In the last few days since finishing Stabby, I've been playing around with simple patterns and color combinations for decorative 2" frame options. I've put them all together on these two idea boards.
The bottom board includes corner option patterns. I've come to prefer a continuous pattern around the frame, without any corner deviation of the pattern, but—surprise—not everyone is like me. 😎
I was able to primarily use remains from previous projects that I have accumulated over the many years of making decorative frames, bottles, magnets, and a few boxes.
Now, it's time to get back to an art piece that I started before Stabby came into my life. I'll also be transitioning to working on an easel after 20+ years of working on a table. I guess I'm ready for an adventure!
Final proofing for the book is moving along quickly. This is due partly to my desire to wrap it up before we are deep into the holiday season, and partly due to the responsiveness of the artists. There are just a few to be finalized.
Originally, I had chosen 54 artists for the book. I suspected that I might lose a few who might have difficulty providing good enough images. Strangely, I did not lose any for this reason. As it turned out, I did lose 2 artists, but for other reasons.
The first one declined to participate due to needing to help with hurricane recovery. At that point, there were 53. So, I decided to include myself in the book and keep the number at 54. Unfortunately, I lost one more who simply failed to respond. So, we are at 53. Let's hope that's a lucky number.
Do you notice anything different about the cover? Other than that I have spelled Foreword correctly?
That's right! The Mosaic Maven herself, Nancie Mills Pipgras, has graciously and enthusiastically accepted my invitation to write the foreword for the book. She has seen an early draft and is very happy to be a part of it!!!
To quote one of the presenting artists, Floy Height: "I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it."
Nancie has been supportive of this effort from the beginning, and helped spread the word in the mosaic community. I know, for a fact, that she is responsible for connecting some of the artists in the book with my Call to Artists.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, esteemed Ms. Pipgras!
To have a convenient source of information and updates for the book, I've created what Squarespace calls a Cover Page, which is like a single page website. It has three navigation options: Artists, Specs, and Updates.
Select Artists to link to a pdf listing of the artists featured in the book, with links to their websites. For those who did not provide a website, the link will go to an email, unless/until they request an alternative link. (Artists: Feel free to make that request.)
Select Specs to link to a pdf that provides a bullet-style run-down of the the specs for the physical book and content.
Selecting Updates will link to the CREATIONS category on my blog, under which all things CREATIONS have and will be posted.
Want to see it? Here it is!
I've often been frustrated when I see some of my photos, that I have become accustomed to viewing on a monitor, in printed format. This is because of the RGB to CMYK conversion. I'm thinking about this now as it relates to my upcoming book, CREATIONS, and as I've been working with literally hundreds of images.
The above awesome graphic illustrates the difference between RGB, which is how we see images on a computer screen, and CMYK, which is how we typically see images in print.
RGB, which stands for Red, Green, Blue, is a broader spectrum than CMYK, which stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. In regard to printing, CMYK is also called 4 Color. The above graphic illustrates how much narrower the CMYK spectrum is than the RGB spectrum.
Most printing, whether digital or offset, is 4 color, or CMYK. Very high-end and/or custom printing offers CMYK + light cyan and light magenta, and possibly more, or CMYK + a spot color—whatever a customer is willing to pay for. Coca-Cola Red and IBM Blue, for example, are CMYK + a spot color, when in print.
Where the RGB/CMYK difference is most visible to me is in very vibrant blues with some violet. However, it is primarily noticeable in a relative sense: I notice it because I have seen the RGB representation, and I am aware of what is being lost relative to what I see on screen and with my own eyes.
I'm so excited to share this stunning book cover. The work featured is a table lamp by Brazilian artist Rosangela Kusma Gasparin, and it is titled Forgotten Glass. I feel like this mosaic expresses the creative, original, and explorative spirit that this book presents in its celebration of contemporary decorative mosaic.
I'm still working on features for 5 of the 52 artists. Here is where it stands right now:
- Artists from 20 countries
- 104 mosaic works
- About 200 photos
- Available late-winter 2018
- Sold via J-MOSAIC or Amazon
In looking into shipping costs for outside the USA, I have found that Amazon can ship books internationally for much less than I can. So, I've decided to sell it through Amazon, as well as my storefront. It will cost a few dollars more, due to Amazon's fees, but the total cost of book plus shipping will be a good amount less expensive than if I were to ship it myself.
All for now.!
