Sunday, 18 August 2019

Can't fool all the people all the time



People who follow me on Instagram at #pearlredmoonart will have noticed I haven’t been posting much lately. That’s because I feel nauseated every time I start scrolling through my feed to see Chinese mass manufacturing businesses using photographs of clothes I’ve made in their online shops. It makes me anxious and upset. Depressed.



the 2 garments of the right are photos of art to wear clothes made by me.
They are NOT THE PRODUCT OF TUSANCAT


Jacket on the left was made by me.
NOT THE PRODUCT TUSANCAT IS SELLING!!!


Another level of distress has been the enormous amount of my precious time I’ve devoted in the last few weeks to trying to bring this to the attention of Paypal, Shopify and Facebook….all to learn that a single individual artisan like me, and all the many others, are so easy to sideline and ignore. The processes we are invited to engage in are a travesty and move with the alacrity of a zombie.

I’ve been writing this blog for almost 10 years and long term readers know without doubt that I am a real person talking about my real life, showing and discussing my textile art and other political issues that interest me.

My overarching concern for most of the decade writing this blog has been about the climate emergency. The life I live has been consciously chosen and constructed to create the most minimal  footprint I can on the ecology of my immediate environment and the larger world.

I don’t manufacture clothing at any scale. Working at my most efficient I might be able to make 2 simple dresses in a working day of 8 hours. My real output is probably more like 3-5 garments a week. In my making I’m using at least 80% recycled used clothes and discarded items that would have gone to landfill. 

When I make a piece of clothing I try to invest in it time, imagination and processes that value add to the item of clothing so that whoever buys it regards it as art to wear. Everything I make is intended to be something special, handmade and unique that the buyer will wear for years, perhaps a lifetime, and not treat as a piece of “fast fashion” or disposable clothing. I don’t make trash clothing and abhor the fast fashion model of business. 

It is unethical and destructive on almost every basis I can think of.

 Heres a list of just a few issues that comes to mind

1)      They steal the creative production of others to enrich a small cabal of business owners
2)      They exploit their workers by under paying and over working them
3)      They create poorly made rubbish fast fashion that customers may only wear briefly then dispose of probably within a few months
4)      They pollute their own local environment though the careless use of resources, like electricity, fuel to send their garbage all over the world, enormous waste of water to manufacture the synthetic fabrics they use and to get them printed…

new dress I made a few days ago

Over the years I have frequently waved my flag as an ethical maker. This is part of why I feel compelled to do everything I can to try to stop Chinese company ChicV in continuing it’s fraudulent activities. If I walked away from this it would be condoning that they can continue scamming purchasers with impunity and wrecking our precious Earth. In the way ChicV have appropriated my work they have instantly subverted every activity I’ve done in a decade to try to live as low polluting as I can. They have taken my creative production, unique art to wear clothes I’ve sometimes spent 40 hours making, and pretended that that item is a picture of their product. They tell potential customers looking at the products for sale in their shops that that is what they are buying. It is a complete and utter fraud.

I am virtually powerless to have any interaction with ChicV that would be taken seriously by them. This is part political, because The Peoples Republic of China doesn’t recognise international copyright laws. They can give me the finger.

So action needs to be taken probably in the USA. Paypal, Shopify and Facebook need to be held to account for facilitating the advertising and mailorder payments of this criminal enterprise. My recent experience with trying to communicate with them and having gotten engaged in the processes they present is that it is a travesty designed to obsfuscate and cause the complainer to throw their hands up in frustration and walk away.

Running a successful campaign to get change is going to need a team of people that can focus. A plan needs to be made. Politicians need to be lobbied and gotten on board. Lawyers with knowledge of international ecommerce and copyright laws are needed to advise. Journalists in the news media and influencers on social media need to advocate loud and far.

Angry people are mobilising in Facebook groups and various forums. We need to get together to formulate a plan of action to get the attention needed.

ChicV and other international fraudsters operating this type of business model must be stopped.

Please discuss….

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

up for grabs

In the midst of all the angst and ranting and raving over the copyright violations of the Chinese mass manufacturing fraud clothing business ChicV.... there was a parcel of fabric delivered to my post box this morning that bought a glimmer of joy back into my life, momentarily.

On the right side panel of this blog there is a link to my Spoonflower fabric shop which sells fabric I've designed. It is the 4th one down.

One of the fabrics in that shop is this

Green dress, red roses




So if you were fancying to buy this jacket made by me, circled in the picture above featured in the online shop of fraudsters Modarie.com, but want as close to the real thing as possible - not the hideous crappy fake the Chinese will substitute - this is what to do.

*  Buy 1.8 metres or 2 yards of the fabric print "Green dress, red roses" from my Spoonflower shop. For the jacket I made I used cotton sateen. But you could use the cheapest cotton fabric or even velvet or silk for a really luxurious version.

