Saturday, May 14, 2011

Playing With Rainbows - an interview with Randie Hovatter

Local Graphic Design artist and Stained Glass Artist Randie Hovatter of Delmar Maryland talked to Delmar Historical and Arts Society about her work in glass;

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself - your education, interests, past work experiences?
I graduated with my BFA in Graphic Design from Salisbury University this past December. Currently I am employed as a graphic designer at K&L Microwave, but I still enjoy selling stained glass on the side. I also work at Macky's Bayside Bar and Grille in Ocean City during the summer, so come visit unless you are a sub-par tipper.

When did you first realize art was your calling?
I have always loved art. In an area like the Eastern Shore it can be difficult to turn art into a 9 to 5 profession, but I ended up being lucky. I only have to beg on the street three days a week now.

How was it that you started working with stained glass?
I have been working with stained glass since I was about 15 years old. My mom asked me if I wanted to take lessons at Glass by Grammy in Salisbury, and after seeing the projects there I was immediately interested.

How long have you been working in stained glass?
About 7 years.

What advice would you give to someone else wanting to learn?
Stained glass can be very challenging depending on the project. You will know pretty much instantly whether or not you are going to enjoy it as a hobby. But once you finish your first successful piece it is a proud moment.

Do you have a mentor, if so how important has this been to the development of your professional practice?
My mentor is Carolyn Adkins of the aforementioned Glass by Grammy. She can make anything out of glass. I was her first student, and she continues teaching glass from her studio on Snow Hill Road in Salisbury. She has been very important to me, both by being full of good advice and by always being willing to help me when I struggle with a tough project.

Are you self-taught or did you take professional courses in stained glass production?

I learned all of my stained glass skills at Glass by Grammy, but sometimes I like to try new types of projects on my own.

How do you find clients and receive commissions?

I have a website, , and I get a lot of clients simply through word-of-mouth. On my business cards it says Graphic Design and Stained Glass.

Is there an ‘ultimate’ commission you would like to undertake?

A glass Sistine Chapel... I'm just kidding, that would take forever.

If someone wants to give you a commission how can they contact you?

The best way to reach me is through my email,

An Interview With Elaine Patterson of the Maryland Historical Press

In preparing the May edition of the Delmar Historical and Arts Society May Newsletter I did an interview with Elaine Patterson of Delmar, Maryland who has a book publishing business called Maryland History Press. For those who may be interested in local book publishing here is the interview;

Tell us a little about yourself and Maryland History Press.

I was born on a farm just outside of Stockton, Maryland, and completed my high school and secondary education in the region. In 1998, I retired from a job as Executive Administrative Assistant at Salisbury University. As a native of the Eastern Shore, I have long been interested in learning about our early colonists and how our culture, customs and history evolved. In 2000, I founded what is now Maryland History Press and began reprinting some of my favorite out-of-print titles. Soon, others asked me to help them publish their manuscripts.

What type of books are your specialty?
My focus is on the history of Maryland with an emphasis on Delmarva’s history, culture, and people. Memoirs and genealogy research are also important offerings at Maryland History Press.

What services do you provide to writers?
I offer services and guidance to help authors through the publication process, including consultation, ISBN, barcode, copyright and Library of Congress requirements, editing, proofreading, printing bids, marketing ideas, etc. My cost-effective author-subsidy program allows the author to be more efficient while maintaining control. I also offer editing and proofreading services for individuals, non-profits and businesses who may need marketing materials, website text and newsletters.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Aspiring writers should be passionate about their subjects and do extensive research. For fiction, authors need to make their dialogue, plot and settings believable. For non-fiction, carefully documented resources give credibility to their works. Prior to contacting a publisher, writers should have credible people proofread and give honest feedback.

What is the single, biggest mistake new authors make?
I believe the biggest mistake made by new authors is foregoing critique and guidance. Bringing a manuscript to print is often a lengthy process involving mandatory requirements, attention to detail and timelines. Patience and being willing to make changes are key to developing a quality book.

How do you see the future for the smaller and self-publishers?
Over the years, small publishers have gained greater acceptance and acclaim. With existing and future new technologies, I envision even greater opportunities for small publishers. Self-publishing has challenges that many authors find discouraging and difficult to overcome. For that reason, small publishers, such as Maryland History Press, often offer author-subsidy services.