Being a fan of Margo's work, my interest was piqued when I saw on Facebook that Margo was doing an online class through Mosaicartsonline.com. I looked into it and was fascinated to see so many courses with so many talented mosaic artists. Never having attempted mosaic jewelry in any serious way, I decided to try it out and I enrolled in Margo's class.
I watched the entire course one morning and then purchased her kit from di Mosaico. I received the kit yesterday and on right is what it looks like.
I chose the Medium Blue mix from the extensive mix options. The pendant blank is very shiny and pretty, although different than the kind that Margo uses. Not sure which I like better.
I've got a bit of traveling coming up, so I probably won't get to this pendant until mid-August or so. At that time, I will be able to rewatch the course segments as needed. I'll be looking forward to this little project.
I am pleased to announce that this tasty cookbook, featuring mouth-watering mosaics—and recipes, of course—is available for sale! I think there may be a few used copies of it still available on Amazon, but I am now able offer it on my new storefront instead of via Amazon. I can offer it for a little less—$22—and the price includes shipping. My apologies, but I am only shipping within the U.S. at this time.
The book is an international collection of recipes and mosaic art. 63 recipes and 64 mosaics have been contributed by the international mosaic community. The collection of food and drink-themed mosaic art is diverse and robust. Includes conversion tables, quotes and tidbits, and a few personal stories.
To take a look inside the book: Slideshow Preview
To purchase: Buy Book
After my lengthy discussion yesterday, here on my blog over the course of six posts, I could not help but notice all the terms that I used to talk about mosaics: craft, fine craft, art, and fine art. This can be confusing, and it is quite likely that we would not all agree on these terms.
Clearly, however, those of us who talk about fine art mosaic, and elevating mosaic to a fine art status, have some THING in mind when we use the term fine art.
I thought that I would, today, talk about what I mean when I use various terms. You may or may not agree with me, but my usage is informed by my 20+ years in mosaic. That's not to say that, therefore, I am right, rather to offer that I have a valid basis for my views.
In the photo above, I am hoping to illustrate the difference between fine and not fine. Both are decorative mosaic pieces, and could broadly be called decorative mosaic art. The one on the right displays a fineness that the one on the left does not. The vase on the right also displays a higher degree of skill and creative design.
Further, I would say that the one on the left could qualify as craft, but not fine craft. Although, I would not categorize the one on the right as craft, fine or not. Why? Because of the degree of skill and the level of design. Is this too subjective? Perhaps. But if you can't tell the difference in quality between these two items, then it probably does not matter.
How about another example?
Here we have two examples of decorative mosaics (well three actually, as there are two mosaic candle holders in the left photo), which can be broadly categorized as decorative mosaic art, although the one on the left could easily be called craft. The candle holders are nicely done and you could say that they are technically finely done, except that the design—if you could even call it that—is just so simple and basic that it can't qualify as fine craft.
The bottle on the right, however, is quite finely done, and the demands of the design require a good degree of skill to execute. I consider this a fine decorative mosaic, and would certainly allow that it is fine craft, as well.
Last but not least:
I categorize all three of the above wall pieces as art, but they are different degrees of art. The still life on the left is art in that it is expressing a point of view. I talked about this one in What's In A Name? #5. It is not fine art because of the lack of skill, both artistically and mosaically.
The mosaic in the middle, L'entrata, is a beautiful mosaic, executed with a high degree of technical skill. While it is certainly art, the question of whether or not it is fine art is a bit murky, and will have to defer to the eye of the beholder. The design, if you could call it such, is basically in service to a photograph. I know that this kind of talk can stir emotions, but I am willing to acknowledge that this issue is, indeed, an issue. And I am also willing to acknowledge the view that this mosaic may not be fine art, as fine as it is, primarily because of its not being terribly original.
Regarding the mosaic on the right, Piercing the Veil, I consider this an example of mosaic fine art. Is it good enough to hang in a museum, or win an exhibition? That is not for me to decide. But it displays a high degree of technical mastery and it is a unique expression of an idea and a point of view. From where I was as an artist when I made this piece, this was a sincere attempt to communicate an idea with the highest degree of skill that I possessed. I call it fine art.
Now, you may not agree with my conclusions about the pieces that I've used as examples. That's not the point of this post. I'm just hoping it will contribute to the discussion.
Still with me? Because if you're not, I'm just having a conversation with myself. Nothing new on that count.
