A small contretemps recently brought to my attention the subject of copyright, and my complete ignorance of the subject.

I say ignorance because, while I do know a lot about the concepts and rules pertaining to protection of intellectual property, I don’t pay much attention to them. Now this would imply that I’m a big stealer of Ideas, and that would be true. Sort of. More to the point, I don’t worry about my ideas being out there for any and all to see, because such a huge part of what I do is process. Start with a little concept and make it into a thing. It’s what I do, and anyone who wants to take one of my little concepts and run with it is more than welcome to do so. It is my contention that the finished product will not resemble, in more than a passing way, the product I would put together. Vision and technique are as individual as people.

Now, back to being a big, fat, stealer.

I have been praised, upon occasion, for my design prowess, and will accept such praise gladly, but I can’t help feeling like a bit of a sham. I don’t design this stuff, I just pay attention to the wants and/or needs of my customers. If they come in with a picture of another designer’s jewellery and want something just like it, well, they can’t have it, any more than I can duplicate one of my own pieces. Everything is run through the filter of their concept, my technique, and the way these come together. Add to this the inevitable differences arising from budget, physical size, and practicality, and you perforce end up with a unique piece.

People notice my stuff and can recognize it as mine if they’ve paid attention, and that’s the way I want it. It’s got a style that is uniquely mine but puts into three dimensions my customer’s unique vision.