I first became aware of the problem of sculptor's work being copied when I was at one of the Loveland, Colorado foundries one day. They handed me a "catalog" from a foundry in China which was replete with numerous poorly done copies of many of the Loveland artists work. I was absolutely stunned as I turned the pages seeing poorly executed copies of the work of Rosetta, Tim Cherry, Jerry Balciar, Victor Issa, among others. I turned another page and was shocked to see my own piece, "Wings of Freedom" poorly executed staring back at me!
My original "Wings of Freedom" features the eagle coming across the globe and the piece shows the United States in relief on the globe. The piece I was staring at in total disbelief showed China on the surface of the globe! Total dismay, disappointment and anger began to rise within me. I felt nauseous! I tried to convince myself, surely this was a one time thing and it would go away. After all, the work of China is so poorly done, they couldn't possibly market them! Could they?
I had another shock the weekend the National Sculpture Society brought their event to Loveland, Colorado in May of 2003, addressing the issues of copyright infringement and the serious "knock-off" problem. Right in my own community, Loveland, Colorado, on Highway 34, which is the road to Estes Park, was a gross copy of my "Taking Stalk" approximately 4.5 foot high sitting in the lot of Ferrells Auction on Highway 34.
My husband and I immediately stopped the car and went in and confronted Mr. Ferrell. At first he was argumentative and was getting in my face and my husband was getting very upset with him?.I feared I was going to have to get between them to break up a fight! I showed Mr. Ferrell my brochure which had a picture of "Taking Stalk" and I demanded he cease and desist and take the ugly copy off the lot. I also sent a certified letter requesting he cease and desist, which of course, he did not accept. Fortunately we had a digital camera handy and got a quick picture of the knock-off before we left his lot. We check his lot often and so far we have not seen the knock-off of "Taking Stalk" on his lot again. We will continue our survalance of his lot on behalf of my work as well as other artists.