Well, it’s going to happen and it’s going to happen to anyone who produces anything half decent. I am talking about copying – Ooooh! A can of worms, as someone, I forget who, said in a forum thread at some point! Look at ‘designer’ goods, a huge industry has grown up around making ‘imitations’ and while considered illegal purely because of copyright laws (patents and the like too), gives hundreds of thousands of people food on the table. Controvertial it may be but some of the ‘authentic’ items are ridiculously overpriced.
In the art world, which includes lampwork, the position is a little more grey. If you want a really good read about why copying in art is inevitable and possibly even neccessary, then take a look at Michael Demengs post on the subject: http://networkedblogs.com/2Vh7e
In other instances it is not ok. It’s not ok when it is blatant duplication, that is of course forgery. I believe this to be relatively prolific when it comes to famous works of art and furniture – all about greed and status symbols, demand and supply. It is not ok, when, as hapened to one of my friends recently, someone managed to get hold of some moulds of sculptures he did and then passed off the casts as his own!
With lampwork and jewellery people ‘discover’ new techniques that can give wonderful effects in glass, after all, for me, melting glass in new combinations is one big experiment! In a lot of cases, these ‘new’ techniques are jealously guarded until a) the discoverer writes a tutorial b) becomes so successful that they are happy to share or c) some other bright spark discovers the technique all over again and it sort of becomes public domain as it is unclear who discovered it first! I will be the first to admit to trying every single technique I can. Not to copy someone elses work, but so I can incorporate its use into my own work to come up with some innovate piece of jewellery.
The necklaces below were made using a technique that I learned but they express my style in that I have used my own beads, colour combinations and other components sourced especially for the projects.
There are many examples like this in the lampwork community – I don’t have a problem with ‘copying’ techniques as that just serves to spur us on to come up with new and interesting designs, pushes creativity along and keeps you learning new things and adding to experience. What I object to is a) duplicating, as in exact copying or copying my style and I am not just talking about beads. ‘They’ say it is a huge compliment to have someone mimic your style. I guess it is. It can also be a tad irritating! 🙂 Anyway, here is what I have been doing since my last post! 🙂
I always have to make a few Goddess beads. One of my friends said of my style of Goddess beads that “They just feel so special in the hand, so perfect round the neck. They are a celebration of the female form and grace …Maybe you are melting a bit of magic into the beads as well” I must admit I quite often find myself holding one!!
I know it sounds soft, but there is something special about making Goddesses….a while back I tried making a male version but I wasn’t happy with the proportions of his torso and he didn’t ‘do it for me’, well I guess he wouldn’t would he 😉 Oh dear – that sounds wrong on so many levels, let’s just stop right there 🙂
There was a thread on a discussion board of a forum I belong to about the male version of Goddess beads. The main focus was what do we call them and should they have ‘bits’. The general concensus for a name was ‘Adonis’ beads, God beads being entirely inappropriate! I did do one more, whose proportions pleased me – and for the record, I cannot imagine why there would be an objection to putting ‘bits’ on one! For me at least, his bits define him as a male bead, rather than a lump with a few more lumps! 🙂
Something pink and girly just to balance things up a bit 🙂
And then there is my hand-pulled murrini test – I really like it! And just in case you were wondering, the webbing effect can be achieved by melting a gather of dark ivory, giving it a couple of smallish stripes of Hades, wrapping it in silver leaf and pulling into a stringer. When applying to a bead – it works really well on ivory, heat until the glass is flowing, taking care not to let it drip off of the mandrel!! Shape bead and voila, gorgeous webbing effect! It looks great etched too! Don’t let it be said that I never share 😉
And finally a play with some striking glass – this is where after melting, you let the bead cool, then warm it up again. Each striking glass has it’s own little nuances, so one size doesn’t fit all and you have to play around until you find what works best for you…or you could just ask someone what they do! Mind you, some people won’t want to tell you! 😉
Ok, enough for today – I am off to check out the wealth of inspiration we have in our little Universe! Be happy, live long and prosper…nanoo, nanoo! 😉