So what is the above mosaic all about? Well, I was at a loss as to what might be useful for this final post, so I just chose one of my favorite things that I have ever made. Fine art? No way.
It is a nice little piece of art, in my opinion, but perhaps just barely art. I made six of these in 2012, each one a bit different, but extremely similar. So, are they art? If not, what are they? Craft? Like a lot of things that we create, it may be somewhere in the middle.
As I behlold this, I will tip the scale on the art side. It exhibits a fair degree of mosaic skill, and I think that the sky is more than just a bit crafty. But, does it have a deeper meaning? Express a point of view? Make a statement? No, no, and no. Maybe it's just floating around in that no-person's land of crafty-art or arty-craft. To this beholder—me—it's a little piece of art.
I've tried to be very tactful in this series of posts, as I know this can be a touchy subject for some people. Maybe it seems that I have kind of danced around the topic, but I've meant to use examples and my own personal experience to make some points. Too subtle? Well, I can remedy that.
Over the years, I've spent many hours visiting other mosaic artists' websites. I italicized mosaic artists because the term is as pesky as mosaic fine art. Just because someone calls his/herself a mosaic artist, does that mean that they are? Just because they call their work fine art, does that mean that it is?
From a lofty distance, we can take refuge in saying that it's not up to us to answer those questions, that it is all in the eye of the beholder. But for the sake of this discussion, my answer to both of those questions is emphatically NO.
Now, let's get serious:
- Are you clear on what your work is, and on what your work is not? On the degree to which your work is craft, fine craft, art, or fine art?
- Do you want your work to be regarded as mosaic fine art?
- Do you have an idea of what is and is not mosaic fine art?
- Do you have a website gallery, titled fine art, with uninformed crazy-paving frames? (Crazy-paving is quite legitimate and awesome, when done correctly. When done incorrectly, I call it uninformed, which is the good-cop's variation of the bad-cop's amateur.)
- Do you label your mosaic birdhouses, stepping stones, and candle holders fine art creations?
- In any profession, for your work to be elevated to a high status, a good degree of mastery in your medium is required. Art is no exception. Do you understand the technical aspects of your medium? Does your work exhibit a good degree of technical mastery?
- If you have not achieved a good degree of technical mastery, do you still call your work fine art?
- It probably does not matter what you call your business or your website or your Facebook business page. If you know what your work is, if you are clear on what you are creating and why, the name that you choose is not nearly as important. If your work is stunning and true and fine, your company could be called This Is Not Fine Art, and your work would be still known as fine art.
- Having said what I said in #8, I personally think that if your art is serious, your business should have a serious name, whether it is your own name or not. There is something in a name, and certainly when a name is all that a potential gallery or buyer has in front of them. Just Jackie's Mosaics conveys a different weight than does Jacqueline Iskander, or even Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics.
Over the years, I've been able to observe the evolution of mosaic as a fine art, and it has been quite remarkable and exciting. I've also observed, with frustration, a lack of discernment in various areas and levels of the mosaic community, from individuals to organizations.
This lack of discernment, while understandable to some degree, considering the relative newness and speed with which mosaic has moved, is also a hindrance to it finding its place in the fine art world. This lack of discernment, while played out in public, serves to perpetuate itself, reflecting poorly on the medium as a whole, impeding its elevation.
This is the end of my treatise. Thank you for listening.
It was definitely time for a change of graphic, don't you think?
The two mosaics above were made around the same time, probably about 1997-1998. The one on the left is what happens when someone who has neither natural talent nor artistic training attempts a still life, as well as what happens when one is new to mosaic. Artistically, there are problems with the design, and mosaically there are problems with the execution. Still, this piece hangs in my kitchen today and makes me feel good.
Unwittingly, I was attempting to make art with the mosaic on the left, and I would argue today that it is, indeed, art. It's not fine art, by any measure, but it is art. I was trying to express the warmth of such a scene, as it means to me: the color and lusciousness of such beautiful and delicious vegetables—is there much in the world more beautiful than a large, shiny, purple eggplant? It's a point of view.
The mosaic on the left is decorative, and not terribly fine. If I had painted the tiles myself, the mosaic might squeak by as art, but just barely, in my opinion. It's not a bad mosaic, in the sense that it was soundly made and lives today, but clearly it is not fine art, though art in the decorative sense.
