Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm not usually given to public rants...but a recurring topic seems to be rearing it's ugly head within the jewelry making communities...some folks choose to call it "Plagiarism".

Initially, I would like to suggest that if anyone is afraid of someone being inspired by your jewelry designs and possibly replicating or using an element in a design of their own...don't post your work on public forum boards. Most forums are about sharing what you know, inspiring others to learn what you have to offer and encouraging others to try new techniques.

There have been several posts recently on boards that I frequent, stating that if someone shows a design or design element that has been published in a "tutorial for sale", and the person did not buy the tutorial, but has figured out how to do it or possibly used another source of instruction/information to find out how to do it...that they are copying or plagiarizing the designer with the "for sale" tutorial. NOT...and then said designers will badger people to provide credit to them for the inspiration...well, if the "design" is the same I agree that it would be common courtesy to mention where your inspiration has come from...if the design is based on using an element of the original design I would say...the element has more than likely been used ad nauseam over centuries of time and... the only credit due is to the ancient civilization that created it.

Let me say, the techniques used in these tutorials are nothing new under the sun... they are not patentable and if someone is able to figure out how to work the technique without purchasing a tutorial...more power too them...and besides for some it is a matter of economics...not many can afford $5 - $20 for each tutorial that uses a different swirl, twist, connection, knot, wrap, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!!! Luckily, there are many who write tutorials of designs that originated from somewhere else and then will freely share this knowledge for others to learn as they did, without thoughts of copying or competition. Still there are others who will do the same only to "market" this knowledge and profit financially from someone else's creativity.

I, for one, have never purchased a tutorial for any jewelry design...I have used some free tutorials that show how to do basic techniques and will continue to do so as I progress through my quest to learn new techniques in jewelry making. I will purchase books that illustrate how to work in different wire, sheet, metal clay and other jewelry making techniques, I will search the Internet for details on techniques of interest, but I will NEVER purchase a tutorial for a specific design that employs techniques that are part of the public domain...if I can't figure out how to do it with the resources of my choice then c'est la vie and too bad for me.

So those of you who market your tutorials and expect credit for every swirl and knot that is similar to something you think you "invented"....lighten up!