Friday, May 17, 2013

Requesting Information, be considerate!

I love sharing information and I've been fortunate to have had mentors, friends and strangers share their valuable information with me.  Remember though, that requesting information from a a human being is different from typing a question into a search engine.  It's important to be polite and considerate of peoples' intellectual property.  Years of trial & error and research go into how one arrives at a technique, glaze recipe and the like.

from Julia Galloway's Field Guide for Ceramic Artisans   (an excellent resource! I learned about it listening to her interview on Tales of  a Red Clay Rambler Podcast  (an excellent show!))..............................................

Information Request

It is common in our field to freely share information. However, this should not be taken for granted. If you are requesting information from an artist, for example, glaze recipes or building techniques there is some protocol to this. It is important to include this information:

Research the information that you want (it is very poor form to email a request for information that already is on their web page)

who you are

how you came across their artwork

why you would like this information and how you will use it

very politely ask if they are willing to share the information

thank the artist for their time

Be brief and polite. Do not demand or assume that they will share their hard earned information. Give them a reasonable amount of time to respond to you, at least two weeks. If you are requesting information or images for a school assignment, give the artist at least three weeks to get you this information – the night before the presentation is to late to request information.

If the artist does not get back to you, you could send a second email, or let it go. I have heard of an artist getting 16 requests for glaze information in ONE DAY. The artist may not respond simply because they want to get to their studio. If they are able to get information to you, let them know that you received it and send them a thank you.

1 comment:

Joe Troncale said...

Well said...
Not many people ask me for that sort of advice, but there is a trend in our society to be less than gracious with the "hand that feeds you."
Joe Troncale