In my early years, I had a website. In fact, I was one of the few mosaic artists to have a website in those days, owing purely to the fact that one of my kids was quite a tech geek. I put everything I made on the site and did not distinguish between fine art and decorative art. This reflected the fact that I did not see a distinction—it was all mosaic, and what else to call it but mosaic art? As best I can remember, my categories were wall panels, vases, tables, etc.
As time went on and my experience and base of knowledge grew, my websites reflected this evolution of understanding. My categories began to reflect wall art vs decorative art. Then fine art vs decorative art. Then I took decorative art off of my main navigation and only had a link to it on my About page. Then I removed it from my About page entirely. Now, I am developing a completely separate website, with a different name, to serve as a storefront for my decorative art. The name Jacqueline Iskander is for my fine art work only.
This has been a process for me—an evolution of understanding, to repeat. Sometimes, it just needs to work this way. Some people, for various reasons, have a more immediate understanding of this. Maybe they have been at it longer; maybe they were always artists; maybe they had formal training or early environmental influences. Lots of reasons, I imagine.
And then there are those that just don't give a damn about any of this. Who cares what you call it? If you are one of those people, you should have stopped reading these posts a while back.
I'll have one more post on this coming up...
I'm going to stick with the above graphic one more time, as it is still be relevant for this post.
There was a time when I did not understand the difference between art and decoration. I chose art that I liked and that I thought worked well with the decor. Whether a vase or a wall item, it was all art to me—all decoration.
My first few years exploring mosaic yielded simply mosaics, not art. I did not think of making art—how could I when I did not even know what it was?
Two of my decorative mosaics were accepted to the first MAI to which I submitted (the vase on the left above was one of them; chest at right the other). At that time, I thought: well then, they must be art. I remember that at the exhibition, a woman was admiring the chest and asked me what was my inspiration. I answered honestly that I just wanted to make something beautiful. It was not long after that that I began to grasp how and why art is different.
The evolution of mosaic as a fine art has been confusing to both individual mosaicists and the mosaic community at large, I think, never mind the broader art world. The speed with which it arrived is rather astounding, which will inevitably lead to such confusion. We, as the mosaic community, seem to be at once fighting to reach that fine art pinnacle, while at the same time being very conflicted about what mosaic fine art actually is.
Well, as I said previously, I don't want to get into trying to define what mosaic fine art is. I think I can, however, whittle away at what I think it is not. For those who are trying to understand a distinction, such an exercise may be useful.
I was talking about decorative mosaic, and how I consider the mosaics on the left and right above to be decorative art, but not fine art. If you feel yourself on edge a little (or a lot) after my mention of fine art, please review #1 and #2 of this ongoing discussion, which will provide a context.
Regarding decorative art, in no way do I feel it is in any way less than any other kind of art. Absolutely not. But, in the context of this discussion, I am clear that it is not fine art. Likewise, I would say the same thing about fine craft.
Let's not diverge into defining what is and is not fine craft. But getting back to my previous statement about the decorative mosaic on the right flirting on the edge of being craft, I should explain that and get it out of the way.
I've spent the last few months mosaicking bottles and frames in that decorative technique used on that bottle on the right. The more I did of this kind of work, the more I could feel the craft-ness of it. I used different colors and patterns, but in the repetition of it, it became a craft. Here I want to quote from a book that has been a constant companion to me and which I highly recommend:
Yes, there is a difference between art and craft—it's just that both terms are so overgrown with fuzzy definitions that drawing a clear distinction between them is close to impossible. ...
Think of craft and you think of furniture shaped by Sam Maloof, of handmade clothing flaunted at Renaissance Fairs, of everything made before the Industrial Revolution. Think of art and you think or War and Peace, a Beethoven concerto, the Mona Lisa. Both disciplines obviously yield good things, valuable things, sometimes tangibly useful things, and at first pass the distinction between them seems perfectly clear.
But is the Mona Lisa really art? Well then, what about an undetectably perfect copy of the Mona Lisa? That comparison (however sneaky) points up the fact that it's surprisingly difficult, maybe even impossible, to view any single work in isolation and rule definitively "This is art" or "This is craft." Striking that difference means comparing successive pieces made by the same person.
In essence, art lies embedded in the conceptual leap between pieces, not in the pieces themselves. And simply put, there's a greater conceptual jump from one work of art to the next than from one work of craft to the next. The net result is that art is less polished—but more innovative—than craft. The differences between five Steinway grand pianos—demonstrably works of consummate craftsmanship—are small compared to the differences between the five Beethoven Piano concerti you might perform on those instruments...
