Posted by Lora Hart
Pablo Picasso is attributed with the saying "Good artists borrow. Great artists steal". And I suppose he was a man of his word, because his contemporaries allegedly used to hide their works in progress when he came to visit!
|Beautiful shank design by|
Jen of Quench Metalworks
|The back of Robin Ragsdale's piece|
is as well designed as the front.
On the other hand, novice designers may utilize copying as a path towards learning a new technique or exploring a working style, In which case the idea should always be attributed to the originator and the copied work should remain in the collection of the copier. Never sell something "inspired by" someone else as your own.
A friend of mine doesn't like to look at other people's jewelry for fear that she would unintentionally absorb some design juju and create a similar object. I understand and admire that stance. But looking at new and historical work can be a necessary form of research. Especially if one uses what I call 'Mindful Observation'. When you find a work of art that resonates with you, take a moment to look at it with a critical eye and mentally dissect the whole to focus on the parts. Look at the materials the artist used, the construction of the piece, or the way it is hung. These are all elements that you can incorporate into your own work.
|I've used this design before, but I love that|
the catch seems to be a modified jump ring
or doubled up wire in Duffy Brown's version.
Notice how the pin tube is set slightly to the right
so the stem will be centered?
Jewelry makers need to be resourceful. Whether it's making a tool to complete a specific task, or adapting the knowledge they possess to imagine a new finding. There's a right way to steal, and there's a wrong way. The first may win you accolades for your innovative methods and the other could very well impact your reputation as a maker. Where do you stand on this very fine line?