This doesn't relate to me directly, just something artists should think about. I came across a post on social media earlier today where an artist was very upset because they perceived their jewelry designs were being copied. This artist was inviting followers to "eff off" if they just looked and never commented bc obviously they were there to copy. This is sad bc this is an artist I admired for the cleanness of their work. The designs in question were not unique or original nor did they have a function that would allow for a design patent (which is the only real protection we jewelers can get). Understanding what "copying" or "counterfeiting" or "replicating" means is a crucial development in becoming a well rounded artist/designer/craftsman. Nobody creates in a vacuum. When we learn to write we copy letters drawn for us. When we learn to metalsmith we copy a design laid out before us.
Not many jewelers out there today are doing new and innovative things. It's pretty much all been done before. We are all copiers. We take inspiration from everything we see and encounter, even each other. Yes, nefarious people counterfeit and aim to make profit by reproducing carbon copies, but creating jewelry in a certain style or pairing certain materials together does not guarantee originality or a reign over that particular style.
For instance all of us today that make Boho/Southwestern jewelry are copying and mimicking a style of the past. It's classic, popular and many people love it. There aren't many designers in this style whose work identifies the artist. Why? Because it isn't original.
Beginners look up to veterans proficient in producing certain styles & yes, things we do will get borrowed from or inspire others. It is the responsibility of a good craftsman to share or lead by example. It's about art, the skills passed down and knowledge shared; not profit. If it's about profit then you are not a true artist.
Anyone can pair turquoise and spiny oyster shell and not be copying someone else. Especially if prefab elements are used! No way is that copying. People are creating things with the same materials. Of course there will be similarities. #copycats