The famous Paris market – Maison & Objet - was held last week and Instagram became embroiled in a war of words rarely seen in the genteel world of interior design and social media.  

Was it possible that two of the biggest, most respected names in interior design had actually stolen the work of a sculptor whose name is highly acclaimed?

As much as it pained a lot of those who viewed this war, the charges seemed hard to deny.

It all started over a chandelier made of a few pieces of plaster.


Settle in, get your coffee…I’ll wait.

The use of white plaster in interior design might seem to be trending these days, but it is a medium that has been used for centuries.

An original John Dickinson three legged table

One of the more iconic pieces of plaster in design is the Three Legged African Stool, designed by the late John Dickinson.  Inspired by an actual three legged stool that he had found in a tourist shop – Dickinson made his stool out of chalky white plaster.   To prevent staining, he added a touch of resin, and to stabilize the legs, he hid rebar inside the plaster.

Today, his table design is more popular than ever.

The late John Dickinson’s house with his four legged plaster table

Popular contemporary designers of the time, Michael Taylor and Angelo Donghia, were both known for using Dickinson’s designs.  Donghia, in fact, was the man who introduced Dickinson to David Sutherland, whose company today manufactures Dickinson’s line of plaster furniture. 

Angleo Donghia with Dickinson four legged table.

The shame is that there are very few original pieces by Dickinson left.  His plaster furniture was extremely heavy, yet the plaster was fragile and the pieces often shattered.  Such few original pieces remain today that many can rattle off the names of those lucky enough to own them – such as Liz O’Brien, Reed Krakoff and Jane Holzer.

Antique dealer Liz O’Brien owns a very rare original John Dickinson stool.

The Dickinson estate sold the rights to his designs and molds to Sutherland who reproduces his furniture and sculptures.  Today, the plaster pieces are made of glass fiber reinforced concrete which Sutherland says are impervious to rain, freeze and thawing. 


The same stool that Liz O’Brien owns, except today that stool is made by Sutherland. 

While Dickinson’s designs are well know – to study plaster, you have to go back further in time – Plaster, or Plaster of Paris, has been used in sculpture since the classic days of Mesopotamia.

Plasterwork remains on the walls at Pompeii from 79 AD.

Through the ages, stucco and plaster were used in buildings and statues.  Here are examples from the Chateau de Fontainebleau.

But in more modern times, artists used plaster to create designs for interiors in ways that were totally new and inspiring.  One of the first of these pioneers was Serge Roche whose clients were Elsie de Wolfe, Syrie Maugham and Frances Elkins.

A plaster table from Serge Roche 1934.

Another pioneer in modern plaster art was Alberto Giacometti, along with his brother Diego.  In the 1920s, Giacometti became known for sculpting in plaster casts in addition to the usual bronze or other metals.  At the time, plaster had been used as a middle step to the ultimate sculpture.  Instead, Giacometti made plaster the finished product.  

Alberto Giacometti working on the famous plaster sculpture Walking Man II.

The Giacometti brothers designed plaster chandeliers, sconces, lamps and vases.   Some were custom made for the great Jean-Michel Frank, some were designed for close friends.    Besides Frank, the brothers also worked with Picasso and Matisse.  Diego Giacometti was commissioned to create chandeliers and furniture for the Picasso Museum in Paris.   Later, after Diego had died, one of those chandeliers was enlarged for the museum by another plaster artist - Philippe Anthonioz.


The gorgeous Pablo Picasso Museum in France with the original Diego Giacometti plaster chandelier, enlarged for the space by the sculptor/artist Philippe Anthonioz.

A close up of the Giacometti plaster chandelier with petal leaves.

Earlier last year, this chandelier by Alberto Giacometti sold in auction for a record price.

The plaster Alberto Giacometti chandelier sold for $2,491,013!!

Diego Giacometti was also in the art news last year.  The dress designer Hubert Givenchy, a devotee of Alberto’s brother Diego, owned many pieces created for him by Diego.  Last year Christie’s auctioned off the Givenchy Giacometti works.