*  Buy my PDF sewing pattern the "Marama Coat". This is the pattern I used. I made a version without the pockets on the left front. The very same coat picture stolen by Modarie.com is one of the sample garments shown in the promotional images for the coat pattern.

Marama Coat


Sales of fabric from my Spoonflower shop are miniscule. I maintain it so that every now and then I can get some fabric printed with images I make in Photoshop. There is a trickle of sales sufficient that after a year or 2 enough commission $$$ accumulates to buy perhaps 5-6 metres of my own designs or from other designers there.

Three weeks ago I designed these 2 prints and they arrived in the mail today!

Faded Japan

Nippon postcard fabric 

I can't say I'm excited to show what I've been planning to make, because I'm most definitely not. The idea of publishing any more pictures of my art on this blog fills me with dread from now on. It has become a lolly shop for smash and grab thieves.

Going into the future I'm going to have to publish very low resolution pictures of my work with big copyright claims written over them. This may or may not protect me from having photos appropriated. Very clever people with no ethics who have run out of grandmothers to sell and are hungry for easy money can still find ways to rob you.






Saturday, 10 August 2019

Stop scammers ChicV







I am sitting here for the 4th day in a row making yet another complaint about copyright infringement. I am coming to the conclusion that platforms like Paypal and Shopify are in cahoots with the chinese robbers. They do everything they can to stall claims and lead you up the wrong garden paths. The longer they delay having to shut down these online scams the more money they make....so really, why care? Why shoot the golden goose laying the golden eggs?

After filling out everything that was required in their form for making a claim for copyright infringement to Shopify they got back to me saying it isn't enough and do it again. How about changing your form to accurately reflect what is really needed? This is just a delaying and deflecting tactic. I am re-filing my claims in great detail again and planning to sue them $1000 a day per photograph for every day they facilitate these crooks to sell their fakes.

So, another day collecting screenshots, images and URLs from Modarie.com and I discover this 8th garment of mine being stolen by them that has appeared in the last 24 hours. The pictures they have appropriated are the ones I took when staying at my sister in laws home 8 weeks ago, where I sewed this. This is her french doors in the background. 3 weeks later this very same coat, which I call "Coat for the Recalcitrant Bohemian Princess" was the centrepiece of my exhibition at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, where thousands saw it over the period it was displayed for 6 weeks. This coat was most assuredly not purchased from Modarie.com and put on display in the Gallery with me fraudulently claiming it was my textile art.

There is a whole multitude of these scam online shops, possibly 100s that are infesting social media. They all sell the same products, or a mix that gets changed around every few weeks. 
They are all fronts for a single manufacturing business based in China. 

I know the name of that business now, it is registered in China as

ChicV

Here is Facebook group dedicated to collecting complaints to get their fraud stopped

Stop ChicV

The duplication of popup shop names is a strategy to keep ahead of the complaints that shut down various shops as the complaints accumulate. For example, say Tusancat and Barbring have been operating for 3 months and as the first mailorders arrive and purchasers find they've been fleeced, some of them get mad enough to complain and want their money back. Their packages arrive without invoices, contact information or return addresses so they have to go back to whoever processed their payment to try to communicate with the fraud companies. That might be Paypal or their credit card company. Some complain to FB or Instagram trying to do the right thing to get these fraud businesses shut down. Facebook and Instagram do nothing, their defence always is that they just provide a technical platform for publishing.

However, the complaints mount up, choking their systems and eventually FB and Insta decide to stop hosting the fraud websites because cranky people are screaming and bad mouthing them in public....buuuut, in the meantime, Cocochic and Beautyshop and Lalagirl open up and start selling on social media, selling exactly the same products....and so the cycle goes on and on...

The only way we can pressure social media platforms to do the right thing and stop facilitating the fraudsters is to use our collective strength! Repost this on social media, make complaints, enter negative feedback  - SCAM ALERT!!! - when you see advertisements for these fraud shops come up on your Instagram and Facebook. Being horrible, pesky screaming bitches is the best way to get them to listen. Calm, sensible filing of reports will be disregarded. Every day I devote to trying to shut down this criminal enterprise I lose about $30 in average income. Every day the criminals keep their online fronts selling their fakes they are profitting about US$500,000 off the customers they defraud.

More actions you can take -  
Go here to Google and leave comment https://support.google.com/google-ads/thread/8715211?hl=en#

Keep reporting the fraud shops coming up on your Insta feed. Right hand corner where the 3 dots are, click then report as scam. When FB writes back that they have reviewed your report they either say they took the site down or they say they didn't find anything wrong but they will hide it from your page, give them feedback that not seeing it isn't the problem its because you're outraged they are facilitating a criminal enterprise and explain what is happening. 


Friday, 9 August 2019

organised crime








 The screenshots above are from Modarie.com

The photographs of the garments circled have been appropriated from my blog, without my knowledge or permission. One of the pictures shows a top I made in 2013.

