Mimickry is a form of flattery…

… is what my OH has just told me. I’ve discovered yet more people selling resin fruit jewellery which I originally started making about 2 years ago now, and for less than I sell it for. Thing is it’s an easy thing to do, buy polymer clay canes and stick pieces in resin, so I don’t know if I can state ownership of the design, but it’s still very annoying.

I suppose this means I am always one step ahead?

A few months ago I had similar concerns over a magazine article that was very similar to the way I’d written one in my book with a few additions which were actually pretty good. I sent the relevant pages of my book to the editor of the magazine and asked for her opinion on the matter. It then got dealt with in the wrong way and turned out that the author of the article who used to be a regular customer of mine got upset by the accusation, of which it wasn’t- it was a concern to be addressed by the editor only- and as a result of the editor passing the buck, this lady no longer references me as her supplier for moulds in her articles anymore. Very annoyed and I would truly love to name this magazine now but I won’t!

I guess there’s nothing more to do than keep exploring the limits of the medium and try to stay ahead of the game through being an experimenter and taking onboard the wants of the wider public, sharing the ones in books and articles that I don’t mind giving away and keeping the others to myself. I do like people learning to make resin jewellery themselves, this is why I wrote my book in the first place and chose to import the moulds from the States so that we have better supplies in this country for practising the craft. I just think there’s a difference between an artist explorign different designs, techniques and then making them reflect their own personality and style, and a crafter copying existing designs either directly from tutorials or from other people’s work.

I’m thinking about seasonalising my jewellery, rather than having it available constantly for years in the same designs, not only to reflect fashion trends but to make it more exclusive. What are the important factors for you when buying jewellery? Style? Price? Something unusual you’ve not seen before? Materials? Craftsmanship? Please share your thoughts and hopefully there will be a nice assortment of ideas from you that I can learn from and build upon for the next collection!

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6 Comments

  1. Posted July 18, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    It’s horrible when you find yourself being copied, luckily in my experience the original designer can never usually be beaten in terms of craftsmanship. It’s a bit like drawing a picture, the first time you’ll swiftly scribble out something great, try and copy it carefully and you get wiggly lines and no sense of freedom of movement.

    I think seasonal designs is a great idea, we are working towards this as well. Not least because it means we can let our imagination run wild, plus the exclusive nature. Only downside is smaller runs does mean increased production costs for us personally.

    If people need to copy to be creative then they will probably fall by the wayside sooner or later

    Abi

  2. Posted July 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    It can be so annoying when people imitate your work – the best thing is to shrug it off (unless it’s blatant passing off!) & take pride in the fact that you’re a leader and not a follower!!

    Seasonal collections are a great idea – I love bright colours for the summer & icy blues & whites in the winter. A collection would make the pieces more exclusive and ‘time relevant’ so by the time the copiers have produced something similar, they’ll be soooo last season 😉

  3. Posted July 18, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’ll be honest with you, I ordered some polymer clay nail art things from ebay coz I thought the fruits were cute…then I saw yours and gave them away as a present! So I guess it’s a pretty easy thing to think of independantly.
    It maybe seems like more people are being unoriginal and copying from tutorials but I think it’s possibly just an influx of people taking to experimenting with resin…the more people there are to be coming up with the same designs if you know what I mean?
    If you think about the bubblewrap bracelets you make, I’ve seen a tutorial for that that’s years old but it shouldn’t stop you making and selling yours for whatever price you like.

    anyway, silly points to make – I’d get sickeningly upset if someone was making things too similar to my own, couldn’t help it.

    to answer your question though! Def, the most important thing when I buy jewellery is that it’s different, that I can’t get it anywhere else. Depending on ‘how’ different it was and how it fitted my own style, there isn’t a limit to what I’d pay – I’d save! …if craftmanship was poor, that might stop me spending hundreds though.

  4. Posted July 18, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    it’s because you are so good at what you do that causes people to copy! so yes it should be taken as flattery as annoying as it must be.
    i think seasonal ranges sounds a great idea, and maybe when you’ve sold your stock of previous designs you could have a made to order gallery in the shop? That way you keep old designs alive and available to original customers :o)

  5. kelly
    Posted July 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    hey, i think sometimes people do come up with the same ideas, eg i made a resin fruit pendant ages ago and when i opened my folksy shop i saw yours and i had never seen your things before (i didnt list it in the end). however im not saying all people are like this some do copy and its a shame when that happens.

    anywho, price isnt a question, as soon as i saw your gummy bears bracelet on flickr i loved it and didnt care how much it would cost i wanted it, so i brought it 🙂
    its all about something fun and unique for me.
    i like the seasonalising thingy, because its one thing buying something unique but another buying something unique but it being available for ages after, if that makes any sence?

    cant wait to see your new range
    kel

  6. Posted July 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    this is a really interesting read. I always find it difficult to know just how much to write in the description of my items about how I made it – I know customers are interested in the making process, I always am with other crafts that I don’t know. It’s usually taken me a lot of trial & error to perfect a technique and I don’t want to just gift it to others who will copy me. I guess the bottom line is that there are only so many different things that you can embed in resin!

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