One of Givenchy’s three Giacometti tables and chairs auctioned off by Christie’s.  Such a gorgeous room, house!

Last year, the dress designer Tory Burch replaced her skirted table with this Diego Giacometti table – was it Givenchy’s, bought at the auction? 

Regardless, Tory has another connection with the white plaster saga.

Her interior designer. Daniel Romualdez, often commissions pieces from the preeminent plaster sculptor of today – Stephen Antonson.


Here in Tory’s Southampton mansion’s dining room, there are two tables commissioned by Daniel Romualdez from plaster artist Stephen Antonson.  The chairs came with the house, Weatherly, and were restored with a chalky paint.  Her walls and curtains are by Iksel.


The artist, Antonson, took this photograph of Tory Burch’s table so that the base of the table can be more easily seen.

Who is Stephen Antonson?

Stephen Antonson is now the leader of innovative plaster design.  He creates works of art for various companies, and also creates custom work for noted interior designers such as Miles Redd, Michael Smith and James Huniford, creating custom work.  Smith even commissioned two tables by Antonson for the Obama White House!   Antonson’s studio is small, located in trendy Brooklyn, New York.

Antonson’s studio in Brooklyn

Antonson considers himself an artist – whose work happens to be functional.  His designs are always first drawn on paper with a pencil, then a wood or clay prototype is produced.   For stability, tables and chandeliers are made in either wood or steel, then several coats of plaster are applied over the base.  This way – stability is not an issue.  For smaller items like sconces – the piece is sculpted out of clay and then coated in plaster or cast. 

For this octagonal shaped foyer, Miles Redd ordered a custom chandelier from Stephen Antonson. 

And more plaster pieces in the dining room in the same house, ordered from Stephen Antonson.

These two chandeliers commissioned by Miles Redd from Stephen Antonson, seemed to have been inspired by this Giacometti lantern, below,  made for Hubert Givenchy:

The Giacometti lantern.

Here is another Antonson plaster chandelier, The Alexander, with plaster sconces.

For another foyer in Houston, Miles Redd had this plaster lantern made by Stephen Antonson.

The Hilary Chandelier  – this modern plaster chandelier looks nice against the farmhouse elements.

Alessandra Branca used this plaster chandelier made by Stephen Antonson.

Here a beautiful eclectic setting for a Stephen Antonson plaster chandelier.

Madeline Stuart juxtaposed vintage leather chairs with a modern lamp designed by Antonson.

And here – a fabulous William McLure painting sits under Antonson’s Angele chandelier – the subject of this blog.

And to this, we come to the issue at hand.

Miles Redd is a frequent customer of Stephen Antonson’s, as you can see by how many times he commissioned his work.  Recently, Redd developed a new line for Ballard Designs, based on his own designs through the years:

Here is some of the new Miles Redd collection for Ballard Designs.  Notice the two white urns and the shell console.

Was this console, made for Miles by Larrea Studio, the inspiration for the Ballard Designs one?  Even the columns and urns were recreated for Ballard.

These aren’t copies, but inspirations. 

And this shell sconce was designed by Miles Redd for Ballard.

Inspired no doubt by Serge Roche’s shell sconces.

And more from Ballard Designs:   The chandelier really got my notice – and others too.  According to Ballard Designs, Miles was inspired by Alberto Giacometti when designing his Geometric Chandelier.   The description says the finish is “chalky white” – but it’s just white painted iron, not plaster, though the word “chalky” is meant to apply it. 

It’s a good look for a fraction of the cost that the real one would cost, if it were even available.  It’s much cheaper than what an inspired chandelier by Stephen Antonson would cost.

For the money – it’s a nice inspiration.

“Inspiration” is the word.  

If the artist is no longer living, is being inspired by his work a completely different issue than than copying a living and working artist’s work?

Was Miles Redd actually inspired by his collaborator, Stephen Antonson who created this fixture?


Was Stephen Antonson inspired by Diego Giacometti who then inspired Miles Redd for Ballard Designs? 