EVERY ITEM IN THIS ONLINE SHOP - AND THERE ARE OVER 900!!! - HAS BEEN STOLEN FROM ITS ORIGINAL MAKER.

Not one of these pictures shows what the buyers really receive. Modarie has never designed or made a single item of clothing on any of the pages of this online shop. They have never seen or handled any of the clothes shown there in real life because every picture was taken without knowledge or permission from the original makers.

The big clothing companies like Magnolia Pearl and Tina Givens have already succeeded in getting their pictures pulled down from these Chinese websites. I wouldn't be surprised if they have full time legal depts dealing with stopping people making fake copies of their clothes. So now it's small artisans and individual designers like myself who are spending days and days of our precious time filing copyright infringement notices and trying to negotiate the labyrinthine documentary evidence we are asked to provide.

We have all heard horror stories of people who had their identity stolen on the internet then spend years having to prove they are themselves...? I'm now in the position of trying to "prove" that I made these clothes and photographed them. The mass manufacturing model of clothes production is so ubiquitous in the contemporary world that the people I make complaints to don't seem to be able to get their heads around that I MAKE ONLY ONE THING. There is no production line, I don't manufacture at any level. Ipso facto, if there is a photograph of that garment on my blog, then I have taken it because there is only one single version of that thing that exists in the whole world that was made by me.

I must be vastly more stupid than I ever realised, because it seems logical to me that if I give the people who process the copyright complaints a link to my blog post from 2018, 2017 or 2013 where there is exactly same the photo that is now in the Modarie shop (and show them many more photos of the same garment taken from different angles and also the back of it - the back of the garments are never shown by Modarie because if I didn't publish a picture they have no idea what that looks like) they still don't think this is sufficient evidence to "prove" that I am the copyright owner. It's utterly bamboozling to me why it isn't the obligation of Modarie to provide an example of their fake. Even blind Freddy with frontal lobes removed will immediately realise that isn't a picture of what they sell.

This business model isn't a casual advent. They have spent months, possibly years, appropriating  pictures and designs from numerous international websites. Factories and workers had to be organised for manufacturing at scale. They had to create patterns for every individual stolen design - all graded into numerous sizes. They had to employ IT specialists who have been able to fake photographic reproductions of the surfaces of the clothes they stole. Business names were created to set up online shops and people are employed to maintain them with pictures of the appropriated creative production stolen from other people. People have jobs to process the mail orders and there are others to package and send out their fakes. The hapless and innocent people who buy those fakes are getting a shitty reproduction resembling nothing like what is being shown. 

This "business model" is a carefully crafted organisation, possibly employing hundreds of people, that is based on consciously seeking out and stealing images that don't belong to them. Modarie, Barbring, Cocochic, Tusancat and the myriad other cover names they use are defrauding buyers of tens of thousands of dollars and polluting our world with their nasty crap, all for their own enrichment. It is quite simply organised crime.

It makes me furious. 







Tuesday, 6 August 2019

even the birds poop on me

I was sitting outside in the weak sunshine a few minutes ago preparing pictures to post on Instagram. It is the spot where I put out sunflower seed for the parrots every day and they were waiting impatiently in the branches of the tree above me. One of them got their message across very effectively when it pooped on the top of my head. I shall go buy a lottery ticket today, my ever optimistic husband assures me it is good luck.

Most of my readers know I can be a provocateur about various issues, so the experience of being pooped on is something I'm familiar with, usually on a metaphorical level.

He's another metaphorical story to reflect on. A womans partner is a violent man who beats her up. She calls him a "psychopathic bastard". Her friends are shocked and shun her on the basis of her appallingly heartless sneer at people with mental illness and because describing her partner as a bastard is untrue. His parents were legally married.

Well, for the interest of my dwindling followers (the non racists having flounced off to protect themselves from any contagion I might be spreading) here is a picture of the latest of my art clothes that has been stolen and reproduced by the chinese. It is the 6th garment to be stolen. It is nearly 2 weeks since I showed the Freda jacket and I'm waiting to see how long it takes before that is being reproduced too....

I am a bit bemused that the picture they are showing in the social media promotion is actually the back of the original garment, but they seem to have decided to make it the front. I wonder what the back is like? If anybody buys this please let me know. The lady who bought the original art to wear jacket lives in Sydney and recently came to one of my workshops at Muswellbrook Art Gallery. I wonder how she feels about her beautiful garment being mass produced and sold all over the world? I suppose it is a compliment to her superb taste that she bought the original for a mere Aus$225. Kind of like owning the original Van Gogh when the rest of the world can only buy cheapskate crap reproductions.




Somehow I still keep making stuff despite spending a lot of time ducking and weaving to avoid the poop bombs I invite to be flung at me because of my tendency to say nasty and unacceptable things about the names and physical characteristics of the people who are robbing my art.

