I'll post another picture later today, maybe one of my own work, but for now I wanted to try something different.
I was recently visiting some cousins in Seattle (an amazing city, by the way) and my cousin, an Israeli man in his 70s told a story about how he went to a museum, saw a painter he liked that used geometric figures and lines, and decided he wanted to have the painting for himself. The story, which I suppose was intended to show his determination and ingenuity, continued with him trying to measure the length and height of the paintings, as well as where each line started and stopped. He was stopped by the museum's security, and ended up convincing the curator of the museum to allow him to hire a guard to watch him as he came in on a Sunday to measure the paintings. In order to complete the pieces, he had to construct his own machine to stretch the canvas and mix paints to exactly the correct shades.
My sister, an art history major, was furious when she heard the story. She was shocked that any curator would so easily allow a forgery to be made and hated that when he liked a piece our cousin strove to copy it, showing a complete lack of respect for the artist and the consideration he put into making an original work.
I wholeheartedly agree with her in this case, but it got me thinking about mimickry in ceramics. In a field where craft so easily melds with art, can forgery be called so easily? If a simple bowl is appreciated by another artist and he throws the same form and glazes it similarly, is he guilty of artistic plagiarism? I'm sure the answer comes in shades of gray, but I'm interested to hear your thoughts.