For instance, this chandelier, is an homage to Diego Giacometti, made in England by Cox & Co.

In designing this room, Jeffrey Bilhuber used this Giacometti inspired chandelier.

And here is an original Alberto Giacometti going on auction for the first time, cast in bronze.

That shadow!!!

There is nothing new in the universe. 

Once, we, The Skirted Roundtable, interviewed the extremely talented Miles Redd, and he confessed there were only a very few things he felt he had designed himself – without any inspiration.  There were just a few things he could honestly claim as his own.  Listen to the interview HERE.

The famous zebra doors – one of the original ideas Miles claims.  (He’s funny!  I can think of a few more original things he’s done besides this door!)

The point is – there is nothing original in the world, but it’s another thing to outright copy someone’s work, especially if fare alive and designing right now.

Take the work of Nicholas Haslam:


Nicholas Haslam has been very well respected during his long career as an interior designer.   Here in his own apartment, you can see his version of yet another Giacometti inspired chandelier that Haslam said was actually made from pipes and plaster.  Haslam has long been a lover of plaster in design.

Here in this famous apartment, Haslam conjured up Dorothy Draper for inspiration.

Plaster swirls and this vase, which reminds one of the Miles Redd Ballard Designs urn inspired by Serge or Dorothy or Alberto? 

Haslam’s love of white plaster isn’t new.   In this project, finished long ago, the plaster lamps are an homage to Draper and the lantern to Giacometti.

As they say,  nothing is new in the universe.

Last week, at the Maison & Objet show in Paris, Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam debuted a new line of wicker and chintz and plaster.

The Moschino/Haslam booth was an instant hit.  Beautiful and fresh – who wouldn’t want this room?  Wicker beds mixed with deep green walls and spring inspired chintz, mixed with bright white plaster elements – this was a popular booth in the show.

If it looks familiar – nothing is new in the universe.


The bed and fabric is their own, although one can’t help but think of Serena & Lily’s wicker bed and F. Schumacher’s own Hollyhock fabric.

This Fabric:  Aurora on Nivelles Oyster- Sepia

The wicker bed that Serena & Lily made famous.

F. Schumacher – one of their trendiest revivals, Pyne Hollyhock.   It’s definitely a different chintz, but at first glance – I thought it was the Pyne. 

The shell sconces are definitely not new – especially now with the Miles Redd shell sconce for Ballard Designs.   Target will have one by next summer, no doubt.  But, the inspiration for the shells comes from people no longer living – like Draper and others. 

Moschino/Haslam had a wall of different shells.  Shells come from nature, no one can claim they designed them but God!

But, it wasn’t until this photograph landed on Instagram that all hell broke loose:

Here in this photograph – a new wicker day bed is shown that looks original, as opposed to their Serena & Lily version.  The end tables, also look original.  The room is beautiful, no doubt.  But, notice the chandelier.

Does it look familiar?  This chandelier was made for the Maison Objet show to be sold by Moschino for Haslam.

The Moschino/Haslam chandelier is an exact copy of Stephen Antonson’s Earle chandelier.  An exact copy down to the hanging ball and ring connectors.  How does this happen?

How did Stephen Antonson’s chandelier end up at Paolo Moschino/Nicholas Haslam’s booth?

As soon as this photograph was seen on Instagram, people started commenting.  At first, most comments were very favorable.  Of course!  The booth is beautiful. 

But others noticed the chandelier was the same exact one that Stephen Antonson makes.

At first, Paola Moschino thanked everyone for their kind comments. 

Everything was nice and VERY complimentary – until this bombshell comment was dropped into the Instagram Comment Section:

It was from Stephen Antonson himself:

He asked:


Paolo Moschino ignored Stephen Antonson’s question even though he had personally thanked all who had left the complimentary comments.  

After Stephan Antonson’s comment was ignored, the floodgates opened. 

At least 20 more negative comments came in – it was all rather painful to read.

