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On Hiatus + Thanks

Thank you to everyone who contributed projects to the Obama Craft Project, to everyone who donated funds to the Obama campaign via our fundraising efforts here at OCP, to everyoen who read this blog and commented. This site has probably been the most personally meaningful project of which I’ve every been involved. With that said, I think I’m going to just let the site be as it is for awile. It’s serving as a wonderful archive of the efforts of you dedicated crafters, and I hope it will be something which inspires folks for years to come. We’ll be back as the 2012 election nears, and if there are bits of news or can’t miss projects that we’ve just got to share with you. For now, thank you, and please visit the OCP site often, as this slideshow will continue to pull new items from the Obama Craft Project flickr pool.

July 18, 2009   Comments Off

Harvesting Hope

I spotted the inspiring Harvesting Hope project via Julie Ree, who created the gorgeous Crafters for Obama logo that a lot of folks used during the campaign. Harvesting Hope is an inspiring answer to President Obama’s call to service that Julie Ree’s mom started with a bunch of her Obama campaign buddies.

Harvesting Hope is a group of folks in Williamsburg, VA, who have been creating container gardens for 100-plus food-pantry recipients and people living in local subsidized housing communities. Our hope is to sprout gardening communities in these neighborhoods — and help these folks build community gardens.

You can read more on their blog–I was fascinated by the way their container gardening system works. Also, check out Julie Ree’s blog post on the topic as well.

July 17, 2009   Comments Off

Obamaware in American Craft Magazine

Photo of an Obamaware item "in action." Photo from the American Craft Magazine article.
An Obamaware item “in action.” Photo from the American Craft Magazine article.

There’s a nice essay by Sarah Archer in the current issue of American Craft Magazine (the publication of the American Craft Council) about the Obamaware project we featured last fall. It’s very exciting to see a mention of OCP in the article, and even more exciting to read that Ayumi Pottery is maintaining an online photo gallery of the Obamaware pots in action. There’s something very special about seeing these items being used in people homes, rather than simply sitting on a shelf, as well as seeing these items–and many other Obama-related crafts–live on as a part of people’s daily lives after the election.

February 11, 2009   Comments Off

Good Golly, This is Awesome!

Barack Obama portrait on velvet

The delightful Susan Beal spotted this amazing velvet portrait rendering of President Obama, created by Jennifer Kenworth (aka Juanita), at this weekend’s Crafty Wonderland. Does this mean that our president is as big as Elvis–the reining king of velvet portraiture–now?

(Yes, that’s a Mr. T doll in the foreground. In case you were wondering.)

February 11, 2009   Comments Off

AP Suing Shepard Fairey Over Derivative Image


One of our favorite derivatives of this now-iconic derivative image.

I can’t say that I’m at all surprised that the AP has decided to take legal action about Shepard Fairey‘s use of one of their images in what has now become an iconic portrait of our new president. The “Hope” image that become an overnight sensation originated as a photograph taken by a temporary photography working for the Associated Press–and they are seeking compensation and credit for the image.

Here’s a snip of the AP (har!) article about the issue:

The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.

“The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission,” the AP’s director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.

“AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey’s attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution.”

“We believe fair use protects Shepard’s right to do what he did here,” says Fairey’s attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. “It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP.”

Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for and how the original is affected by the new work.

I am generally very sympathetic to taking action when it comes to people essentially ripping off others’ intellectual property. However, in this instance, my instinct is that this situation stinks, stinks, stinks. Keep in mind, that simply by posting a link to this AP article and a quote from it, there’s a decent chance that the AP will sue me. Yep, the venerable Associated Press has made a habit of suing bloggers for driving traffic to the AP’s content. The Washington Post’s tech section has a nice summary of this issue, if you want to learn more. All I have to say is, there’s a reason that many newspapers are dropping their subscriptions to the AP wires, and people in the media will tell you that it’s not just cost cutting.

While there’s no doubt that Shepard should have gotten permission to use the image, I highly doubt that he imaged it would become the phenomenon that it has, that it would end up in the National Portrait Gallery or knitted into sweaters. Nor, do I image, did he anticipate that it would be embraced by the Obama campaign itself.

It’s important to note the Shepard claims that he did not keep any money he made from this image, aside from the obvious popularization of his work.

February 5, 2009   2 Comments