Deciding to make a blog post this morning I was going to show my latest work in progress. The pictures were taken an hour ago but sometimes the internet is slow at putting them in my Photos folder and they haven't arrived there yet. I'll do that later today when the pictures can be accessed and talk about how in trying to protect myself from being faked I'm consciously working on changing the textile art I create.






Monday, 5 August 2019

I'm a racist


BIPOC people tell me I’m racist. Many white people have distanced themselves from me lately, unfriended me, blocked me because they say I’m racist. 

And I have come to realise it is true. Not just me but all white people are racist. Period. Just like the lack of melanin in our skin we are genetically coded for it. White and racist are indivisible, no matter how much white people are in denial, no matter how many other white people they label as racist and try to distance themselves from (thinking such action will define them as “not racist”) if you are white then you are racist. No action, no education, nothing will ever make a white person not a racist.

That said! - hesitate a bit before unfriending, unfollowing and blocking me, while I explain the subtlety of this statement.  

As Lionel Shriver observes in her Spectator article “Can you prove you’re not a racist?”



Hey, we’re all racists, to a greater or lesser degree. That is, we’ve all developed preconceptions about one another. We vary in our success in resisting stereotypes from person to person, and from day to day. This is not only a problem for white people.

Shriver goes on to point out that the more you protest the label the more lame you look:

For you cannot prove a negative. Try this exercise: prove you’re not a racist. Interestingly, the more you go on about your laudable colour-blindness, the dodgier you’ll sound. Thus, forcing people to repudiate this epithet is inviting them to hang themselves.


At a micro level your identity as a racist doesn’t matter. Doing and saying overtly racist things means BIPOC people will stay away from you for their safety and peace of mind. If you are a white person with an open mind to the concept of shared humanity you will have BIPOC friends, partners and work colleagues. So there is a kind of spectrum ranging from less to more racist, but there are no white people who aren’t on the continuum somewhere.

What does matter about racism is when white people at the high end of the spectrum band together to create dominant political and legal systems that protect and promote their interests. Racism is an organised and oppressive system that gives unequal access to people in society based on constructed beliefs about some racial characteristics being inferior or superior.

The outrage I expressed in my “something for the crooks” blog was perceived by some to be racist.  That seems very simplistic thinking to me. Consider this – I made fun of Chinese names and accents and imagined a piece of absurdist dialogue. Apparently that can be defined by some as racist. In my defence I will say this. I’m not even sure of the legal names of the companies based in China that are faking and selling my art, much less the name of any individual person working in those businesses. So my childish parody wasn’t mimicking anybody personally. I don’t know their names and are fairly sure they neither know or care what mine is. If there was an offence of “racism” it is absolutely miniscule compared to the disrespect and outright contempt of what they doing to me.

As for “slitty” eyes, well I get them looking at a computer screen all day too. Asian people do have much smaller upper lids than western people and slanted eyes. Errm…so what? Apparently some people found that offensive, but it must be subjective as I don’t think its an any worse word than I’d apply to anybody of any nationality that robbed me, such as they looked shifty, devious, sly or nasty.

China is not a country any more friendly to the west than Russia. However I cannot be a racist if I say anything insulting about a Russian person because they are supposedly white people. (anyone know if that applies to Mongolians too? Aren’t they Russians?) 

China does not respect the international rule of law. If exactly the same copyright infringement was done to me by a company or person in Europe or America I would instantly be protected. I would have clear legal rights and power to stop it.

I do understand this peculiar subtlety about copyright and the fashion industry - as in, if these people were copying my art and clothing but selling it based on a photograph of their own faked version – I couldn’t stop that. However their fraud goes to the extent of appropriating my own photographs and creating social media promotions showing those pictures. Those pictures don’t represent the reality of what the buyers are going to receive. They will get a garment that has a photographic reproduction of the surface. In my real version of the garment there will be patchworking, appliques, stencilling, multiple layers of embellishment and embroidery and hand stitching built up on the surface. That is the lavish, rich detail of the garment that prospective customers are seeing and what they believe they are buying.

That is the nasty, greedy, opportunistic fraud that is making me very angry.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

More ranty tanty

Predictably...I am getting flak about my racism.

Long time readers of my blog probably understand that I often write from a somewhat polemical and satirical position. A sort of self pitying working class angst.

I knew when I published what I wrote this morning there would be swoons of horror from certain personalities given to performative allyship. I hope those having a go at me are also listening to what your president says and are giving him the same sort of negative feedback. Have you sweet violets thought of sending some negative feedback to China? So easy to criticise me, though I'm just feebly lashing out from my position of powerlessness.

Instagram asked me to provide my "authorised version'" of the garments the chinks have stolen. I guess the whole concept of industrial mass production is so pervasive they can't get their heads around the concept that some idiot really makes only ONE of a thing. That if I publish a picture of a garment I've made it really is the one and only version of it in all existence and if there any photos of it they have to be mine because there is only one of that thing that can be pictured.