Comments that said Moschino/Haslam had stolen the chandelier. 


brooklyninteriors@paolomoschino I have been married to @stephencantonson for 16 years and every single one of them has been spent devoted to building his design practice. I bet you can’t imagine that. Spending YEARS to build something. Fueled by passion over profit. That would require integrity. Something you, sir, so clearly lack.



I screencapped all the comments to write this story, but honestly, I just can’t show them here.  I have long admired Nicholas Haslam and to watch this happen in real time is extremely depressing.  Years ago, after a personal and business relationship – Haslam and Moschino broke up and Moschino took over the Haslam name in business.   Perhaps this is a lesson in never selling your name?

Even on the internet, it is hard to separate their names and businesses.  Hopefully all realize that the Antonson chandelier was copied by the new owner of the Haslam name.


People, understand, I have NEVER seen anything like this negative commentary on Interior Design Instagrams.  This kind of commentary is usually reserved for the Kardashians.

Those who commented on @paolomoschino Instagram were genuinely angry that Stephen Antonson’s chandelier was copied without mention of the designer, nor any payment.

What could the explanation for this be?

Some time ago, did Moschino/Haslam commission the chandelier from Stephen Antonson and then decide they could make it themselves for a fraction of the cost?

Once they manufactured the chandelier themselves, they could sell it for a large profit.

That is theft.  No doubt.


Did they perhaps forget it was a commission piece?


Did they just see the chandelier and decide to copy it exactly?

The Moschino/Haslam version.

Stephen Antonson’s version.

No one knows for sure.   But be sure these comments were painful to read.  The entire affair is baffling.

Another comment had this theory, perhaps it’s the answer to the mystery?

“So you offer to work with another designer, then take back the offer and steal their design instead? You should be ashamed of yourself, you are profiting off, and claiming someone else’s work as your own. Shame on you.”

This comment is one of the more nice ones! 

Not surprising, but all the negative comments seem to have been removed from the Moschino/Haslam Instagram.   I have no idea if Moschino ever reached out to Antonson, but as of a few days ago, he hadn’t.

This chandelier is not the only very close adaption by Moschino/Haslam.  These lamps made out of Giacometti sculptures are famous sculptures.  These show two women, there is a male to the pair.

And here is the Moschino/Haslam lamp -  the female one.  I can’t see much difference at all.  But, Giacometti is no longer living.   This lamp doesn’t take away from his pocketbook. 

Stephen Antonson took this story to his own Instagram – he seems like such a nice man, and others who know him confirm this, saying he and his wife a great couple.     His initial comment to Moschino/Haslam withstanding – his tone throughout this ordeal has been calm but questioning.

Antonson showed this other chandelier:

Another example – the top fixture is by Philippe Anthonioz, a living artist.  The fixture below is by Paul Ferrante – a major lighting company. 

The artist who designed, Philippe Anthonioz, is living and working.

How is this legal?

Alberta Giacometti designed this plaster chandelier in 1954.   Looking at this – it is obvious this was an inspiration to Stephen Antonson when he designed his piece:

There is no doubt that Antonson was inspired by Giacometti when he designed this chandelier.  Without Giacometti, I doubt this fixture would exist today.  It is inspired, though, by an artist no longer living or working.

And from that inspiration, came this from Stephen Antonson.

And somehow, the exact chandelier ended up for sale at the Moschino/Haslam booth a week ago.

Stephen Antonson is an artist.  He makes chandeliers inspired by Giacometti because that is what his clients wants.  But, left to his own interests – he sculpts objects that are entirely his own, like this one above.

Once, his wife had him make her a necklace out of these plaster bubbles.

To see more:  HERE 
















  1. Joni, I love your Blog. I read it eagerly awaiting the next with patience because I know how thorough and exacting you are, and that you pose questions of your readers. My opinion is usually about taste and style and could be any one of your readers. Not so with this post. I think it is so incredibly important to stand behind original design.
    Too many artists across the lines have been taken advantage of over their ideas and concepts. Flattery is one thing, but copying/replication/theft of an idea is another -
    whether the artist is living or not, acknowledgement or copyright is owed. Some of these designs seem to me like theft. Thank you for bring this issue to the fore. So many companies derive $$$ from stealing "intellectual property" and making cheap knock offs. Part of that is made possible by the internet and globalization, I understand. But the producers of design goods need to be brought to task for flagrant counterfit. Again, thank you!