Yet curiously, the progression of most artists' work over time is a progression from art toward craft. In the same manner that imagination gives way to execution as any single work builds toward completion, an artist's major discoveries usually come early on, and a lifetime is then allotted to fill out and refine those discoveries. As the Zen proverb suggests, for the beginner there are many paths, for the advanced, few.
At any point along that path, your job as an artist is to push craft to its limits—without being trapped by it... The difference between art and craft lies not in the tools you hold in your hands, but in the mental set that guides them. For the artisan, craft is an end in itself.
—David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art & fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
Yes, I will concede that the mosaic on the right could be considered craft—fine craft, if I do say so myself. And it is also falls within the general category of decorative art.
That's that about craft, and I'm not going to distinguish between art and craft within a decorative or functional sense again. The thing that I think is relevant, within the context of this discussion, is the distinction between what might be fine art, and what might not be, and why this matters with regard to the struggle of elevating mosaic art to a fine art status.
This post continues a conversation that is based on the belief that mosaic art is not fully accepted and embraced as a fine art by the broader art world. The conversation began with the post What's In A Name?
There are several reasons why mosaic art is not fully—or perhaps at all in some places—accepted as a fine art. Historically, mosaic was primarily functional, even in the telling of stories or witnessing of events. Then, it began taking on more decorative and pictorial responsibility as well, but was still a covering, more or less. There is no question as to the relevance of mosaic as a functional or decorative medium. Mosaic as a fine art medium is a contemporary idea, and its relevance as such is not settled.
Mosaic, in and of itself, is not automatically art, anymore than paint or clay or any other medium is automatically art. Art is expressed with a medium, but it is not the medium. Likewise, art is not an automatic result of creative exercise. While I accept that art is in the eye of the beholder, within the context of this discussion: if I desire for my mosaic art to be accepted as that thing called fine art, there is obviously a more objective standard to which I am aspiring.
In reference to the three mosaics above:
Which one of these is not like the others?
Clearly, I'm making a distinction between decorative mosaic art and that peskily nebulous category of mosaic fine art.
Or, is it clear?
With respect to the middle mosaic, I used the medium of mosaic to express an idea and create an art piece for a wall. I consider it a fine art piece. The mosaics flanking the middle one are decorative mosaic and I consider them decorative art. In fact, the one on the right flirts on the edge of being craft—OMG! I said it! (I'll talk more about this in a bit.)
A friend of mine used to say about art: Isn't it all decorative? In the broadest sense, I think she has a point. But within the context of this discussion, we have something in mind when we are saying fine art. I'm not going to try to define what that is so much as I might just try to define what it is not.
Yesterday, there was an interesting discussion taking place in the Mosaic Mentoring group on Facebook. The original poster questioned the wisdom behind how we name our mosaic businesses. Specifically, she seemed to make a connection between how we name ourselves and how mosaic, in general, is accepted—or not accepted—within the larger art world.
To this point, I've included three mosaic images above and ask: Which one of these is not like the others? Hold that thought as I will get back to it shortly.
The issue of mosaic being accepted or not, and what the reasons for this might be, is an important discussion, but one that hinges upon a more primary question:
Do you believe that mosaic art is not fully accepted/embraced as a fine art by the broader art world?
If your answer to this question is No, then this discussion is probably not relevant for you.
If your answer is Yes, then the next question to ask would be:
What do you think are the reasons for mosaic art not being fully accepted/embraced as a fine art by the broader art world?
My answer to the first question is Yes, so I'll continue.
My answer to the second question is: Several reasons that I would love to discuss, but I don't think the name we choose for our businesses is necessarily one of them.
So, now I am going to explore some things, based upon a belief that there is a struggle for mosaic art to be generally accepted as a fine art. Again, if you don't care about this question, this conversation is not meant for you.
Back to my earlier question regarding the three mosaics featured at the top of this post:
Which one of these is not like the others?
I'll talk about this in my next post.
So let's talk a bit about decorative mosaics.
The mosaic above is a decorative wall panel. It was inspired by a necklace found in King Tut's tomb (image at right, photo by Araldo de Luca). While the necklace itself is not purely decorative, my rendition of it is.
I was attracted to the repetitious and almost geometrical composition of the lotus flowers and buds, as well as the lovely composition of the fully opened flowers. I chose the color palette to go with a particular room. No deep meaning here, just wanted to create a decor item for the house.