Since I wrote this morning I've discovered a 6th original garment of mine being mass manufactured by chinamen and offered for sale on social media.

Perhaps the women accusing me of racism think I should just politely shrug? I asked one them how she'd feel if her home was robbed and one of the robbers tripped over a mat and grazed their knee. Would she rush to apologise?....put a sticky plaster on it and kiss them better?

Yes, I am embarassingly futile and childish to resort to publishing racist insults. But think about it....your president sprays racist venom and half your nation agrees and will vote for him in the next election.

Not respecting copyright isn't just a problem for me. It is a problem for the chinese too. Lacking this very significant social contract in their own culture leads to a dog eat dog mentality. A free for all snatch and grab mindset that represses creative thinking.

How do we feel about the tens of thousands of chinese employed by the chinese govt to cyber attack the USA every day? Working on plotting to steal industrial and military secrets from every country in the world? How do you feel about the chinese tech company Huawei implanting secret chips in your software to get  access to all the data on your devices? Seeding social media with the same kind of reactionary political lies that Russia does?

Ohhhh....just don't be racist!!! shock! horror! Don't mention they have slitty eyes! (which I think are very attractive in reality, and mine own have become rather slitty due to the top lid having sagged with old age)

How about you direct your outrage where its deserved and allow me to have my childish tantys?


another for the crooks

Heres a new one for the Chinamen.

Are you watching Chin Chonk Chook Chuck? Person with the slitty eyes on the other side of this screen from half a world away? Your job is better than mine. You get to sit in front of a screen all day skimming the internet and putting your cyber hand into my life, and others, to steal the images of our creative product.

When you find a good one on the screen do you call your mates over - "lookee, lookee! we gottee nice one here. Wot you think Chow Choo Lie, we takee dis one and make our fortune cookies!"

I bet your mothers are proud of their robber children.

When my mother discovered I'd stolen a little plastic figurine from a local shop when I was 11 she marched me down there to apologise to the shopkeeper and to pay for the item out of my Xmas money. I was banned from going into the shop until the next year. The humiliation of my wrongdoing still makes me break out in a sweat 49 years later. But I guess chinese Mums would compliment you on your prowess! So clever! So proud!


front

This was a quick little shift I made yesterday. I'm considering a new business model of trying to sell for less than the Chinese. I usually put in much more time and artistry with printing, textile embellishment and hand stitching. The only piece of hand printing on this one is the pocket.

As ever, it is made entirely from upcycled clothes and used fabrics. The bodice is a patchwork reconstructed from 3 knit tops. The skirt is from a cotton/polyester doona cover.



back

Fits approx size 18-20. Aus$80 plus postage. Paypal only. PM me. No chinese buyers.


the Frida print is a patch pocket






Friday, 2 August 2019

So many chinamen to kill

Last night I got a kindly rejection email from the Slow Fashion Market organisers for their upcoming Sydney market at Petersham Town Hall on Sept 14th. I have also been declined for their Melbourne and Canberra events earlier this year. The same form letter always arrives referring to "unprecedented amounts of applications, far in excess of the stall spots we have" and I get the thumbs down. Perhaps one day there will less applications than spots and I'll get in?

Strangely enough, though I've been turned down for 100% of all applications I've made in 11 years for markets in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and Canberra I just get madder and madder rather than blase. All these are curated artisan markets boasting of their committment to sustainability and ethical making but I'm always baffled when making the applications to be asked stuff like this...
  • Having an emphasis on quality, durability and robustness of garments and accessories.
  • Keeping the number of new styles and collections being introduce each year low and slow.
  • The label is a small-medium business, not a corporation.
  • Incorporating sustainable or locally sourced materials that are low/no toxins and pesticides.
  • The people making your clothing are paid fair wages for their labour.
  • Your workers are in safe work environments (no sweatshops, child labour, slavery and mistreatment of workers).
  • Having an ethical mission statement for your fashion business.

Questions like the 2nd and 3rd ones always make me roll my eyes and laugh out loud  - new styles? collections!!! Small - medium business!! fair wages...??!! 

Duhhhh....what a lot of shit this is. How can I be any more sustainable when I use second hand clothes and fabrics sourced from charity shops. Every individual garment is designed, cut by hand and sewed by me. I don't have any "people or children" working for me, I am the solitary sweat shop slave doing the whole shebang. Regrettably this slave doesn't get paid at all, let alone a "fair wage".

Then I go to these markets and insult is added to injury that they are full of stuff manufactured by outworkers from imported new textiles.

You know that old saying about "must have killed a lot of Chinamen in my last life" when people laughingly refer to their bad luck? Well....hahahahaa!!... I have a lot of Chinamen I would like to kill right now, in this life. 