    1. Thank you! A lot of the negative comments came from other artists. Perhaps they heard about the chandelier from friends = I don't know. But it seemed like people who commented were very invested this.

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  2. Bravo on another well-researched post, with a great topic.
    As you point out, shells have been in design since forever (since real shells were repurposed). And it's hard to make a claim to cones, circles and balls. But the precise arrangement of those shapes, in this case, is blatantly copied--stolen.
    This is an issue in all creative areas--fashion, music, literature, even blogging (did you read about the woman who copied the posts of World of Wanderlust, putting herself in the same shots?).
    At one level, creators of, say, haute couture aren't missing out on any sales when Zara or H&M knocks off the design. Everybody can see the quality isn't the same, and neither is the price. But the Zara customers usually aren't able to buy couture--the Zara purchases would never translate into couture purchases. And the knockoffs usually change the design, in addition to the materials and quality. In the case of the light fixtures, it's hard to see how the copiers made any changes at all.
    It is more difficult when the materials are basic and so are the minimalist shapes. One of those fixtures looks like one in my AirBnB rental--basically a wheel with lights on top, but mine is wood and antique--it started with candles or lamps and then got wired. It gets very hard to say something is original. The idea--a light fixture based around a circle--is not new. The juxtaposition of the cones and ball and the rings that attach are elements that are more unique. It looks like Antonson has a good intellectual property complaint against Moschino.
    BTW, the name of the fabric "Aurora on Nivelles" made me laugh. If it refers to the Belgian town, that is indeed the color of dawn there!

  3. Thank you, Joni, for this post pointing out how carefully we should differentiate between inspiration and plagiarism. Whether it be In the world of words, music, or design, theft should be condemned. When I saw the Moschino/Haslam booth on Instagram, I immediately saw it as a major plagiarism of the Serena & Lily bed and the mimicry of the Pyne Hollyhock fabric. I did not pick up on the chandelier. Whether it be "historian" Doris Kearns Goodwin or "journalist" New York Times reporter Jayson Blair, copying the work of others is wrong and public embarrassment should be part of the consequence. A lawsuit and damages would add bite to the deterrent.

    1. Same here! I thought it WAS the Pyne fabric at first. And since Pyne is so hot right now, it's not a coincidence - they are taking advantage of Schumacher's success. Along with Serena and Lily's.

  4. From ..." It is okay to examine someone else's work, absorb the concepts contained in it and then return to your own studio and apply those same concepts, techniques, colours and styles to the same subject matter to come up with your own work. But it will not be okay if you go back to your studio and actually make a copy of the work you saw, even if only from memory. And you can't make copying okay by copying just a part of another work. Even if you take just a part of another work and then build it into your own, entirely different work this will still be copyright infringement unless the part is not 'substantial'..." Many artists learn to paint by copying the works of the Masters; however those paintings that result are supposed to be labelled :"in the style of".

    1. Thanks for looking that all up!!! That seems reasonable.

  5. I am absolutely NOT a fan of these chandeliers and lighting fixtures. However, their design is, indeed, some artist's intellectual property and their pride and joy. This country's IP laws allow for "inspiration" as a jumping off point, but I would say Haslam and Moschino crossed the line on both the chandelier and the rattan daybed. Blatant copying, plain and simple. And then to crassly show it off at such a public event, no less. I, too, am deeply disappointed in Haslam, who I consider a brilliant designer. Although if you read up on him, you will find quotes where he appears to not care about such things as copying. He admits to being totally oblivious to the provenance of items and routinely has copies made. That's all well and good if you are copying an antique or commissioning a one-off for a good client, but this is a slap in the face to a well-known and well-liked lighting designer.

    1. By erasing all the negative comments - and never addressing the issue - shows that they know this not a good thing. The only positive issue for Nicky and Paolo is that most never realized what happened.

