Sunday, April 25, 2010

McDowell Mountain Music Festival

April 23-25, 2010
WATTO Distinctive Metal is Chillin out at McDowell Mountain Music Festival in North Scottsdale, AZ.

Wow, crazy event center. We're smack dab in the middle of a shopping center in front of The Compound Grill. They actually covered a huge parking lot with new grass so concert goers could lounge out in front of the stage! Then, they had awesome food. A little spicey, but great flavor and decent prices for a festival. Plus it was all made to order and I think I heard something about organic vegetables and meat without hormones. If your'e in the Scottsdale area, like a littel kick to your food check it out. The bathrooms are to die for. The coolest faucets ever and these new "green" hand dryers that are so fun to use! I know kinda weird I'm talking about the bathrooms, but they were so cool. I just had to mention them. They also have a ton of great beers. MMMM. I had some kind of raspberry beer that was very Yummy!

The lineup was great. Here are several of the bands that played: John Brown's Body (reggae), oubab Krewe (Dirty South), Ruthie Foster (nominated for a Grammy in 2009 for Best Contemporary blues Album), Robert Randolph & the Family Band (Gospel), Super Chikan (Blues), Hot Birds & the Chili Sauce (big band) and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals (Blues)

The event started out slow, but the crowds showed us their love! The favorite WATTO items were the peace signs, the spiral and the clover!

Thanks for your support Scottsdale!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Snow Leopard Network Monthly Blog- Topic: "Copying"

WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear belongs to a fabulous network of artists that can all be found on Etsy. Each month there is a blog topic. Artists from the group give their views on the topic so check out their blogs (see addresses at end).

So, here are my thoughts on copying. This is a REALLY TOUGH subject. What is copying really? Is it using research from other artists, designers, or brands to become inspired for your own inspirations? Is it studying other brands/artist points of view so as you can better understand your own point of view? Is it adapting color palettes from other's works into your own?
Well, yes, some could say that is copying, on the other hand with a world of constant visual connections via internet, television, movies, print media and so on, what really is unique after all anymore?

Having worked at several large creative corporations, "copying" or "research" was a huge part of the corporate world. Of course we took precautions not to do something "identical" and certainly could not cross the lines of a "patented" idea. Coming from a fine arts background and strong ethics, I had a very hard time with this for a long time. Finally I realized everyone was copying everyone else and it was all part of "the game" when it came to product development. For fine artists of course this is much more difficult as you cannot "patent" a painting and though you can copyright it so that it is not copied exactly, I believe there are guidelines that if an item is changed by 30% it is not a copy. (Don’t quote me on that) So, it can still feel like an invasion if someone changes your design only 30%.

I don't like it. But, in reality, if you look backward in time and study the masters, weren't they in some manner "copying” from one another? Isn't that how movements such as Fauvism and Impressionism derived?

Also, haven't you had an idea before and thought, "Wow, this is so cool, so unique!" Only to see someone else has done it already? And, if your art is trendy at all as ours is, using pop culture icons, can someone say that we copied them or can we say someone copied us?
I guess what we all have to keep in mind is to be respectful of one another. Don't blatantly take someone's ideas and copy them exactly forming your whole line of products, series of works or branding to look so similar that it's hard to tell you apart. Don't we all want to have something that is unique? Sure, go ahead and be inspired, but then change it to fit what flows out of you naturally. And, if others try to copy you, you know who you are and what you are about and that will shine through more than those who are just copying for copying sake.

One last thing I learned in the corporate world (this is for those of you who have a brand or line of products), always stay one step ahead of the competition. There will always be people who will copy you, so continue to grow and change and develop and you'll continue to succeed. And, if someone does copy you, try to remind yourself that copying is flattery in the finest sense. Then you could always go after them with your lawyer!

ArtJewel designs-

Andes Cruz -

Jewelry by Natsuko -

Beth Cyr -

Tosca Teran -

Tamra Gentry -

alisa miller -

Thomasin Durgin -

Susan Moloney -

Friday, April 9, 2010

Festivals, Shows and More Shows

March 2010

We've been busy, busy, busy with 3 back to back shows in March.

Duane Ellsworth Extravaganza

Started out with the Duane Ellsworth Extravaganza. Unfortunately this was a complete bust since the artists were placed so far away from the events that we barely had an audience. I think maybe 10 people came into our booth. Bummer since we got up at 5 am to drive all the way to Phoenix.

On a positive note, it was a cool space. They put us in the stable.
Ok, so it was a little stinky, but check out our space.

There was a horse show and competition, and a car show though it was very small. Jon got a couple of great car pics:

One of our favorite fellow vendors PARIS MONTANA
 had a super cool display in an old silver bullet trailer. (Our pic doesn't do it justice) She made vintage recycled jewelry and set up shop inside and outside of her trailor. Her display was ultra COOL!

4th Ave. Street Fair
Next came the 4th Ave Street Fair in Tucson, AZ. It's a biannual show (Spring and Fall) and hundreds of thousands of people fill the streets of the eclectic 4th Ave strip in Tucson.
Here's a little glimpse of the show...

The crowds were amazing.
We'd look out from our booth to see solid walls of people walking by!

There was plenty of great food and lots of BEER!
 We had a nice cold beer spilled across our display and on
our carpet and several drunk customers who knocked over parts of our display.
AH! All part of the fun!

One of our customers sports a buckle!

We redid our display ...

We added Chains with medallions!

                 And we added some bling with Swarovski Crystals!

    And some rocker jewelry...

Check our website for all of our new items in the coming months!

We also showed at Tempe Mill Ave and had another terrific show.
Thanks to all of our customers for giving us such a successful March!