How did I come to be living in this parallel universe where apparently some clothing manufacturers in China think 5 of my original garments are wonderful enough that they appropriated the photographic images (pictures taken by me - as if I could afford a professional photographer) from my blog to put them in their internet and instagram shops pretending that this is the product they're selling? Perhaps hundreds or thousands of women in Europe and America are buying these garments and sending money to those Chinamen. Perhaps the Chinamen are making 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars from my creative works? 

Back here on the farm in Australia I apply to markets 4-10 times a year and in 11 years no one thinks that same creative production is good enough? 

I don't whether to laugh, cry or hang myself. I sure as hell don't feel like going to my studio and make more stuff that isn't good enough for Australian markets but good enough for Chinamen to steal.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last week I showed this picture on Instagram of a pile of stuff I planned to make into something.



yes, a bit of wool is sticking out of the hole in my Ugg boots. I hope to have enough money to buy a new pair next Winter.

Some of the fabrics were printed




Sorry, the picture is sideways and the one above that hasn't been cropped. I usually take time to prepare my blog pictures to present nicely but I'm feeling so despondent today I really can't be bothered.

Then I spent 22 hours cutting and making this garment.

front

back

front neck detail



back neck detail

this section was stenciled then reverse appliqued

The detailed section in the picture above is reverse applique. I am asking Aus$230 plus postage if you would like to buy this fantastic original piece of wearable art. However in a months time Tusancat and the various other Chinamen will be faking a copy of this for $78.00$38.00!!! so why bother...?

I also hope the Chinamen will be grateful for my kindness in showing both the front and back of the garment to help them out with their next fakery. In their webshops they never show the back of the garments because unless a picture of it was shown on my blog they don't know what that looks like. I am almost intrigued enough to want to buy one of my own fakes just to find out what they do for the back. 



Wednesday, 31 July 2019

rainbows and storms

I had to stop on the roadside outside of Tamworth heading home about 3pm yesterday to take a picture of this rainbow.

I had to take Doris to Tamworth yesterday for a service. The old girl was seized up from overwork. Doris is my Janome 6600 sewing machine I've thrashed like sweatshop slave for 10 years and she is still going strong. Like most of these electronic machines the computer chip will likely die before I can wear out the mechanism. And when her eye blinks out I'll be forced to buy a new sewing machine because the manufacturers won't provide parts for an older model and this kind of forced obsolescence is relied upon as part of their business model to keep profitable. No point is making a sewing machine so sturdy it will last for the lifetime of the buyer!...though it would be entirely possible to do so.

I'm fed up and depressed about so much cynical capitalism in the world. My kneejerk reaction when I'm mugged and robbed like what those Chinese manufacturers are doing to small artisans is to fight back. I'm disgusted at all the energy and planning these fraudsters put into keeping themselves ahead of being stopped by having maybe 50 different business names. In this way they can duck, weave and re-invent themselves every week. Even before one "business" is stopped advertising on social media due to their copyright infringements another business has already spawned itself selling the same product. If they put all that energy into creating their own designs then they wouldn't need to appropriate the creative production of others. Or how about buying the design and paying for a license? (neither of which I would do anyway because I don't support the mass production business model).

Here are pictures of the completed skirt I was upcycling from used sheets, front and back with some close ups.







Meantime, here I sit in my pyjamas at 10am in the morning wondering if I should bother to get dressed and go down to the studio to create another design they can steal? Will I see my Freda Jacket for sale on Instagram next month for US79.00 $38.00! 

My annual insurance premium is due, which I need to maintain because I have an open studio so that members of the public can come into and watch me work. It also covers me for when I teach at outside venues and for having market stalls. I get a really good price for artist insurance through NAVA (National Association of Visual Artists) it is only about Aus$300. But I don't have that much money at this time to pay for it. The other thing I'd like to spend money on this month is to do the online sashiko and boro stitching course with amazing Japanese textile artist Atsushi Futatsuya, but I can't afford that either.

When I got Doris serviced the repair lady said all I needed to do was use better quality thread on my bobbin. There wasn't anything wrong with Doris, just the cheap shitty thread which is all I can afford was breaking all the time. With great relief I choofed off to Spotlight to get some good thread. Sadly, in Australia, we don't have much choice in the field of good quality sewing thread. The Birch haberdashery supply company has gradually eased out most of the competitors and operates a virtual monopoly for high quality sewing thread with their German Guterman product.



The very patient Spotlight employee added this up several times to keep getting the same total as I nearly had a heart attack that these 1000m reels of Guterman thread are Aus$23.00 each. FUCK!!! 3 cones of overlocker thread (which was the crap thread I'd been using on the bobbin that was making Doris seize), 1 small reel  and 9 spools of Guterman added up to $293. Its a good month when I make that much money.

How much do people pay for a 1000m reel of Guterman sewing thread in other countries?