  6. It's true, in design, as in life generally, there is almost nothing new under the sun. I worked for an antique lighting firm and saw, among antiques from many different eras the same motifs cropping up, over and over again, and often exactly. We had a pair of Empire bronze sconces with a lion head holding a serpent in it's mouth. The exact same lion head can be seen reproduced on an Art Deco building in Paris, line for line, as a design element. I later saw the same stylized lion head as part of Mesopotamian ruins in a museum - a good idea never dies...
    That said, copying a working artist, virtually line for line, is not a knock-off, it's a rip-off. Just because designers like Haslam and Moschino are known names does not excuse the theft, for theft is what it is, however loftily they claim otherwise. I would not be surprised if Schumacher, Serena & Lily and Antonson consider a joint action against their "flatterers", given the flagrant affront of the Moschino/Haslam booth at Maison et Objects...

  7. I don’t get it. I remember reading a blog post (not mine) about Aidan Gray and Restoration Hardware. It’s shocking to me that these companies can copy each other so closely. I realize there are only so many motifs, but clearly in this modern design it appears more blatant.

  8. Joni, I delight in your blog entries! I'm not a designer, just a house mom/wife who enjoys beautiful and useful things. The time you must take to thoroughly research and document your subjects is evident in every post, and I admire and appreciate that so much. Your Outlander, Downton Abbey, and British royal family posts are wonderful and must take ages to research. I absolutely salivated over the Miles Redd collection when that Ballard Designs debut catalog arrived last year, and now that I know the history and inspiration behind the white plaster pieces I MUST have one. Your posts are always entertaining and educational for me! Keep them coming!

  9. US copyright law protects “original” works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression, including visual arts. ... A design patent protects any “new, original, and ornamental design” that would not be obvious to an “ordinary designer” skilled in the art.Nov 5, 2014 Does this nnot apply...hmmm...franki

  10. Serge Roche and Giacometti...the MASTERS. everyone else is practicing the old adage ‘ IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY’. Picasso did much to elevate the Art of Plaster around the same period as Roche and Giacometti...but nothing is more chic than building the room around an object that in the day is sculptural yet illuminating in the evening. Wonderful post...but this is a problem in fashion and architecture as well, I suppose it inherently human to glean from the Past, perfect in the Present and envision the future.

    1. Thank you!!!!! I'm not a huge fan of Giacometti like everyone else is Just personal I guess. But in the right room - I do see the beauty of a plaster chandelier.

    2. Not sure if you’ve been to the Picasso museum in Paris...but it’s soooo divine walking up the Grand Escalier all the while with an upturned craned neck staring at the beautiful silhouette of the moderne yet ancient looking sculpture that glows...too sit on one of those banquettes or single chairs while viewing a legendary Picasso...all too much for these little shoulders to bear!

  11. Joni, very thought provoking post. I agree with most of your readers. To produce the exact replica of a living artists design is wrong. Surly their design team could have used his chandelier as indpiration and created there own unique piece. Shame on Ballard design( one of my favorite catalogs) for not vetting the design before production. After reading your article it brought back memories of a company out of chattanooga that create lighting out of paper mache, Stray dog designs Looking through there site I see a creative youthful take on plaster. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Fascinating post!! Hoping that you will keep us aware of any further developments! Not as keen on the light fixtures -- but the line between "copying" and "stealing" a living design seems to be in an area of all shades of gray!

    Also (speaking of design influences) -- will you be writing about the sad passing of influential Dan Carithers?
    I seem to remember that his designs were some of your favorites? Very sad to lose this wonderful interior designer!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  13. Nicky H. is not associated with Paolo M.

    1. Umm, perhaps you should check your facts. It says Nicholas Haslam right there in plain sight.

    2. go to nickyphaslam on instagram for the December 18,2015 post.