How do you scout for new authors?
I use several avenues to reach out to potential authors. One, of course, is through my website, Networking venues, such as book events, make people aware of my passion and services. I am especially gratified that potential clients are often referred to me by Salisbury University’s Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture, as well as by my local printer and previous customers.

How can people reach you to buy your books or to use your services as a publisher?
I can be reached by calling 410-742-2682, and by emailing Customers may order online via my website. To save on shipping and handling, locals may also call in orders that can be hand delivered.

Copyright Infringement and Historical societies

As many of you know I am involved in a couple of Historical societies. One type of fundraiser these societies frequently do is to compile some type of history book for their area. A case that is currently going on in Montgomery County Texas involves alleged Copyright Infringements between the Montgomery County Genealogical & Historical Society, Inc" and Melinda Cagle. Now I don't know anything about either party. It does look like the Montgomery County Genealogical & Historical Society (MCG&HS) has some problems/issues internally as they have a number of open slots on their Board of Directors etc.

Anyway from what I can see of the case; back in 2001 the Montgomery County Genealogical & Historical Society initiated the second Montgomery County history book project. The person who was in charge of the family history section anticipated moving to another city and asked Melinda Cagle to assume responsibility for that part of the book. since 2001 Melinda Cagle has worked on the Book until its completion in late 2010. She spent her time, effort, and money collecting and editing hundreds of stories and photographs for the Book. She seem to have greatly expanded the original idea of the book.

In 2009 MCG&HS wanted to see some results on the book, in late 2010, Cagle presented the Book to some of the MCG&HS Board members as a courtesy but refused to let them see details of it. The board discovered she had plans to copyright the book in her name. MCG&HS was going to have its name on the front cover of the Book since they had assumed it was their book. Cagle said she was allowing the Historical Society's name on the book as a favor to them to increase donations. Well you can imagine the ensuing discussion which has resulted in case 4:11-cv-01066 Montgomery County Genealogical & Historical Society, Inc. v. Cagle - UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS - Copyright Infringement

I do not have a court date on this trial, if it will ever go to trial, but I would be interested in knowing the end results. What the historical society did (trying to publish a book) and using one of it's member's to put the book together was typical of most societies. What went wrong was the effort Melinda Cagle put out (which was extensive) was assumed by the society to be volunteer work. Melinda Cagle didn't think it was. Perhaps there is a lesson here that a letter should be issued to the people doing volunteer work that the results of their efforts belong to the historical society and no one else.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Civil War legacy preserved

Picked up from the Daily Times

ONANCOCK -- In observance of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the Virginia Sesquicentennial Civil War Commission and the Library of Virginia have asked The Eastern Shore Historical Society to join with them in a state-wide search of original manuscripts and documents that still remain in private hands.

On June 4 and June 5, the community is invited to share their Civil War era documents at two separate locations in Accomack and Northampton counties. This will be an exciting opportunity to preserve your private collections and make them available to the world without them leaving your possession.

This program, titled The Civil War 150 Legacy Project, was created specifically to locate, identify, scan and then digitalize precious artifacts and original source materials in the state of Virginia that relate to the Civil War and emancipation. The scanned documents will then be kept in the archives at the Library of Virginia and made available through their online database, which can be accessed globally for research for generations to come.

"This is a great chance for people to share their carefully guarded treasures that their families are reluctant to relinquish. Anyone can sign up, have their items scanned immediately in front of their eyes and then safely take them home to press into the pages of their family Bibles or file away in shoeboxes in the attic. It is designed to be seamless and easy for both amateur enthusiasts or big time collectors," Jenny Barker of the Historical Society said.

Materials may include letters, memoirs, pension materials, military passes, discharge papers, diaries, hand drawn maps, pictures, claims for damages and reminiscences during the years of 1859-1867. Of particular interest to the project are global and pacifist perspectives and the viewpoints of individual African Americans, foreign observers and women. The only stipulation is that items brought in for scanning must be owned by the individual presenting the materials for digitalization. Items do not have to specifically be about Virginia as long as they contain valuable anthropological content.

The Ker Place Museum, Headquarters for the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society, in Onancock will be the location for the scanning and digitalization on Saturday, June 4 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Barrier Islands Center located in Machipongo will be the Northampton County location on Sunday, June 5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Pre- registration is a must and all questions and scheduling can be made through the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society. Please call 757-787-8012 or email Jenny Barker at jbarkerkerplace