fuelled by the abstract or more acurately modernism, cubism or even just plain mechanical, the fact that I want to support myself and my family through my creations I am motivated to design for the masses. My very early pieces were unrecognizable geometric forms and I'm often surprised that they sold. Listening to my customers however, I came to see a demand for their need to connect to the wind sculptures. Offering cats and dogs and fish, etc. is my way of reaching a wider audience. Now, after showing my work in several markets over and over I am seeing a greater acceptance for my abstract work. It is obvious that I use patterns to create many of the representational pieces but my abstracts are always free-formed. My customers are beginning to crave that aspect. It's almost as though I had to prove myself with the basics before they would trust my creativity. Now I hear things like, "I want something really different".
JAZ and Sam - The patent process was long. My reasons for seeing it through was because of the success of my representational works and the desire to protect a very simple design from the major importers. I have individuals look to "copy" my work frequently and I don't really have an issue with someone making ONE for his wife. They usually come back and buy one in the end after realizing the amount of work involved. But as a protection from a major invader I feel that I have made the right decision. The process itself wasn't terribly difficult in the sense that I turned the hard work over to an attorney who specializes in patents. Initially there were basic sketches and abstracts (terminology) to turn in. Later in the process more technical drawings were necessary and we used a professional. The entire process took about 3 years. In the middle the patent office came back with "similar" designs and we had to prove how ours was different. Mostly we were compared to signage and completely unrelated designs. It was almost like they had to come up with something, no matter how vague, to drag out the process both in time and dollars. In retrospect I would only do it with an attorney who knows what he's doing. There are I believe 3 different types of patents. Each offering different levels of protection. Separately there are international patents. I know nothing about that. We have a design patent which takes longer than a utility patent and offers the greatest protection. The other patent is for things like chemical recipes and biology, etc. The strongest part of my patent is that no matter how my invention is utilized, no matter what other design is attached to it, I am protected. Now deciding to defend your patent is another separate issue and needs to be considered before going to the trouble of applying for the patent. Every patent attorney will tell you if you have a small or limited income potential from your invention you may not want or need to protect it.
The best source of information is the patent office website at www.uspto.gov
where you can search and see other patents and learn about the different patent types. I apologize for going on and on but it is a complex process for which I hope I have answered some basic questions.
Now back to reading and learning. I just bought a Smithy mill lathe and I know very little about it. Who wants to come and teach me?
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