So no wonder I get all queasy and despondent when some lazy hyena in China is visiting my blog to steal my creative output. I might even be better off financially being a sweat shop slave in one of their factories!

Though I'm now spending money on my credit card I indulged in a bit of shopping therapy spending $45 buying that great stack of unused fabric remnants from my favourite charity shop in Tamworth. Perhaps I'll make some gorgeous thing that the Chinese fraudsters can copy to resell as one of their hideous rags.



Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Rip and tear

Ugh, these fraudsters have no limit to what they will steal. This morning I found another of my garments is being advertised by a Chinese rip-off seller. Once again this is my picture they have lifted from a blog post. Heaven knows what the back of this coat will look like. I didn't help them out by showing that. Also their contempt for copyright law has been compounded by using that print on the left side of the coat. That beautiful fabric print is a cloth I designed with my digital artwork and is for sale in my Spoonflower shop.

Boho Banjo cloth shop on Spoonflower







Can I just remind everybody - if you buy from these websites you won't be getting what is in the picture. The garment in the picture being used in the Barbring promotion was a coat I made about a year ago that was sold to a very discerning local buyer who came into my studio. It was - like everything I make - a one of a kind original garment made by me. I am a textile artist and don't make more than 1 of each thing. I don't support mass manufacturing of clothing and it sickens me to see these thieves enrich themselves from my creative output when they represent everything I try to subvert.

ALL the garments advertised on these Chinese websites are stolen from other makers. These websites aren't taking pictures of their product. The pictures are appropriated from the original makers and you won't be getting what is in the picture but a poorly made and cheap copy. The fabric of the copy will be printed with a photographic reproduction of what you see in the picture but won't be patched, appliqued, printed and stitched as in the pirated pictures.

DON'T SUPPORT THESE FRAUDSTERS. THEY ARE STEALING FROM THE ORIGINAL MAKERS AND WANT TO STEAL YOUR MONEY



Monday, 29 July 2019

THIS IS appropriation...

Somebody emailed me last night to warn me one of my garments had been appropriated and was for sale on a Chinese website -

The picture of my jacket they are featuring in their website promotion has been lifted directly from one of my blog posts on December 18th last year. It has been altered in their version by elongating the picture from the original hip length to thigh length.

I haven't sold this jacket so I took a picture of it this morning to show you. The cover page of todays Sydney Morning Herald is stuck behind it....incidentally with a front page news item about Chinese involvement in gambling fraud...





December 18th blog post  - the picture used by Tusancat is the one in this blog post, elongated somewhat. Amusingly they are also offering it in 5 more colour versions which have been achieved by changing the colour balance in Photoshop.

This is a screenshot of the ripped off version by "Tusancat" currently being advertised on instagram....available for a mere US$42.






I've already heard from one lady who checked out this garment when it came up on her instagram feed, thinking it was so beautiful she might buy it.

Regrettably if she had bought it I can guarantee she would have been disappointed -  possibly even horrified at the cheap and nasty reproduction she'd paid for. 

The jacket I made was an upcycle, existing second hand item bought from Vinnies for $6. I covered the surface with appliques cut from my hand prints, patchwork and applied lots of elaborate stitching. The whole process to transform it took about 18 hours. The rip-off version you would receive from Tusancat will be a photographic reproduction of the surface, not the textured, patched and hand printed garment shown in the picture.

I tried to take some photos this morning which better show the surface of my original.




  



I'm also aware that one of my PDF patterns, the "Pheenie" dress is being manufactured at scale and sold by a Chinese clothing manufacturer. That doesn't particularly bother me as after 35 years in the clothing and textile world I'm well aware there is no legal protection to be enforced that could stop it. 

In truth I feel pretty blase about both my pattern and original item of art to wear clothing being expropriated, rather than angry or emotional. My first experience of having a print and clothing design stolen and reproduced was 30 years ago, when I walked into a shop to be surrounded by 200 dresses reproduced exactly from my original garment but in 5 different sizes. Ironically the copier claimed she thought the dress she copied was a no-name brand from Asia.

I'm not the only designer or textile artist being appropriated in this way currently. In fact, in a sardonic way I feel humbled to join the company of many famous and way more well known clothing brands. These advertisements started appearing on instagram about 3 months ago. Direct rip-offs from Magnolia Pearl and fellow Australian textile artist India Flint along with many, many more designers than that....dozens. I'm choosing not to name more than these 2 here. In all cases the copyists use the original pictures from the designer, which is another level of copyright violation on top of what they already do. Chinese businesses like Tusancat, Barbring, Cocochic + + + who are doing this obviously won't be drawing the line at exploiting the sewing businesses who do their manufacturing.

And that is what shits me the most about what these people are doing. The reality is they won't be affecting my income much as I only make and sell one-of-a-kind garments and aren't a "manufacturer" of any level. I work alone and don't have a single outworker. 