    3. TO xxxxxxx :
      You meant to say SEPTEMBER 18, 2015

    4. Iyou are correct on the date of the instagram post. September 18,2015

    5. search nickyphaslam on instagram

    6. He sold his name. It's a shame because it is everywhere on all the business papers, etc. Can't imagine how awful it is especially when Paulo does something like this.

  14. Very interesting post and love the dialogue in comments. Not sure I know the intricacies of the process of "commissioning" a piece to be made. Who does the actual designing and has some claim to the design? The interior designer? The maker/manufacturer/artist who created it with their hands? Or even the homeowner or some other person? If it is a collaboration, who owns what?!

  15. Can you please double check the link to the linen chandelier (the first chandelier)? Thank you.

  16. Joni, I'd like to pay compliments to your writing skills as well as your research skills. This blog, and others authored by you, is as compelling as a mystery. I hung onto every word. I didn't answer the phone or the doorbell. You are truly a peacemaker while simultaneously making a point. You mixed design and ethics brilliantly. I loved the way you left it up to every reader to resolve the ethical dilemma, while planting the issue firmly. (Or at least that's the way I interpreted it.) Is there any chance that one day soon you could gather your blogs together into book form?
    I don't have my answer/opinion yet on the ethical matter at hand, because a memory has muddied the waters for me: a close friend is a composer. He told me that there have been FIVE occasions over the years when he has composed a tune with accompanying lyrics, only to find in a week or a month a nearly identical song (sometimes a fully identical song) being played on the radio! I happened to be with him on one of those occasions! I'm still formulating what that was all about.

    1. What a story! Song theft seems to be pervasive - the story about Led Zeppelin and how they stole all their songs is insane. I know I am dating myself!

      One comment about the plaster was a quilt maker went into a building and saw her quilt had been copied and turned into a floor pattern.


      Thanks for a great comment.

    2. A song could not be stolen and then be on the radio a week or a month later. It doesn't work like that.

    3. In my zeal to "keep it short," I omitted some details which possibly could have precluded assumptions.

  17. Oof. I LOVED that room when I saw it. But I'm bummed by the theft. Not a good look. Not classy. And just... why??? Hasalm has a big career already.

    Miles is my all time fave design-boo, if he ripped off, I'd be pissed. I can see the inspirations in his Ballard line. And Serge is not around anymore, and to find those antigue shell sconces will cost you thousands. Ballard for under $200 is a totally diff customer.

    Good research. Seriously bummed to see creative rip off another. What's that Maya Angelou saying? "When someone shows you who they are..."

    And he did.

    1. Miles is "inspired" by a dead artist. Not living and making money from his designs. It's different. But you can see how one inspires the other inspires the other. Nothing wrong with that - it's when you take one chandelier and copy it exactly from the artist who is selling it at that time. It's not like Target marking it down and making an inferior copy - this was a good copy.

  18. Damn! Another amazing posting, Joni. How the heck do you do it, gurl???

  19. You have made a good case and I am glad you wrote about this. I do not follow Instagram and all this design stuff as closely as you so ably do but I am deeply invested in design and artistic expression in general. I have thought a lot over the years about the difference between inspiration and copying. Being inspired by others is one of the most wonderful things we human beings do, especially in creative expression. How much do I love the multiple variations on seemingly simple folk themes like Suzani or the tree of life, for example? Experiencing well done inspirations is one of my favorite things and inspires me in turn. But outright copying? This light fixture is obviously a copy. It seems so stupid, in addition to being lazy and immoral. And absurd, as if it wouldn't be noticed when the whole point of showing at a premier trade show is to be noticed! I used to teach college and was baffled when students would hand in plagiarized work off the internet as if I couldn't easily find the source of their plagiarism -- which is, let us remember: passing off someone else's work as your own. This incident is one of plagiarism and I think the actors involved should suffer the proper consequences. Think of all the writers and journalists over the years who have been caught lying . . . why should it be different in design? I am not familiar with these designers as many of you here are and I understand how it can be difficult to adjust one's evaluation of a person's work based on new information. But learning to do this is part of life. I have never been able to read the work of men who treated the women in their lives poorly, no matter how Important and Significant others told me their Art was. I do not think Great Artists get a pass from being decent human beings. I like to think of all of this as a big conversation and I get to chose who I listen to and who I ignore. I will not look to these two men for inspiration at this point. Fortunately there are plenty of wonderful people out there designing inspiring things with integrity that I can be in conversation with. Thank you again, Joni, for your own well thought out contribution to the conversation!!