If you're not sure if a mosaic is decorative or not, explore the intention with which you made it. A still life, for example, may not be expressing a deep meaning, but it is probably expressing a point of view. Did you make the still life of flowers merely to decorate a wall or to match the furniture? Or were you trying to communicate your experience of those flowers?
Likewise, a pet or human portrait—while it may not be a philosophical statement, is most likely an attempt to communicate aspects of its subject.
The above image shows two necklaces: A stunning mosaic pendant by Margo Anton, and a non-mosaic piece that I bought at a museum gift shop in Mesa, AZ.
Since Margo was one of the first to submit for my book, I am pretty comfortable saying that the necklace she made is a decorative mosaic. Her intention was to make something beautiful that someone would find joy in wearing. I can personally attest to the success of her intention.
It's pretty clear that the other necklace's intention is to make a statement. While it is not mosaic, it can hopefully be a helpful example.
So, is all mosaic jewelry decorative? No. As the creator, your intention answers the question. After that, it truly is in the eye of the beholder as to with what level of art it will be embraced.
Not satisfied with my pic from yesterday, I'm still trying to bring out the purple. The awesome glass that I used is a bit dichroic, sparkly burgundy from one side, and sparkly purple from another.
The exterior shot on the right brings out a bit more purple and a bit more sparkle overall, but the lighting is pretty harsh. However, I like the way it brings out more of the detail.
I've forgotten how to cut out an object from a photo in Photoshop, which is hard to be believe since I have done it extensively in the past. However, Photoshop has changed, and while it has been changing, my brain has been busy forgetting.
A Facebook friend gave me some instructions that I will put to the test this afternoon. If I succeed, I hope I will have the sense to make notes for the next time.
Well, another week, another bottle! These 1800® Tequila bottles are a joy to mosaic. The flat, rectangular-ish sides are nice to work with. And did you know that the corners are beveled?
I'm not sure about the glass stoppers. The last time I was looking at 1800® Tequila in a liquor store, the bottles they had did not have glass stoppers. I hope that they are still making some bottles with the glass stoppers because they are quite nice. I would like to do a couple more of these bottles. I think that I've seen smaller ones than this one, and I just might have to drink some more margaritas.
Anyway, here is the latest product of my decorative detour. The palette is very unusual for me, but I have made peace with it. I agree with my daughter's assessment that it is a handsome bottle. It is actually quite neutral and I like that.
My decorative indulgence may extend into the summer. I've got a few more bottles lined up, and I may go ahead and mosaic a few frames. Years ago, someone gave me four medium-sized frames that were in almost-new condition. I really should just go ahead and take care of those while I am in a deco frame of mind. I see mirrors in my near future.
About the photos: I took these photos in my cool new Portable Photo Studio. To try and avoid the small bit of reflection through the small picture-taking window—such a problem for these mirror tiles—I tried shooting slightly down on the bottle. It was very helpful in dealing with that reflection, but the bottle looks slightly distorted—a bit top-heavy, perhaps?—especially the side view. What do you think?
All of the above bottles, except for the purple and silver one in the lower right, were made years ago and I did not have good photos of them. Now, as I am considering a storefront for decorative items, note cards, and books, I need good photos for these bottles, as well as the ones that I plan to make in the next few weeks.
These are very difficult to photograph due to the highly reflective glass surface, and especially due to the mirror glass. The idea of trying to get good photos made me want to just pack them up and take them into a professional. The cost of doing that, however, made me try harder to find a way to take the pics myself.
This led me to look into light boxes/light tents, and I found the AmazonBasics Portable Photo Studio, pictured at left. After reading up on it, I decided to order one and try it out.
The day after receiving it, I used it to photograph the purple and silver bottle which I had just finished. This went well and I was able to photograph those other five bottles the same day.
Overall, I am pleased with the results and I think it would be very helpful in photographing just about anything that will fit inside it—and it is a generous size.
I had to do a bit of work on the photos in Photoshop, as there was still an issue with my reflection on a few of the mirror tess. A tripod would have helped a little, but its reflection would still have shown. Fortunately, I have just enough Photoshop skill to mostly take care of this issue. These pics may not be professional quality, but I think they look pretty good.
So, at this point, my review can be summed up as: I love this thing! It should help me take good pics of small to medium-sized wall art, as well, although I have not tried that yet. If you are challenged to get the lighting right and produce better photos of your work, you may want to try something like this.