First, I want to touch on the subject of copyrights among artists.
I want to bring something that has been tugging at my heart for a while now...I cant tell you how often I run into the very sensitive problem of "copying" and copyright rules among artists or making jewelry that is almost identical to theirs....I think it might be more common than in most places around the country because here in Pensacola, we are all so friendly ( being southern) and open to helping other jewelry makers get started. I never really thought about it much until recently, myself.
I feel very strongly about this..... that we as artists should take "an oath" that prohibits us from creating and then trying to "sell" art that is "very similar" to other artists so that they don't think we are trying to copy them. For some artists, it is their "bread and butter" and those designs took a long time to develop and it might be what they sell to "make a living" at art shows...... so they do not appreciate you saying you want to start making those same pieces of jewelry because that would be just like "stealing food from their table"..... not very nice! Although it is just fine to say I admire" your work and ask "can you teach me some of these "techniques" you use in your designs? If you ask the artist and get permission, that is alright. To come up to an artist, take pictures, or take notes and just say something like, I am just looking at your work closely so I can figure out how to make that same design at home.... this infuriates an artist!!! If they would just ask me, I would gladly teach them the technique but to just blatantly take the design and "copy" it...... JUST PLAIN WRONG! Some artists have had someone use their designs, but give the artist credit by saying something like "inspired by".... and this is just fine.... if they have asked first.
I am bringing this touchy subject to the surface because I feel that we need to know how other artists feel about this. It is a VERY TOUCHY SUBJECT! If someone is teaching a class and giving a tutorial on the design, it is okay to practice making the jewelry like it at home, BUT you must know that the teacher and only that person has the right to mass produce the tutorial... and you can only use the tutorial if you have the permission from the teacher to do so.
Also, there is an unwritten rule that if you are going to create jewelry from a tutorial to sell.... that you " modify" the jewelry enough to have a difference in style and design so that it becomes "your own" art and not just like the one who taught you. I realize that at first, the jewelry will be very similar because you are learning a technique and to try to mimic the jewelry is only common and exactly what you are taught to do. And for some of the beginner/ basic techniques like simple "birds nest wire wrapped rings" or " netted bezel wire wrapped jewelry" , this is a technique in which most all jewelry looks the "same" or similar so doesn't apply to beginner workshops and techniques like these. But if you plan on "selling" the jewelry, it is a common courtesy to change the details and style so that it becomes "your own" style and design and not similar to other jewelry artists, but "your own" style.
Just something I have had on my heart for a while now.... and I might not have covered in my classes, but really needs to be taught to new artists that are unsure about the rules. Copyright laws are strict and you can be taken to court over these infingements, if you are not careful.
I have never had this problem about any of my tutorials as of yet, and dont really think that it would happen, but you never really know !
Just realize that it takes many years of hard work, practice and knowledge to create "your own" unique style. But everyone has their own, so keep practicing ....and I hope you can all find yours .
My last class for the year is next Wednesday, September 23 at 10 AM :
Metals Workshop/ Exploring Forming, Shaping, Texturing, and Coloring Metal Jewelry ( beginners class )
3 hour morning class & Brunch is served..... $49.00 includes all materials and you take home 3 pieces of finished jewelry!
Contact me on FB for more information!
Keep practicing "your own creative style"! and Have FUN!