  20. Great post Joni! I learned a lot from you tonight. My husband of 30+ years use to litigate patent and copyright infringements so I've always been sensitive to artists' works being ripped off. It's not okay!

  21. I'm not sure that non-copying restrictions should be only limited to when the artist is still alive and making a living from the art. Many times after an artist's death, his/her family is still benefitting from the design proceeds or a company like Knoll has purchased the rights to the design. These interests should not be harmed by copycats either.

    1. Actually John Dickinson's family did market his name and designs after his death. Later, Sutherland bought them But you are right. Not sure how long it is that something is not longer copyright free????

    2. All works published in the United States prior to 1923 are in the public domain, that is, they are copyright free. Also, "According to the United States Copyright Office, copyright protection for all works created after Jan. 1, 1978, lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years." It gets more complicated for unpublished works. Leticia

    3. This is the best website I found explaining copyrights and public domain works. Easy reading.

    4. Thank you so much, Letty. Your contribution is appreciated!

    5. Google can help us find all kinds of stuff. Pretty much everything that is out there. And then there's the other search engines also.
      Just a click away, folks.

  22. I tried to erase a spam but all the replies deleted too - this comment was new and was accidentally erased: In this comment you say "Haslam stole his design."
    Further down you say "Can't imagine how awful it is especially when Paolo does something like this."
    Who exactly is the bad guy then? I'm confused.

    I kept making the mistake of saying Nicholas instead of Paolo. I didn't realize that his name was not his own anymore. I thought they were partners in the business, but he either sold his name or gave it to Paolo, his ex partner and ex lover. I corrected the blog where I included Haslam's name in this issue. I have no clue whether NH benefits from that company or not. He says he is not connected with it. I try to look up all details when I do a story, but I never realized that they weren't partners anymore. Paolo is the one who copied the chandy. pER Antonson, not me.

    1. Thanks for explaining what happened to posts; I was following that thread.

  23. Joni, I have no problem with borrowing/copying/stealing other people's ideas, as long as the other people involved are dead. In fact, dead people's ideas are the best places to pick up inspiration: I do it all the time, and I freely admit it, because A) I seldom have any good ideas of my own, and B) because anybody who has a good visual memory would recognize where I got "my" ideas, anyway.

    And for those without ideas of their own, I look at my recycling of better-known designers' work as a public service, since those designers' work is hidden away in old books and magazines, where nobody but people like me would see it. This way EVERYBODY wins: I don't have to come up with an original idea, and other people have a source of good ideas, that they wouldn't otherwise have. If you Google "all art is copying" and "Picasso", then click on the first link that pops up, you'll see my explanation of the whole process.
    But copying the work of someone who's still living, is flat-out immoral. I remember reading in a book about the artist Rockwell Kent, his indignant response to a request for him to sign a pre-written article praising a particular New York building, explaining that he would no more sign an article that he hadn't written than he would steal money, and concluded with a line about how offended he was to even be asked to do it.

    1. This must have been written tongue-in-cheek.

    2. Sounds like a real winner, doesn't he?

  24. Regardless of who does what I love this blog! Thank you for posting all of these lovelies. I visited because I was interested in the Joseph Minton Showhouse for the now defunct Southern Accents magazine. I think you do a fabulous job! Thank you!

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  27. Chandelier made from plaster...why? What's the point anyway? They're not really attractive.
    Hack, if you must. Buy cheap chandy with modern lines. Glop on several layers of gesso to give that sort of hand done texture. Finish with a coat of the flattest, chalkiest paint you can find. There you go.

    1. ^

      You are so right about this. I ♥ you.

      Joni, you should delete those spam emails!

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