What super, super massively pisses me off is that these business operators are stealing my original concepts and totally subverting everything I try to stand for. Most of my work is made from upcycled used garments and discarded fabrics because I'm not supporting the polluting industry that keeps on churning out gazillions of metres of fabric and fast fashion disposable clothes every day. A wasteful, ignorant and arrogant industry that carelessly uses up resources and pollutes our shared environment for the financial enrichment of a small number of business owners, who aren't the ones doing the actual work of design or production. The ethical and moral vacuity which allows them to feel entitled to appropriate the visions and productions of genuine creatives extends to exploiting the labours of the women who work in third world clothing manufacturing. 

I'm appalled to have my work taken in this way to do all these things I actively work against -

1)  sweat shop working conditions  - low wages, long working hours
2)  lions share of the profits going to enrich a small number of business owners
3)  mass manufacturing that uses up lots of resources (clean water, soil nutrients, pollution from needlessly transporting stuff out of local zones and all around the planet....)
4)  mass manufacturing practices of the fashion industry create lots of wastage by over production
5)  the polluting side effects from the chemicals used in textile manufacturing and printing

Please help to stop these companies from making their exploitation profitable by not buying any of their product and letting everybody you know on all social media channels the immoral and fraudulent basis of how they operate.

Here are some simple suggestions if you want to wear clothing that minimises the harm done to others and our shared environment

BUY LOCAL FROM LOCAL MAKERS
SUPPORT ARTISANS BY BUYING THEIR HANDMADE PRODUCTS
MAKE YOUR OWN CLOTHES
UPCYCLE - RECYCLE - REMAKE - MAKE DO 
DON'T BUY CHEAP SHIT MASS MANUFACTURED CLOTHING  (especially if made in 3rd world countries)


 Lastly...I haven't sold this beautiful hand made jacket and are only asking a measly Aus$225 plus postage for it. PM me if you want to know the measurements. I accept payment by Paypal only.








Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Freda Jacket upcycle

Today I finished the grey denim jacket shown in a blog of couple of weeks ago. I refer to it as the "Freda" jacket because of the stencil on the left pocket (yes I know FKs name was spelled Frida, but thats just me being non conformist)

Many hours of hand stitching, stencil prints, machine embroidery and applique have transformed it into a unique work of wearable art. Its a smaller size than what I usually make at 10-12 (bust 34-36").





All the fabrics added to the Jacket came from discarded and used fabrics - coming mainly from some offcuts of upholstery fabric and a bedcover. The large motif on the back was cut from a quilt cover. It was machine stitched to the back then I used the lines of the motif as guide to apply free motion stitching, then cut out the "windows" to reveal the denim underneath layer.





 





Sunday, 21 July 2019

more to make

Tuesday I visited Vinnies looking for treasures to upcycle. Here's a collection of 2 pillow covers and a tablecloth which might combine well together. Total cost for these 3 = $8.



That Chinese border around the tablecloth really appeals to me as well. I might get a piece of mylar plastic out to cut it as a stencil pattern. Then when the table cloth is cut into patches to remake I can print the pattern on other parts of the garment to use as it an integrating motif. The khaki linen cushion cover appliqued with the flower petals has lots of potential to be reworked with embroidered hand stitches into something really special.

However I set these pieces aside and started working on an $8 king size doona cover I bought (a "doona" cover is a removable bag that contains a quilt). Doona covers are a magnificent resource for metres and metres of fabric. Like most of these used functional items this one was soft and the print faded with wear and washing, which just makes it all the attractive to me. It was also unstained and the cotton/polyester mix fabric still had enough durability to last for decades. One side had a print of large black abstract flowers on a white background and the opposite side was wide stripes of black and beige.

the doona cover is on the left and the skirt appliqued with sections and motifs I cut from it on the right


this is day 1 on the skirt




Day 2 on the skirt a whole lot more details are being added with black and white running stitches



Friday, 19 July 2019

constructive things other than aggravating people

Have finally mostly gotten over my desire to be the most hated person of the Japanese.
The silence of the last week means I've been stitching. Three projects are on the go simultaneously and this A-line skirt was the first to be finished last night. 



front of upcycle skirt by Pearl Moon

It is made entirely from used clothes and fabrics bought at my local Vinnies. Patched, stenciled and stitched by me. Denim and cotton fabrics. It took 30 hours to make.

back of upcycle skirt by Pearl Moon




I'm not fond of zippers so I sewed dome tape into the side seam. The skirt is lined too.



  

The pictures above and below shows earlier stages of patching the textile together.




The ongoing work in progress for today is this used denim jacket that I'm adding many hand stitched and embroidered details to. This picture was taken after I'd sewed on the appliques and stenciled various areas before the hand stitched details. A lot has been done since this picture was taken a week ago. Will show the finished result in a couple of days.