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"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." by William E. Henley

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Who knows where thoughts come from.. they just appear

I've spend a lot of time thinking about creativity and originality. When I opened my Etsy shop last year I was still under the illusion that my designs were completely unique to me (ha like I'm sort of genius!) but as I came across different shops I quickly started to realize that the more simple designs like my bud studs and my dish studs or dish ring were pretty common designs on Etsy. Some of them had been on there longer than mine, some were listed after mine. Did I break down crying cause I am not that special or did I freak out and started yelling copycats? No of course not. I am an adult and I chose to believe the best about others.

There are two things that you always have to keep in mind. The limited options of a material or shape. I mean there is only so much you can do with a disc, a doming block or a piece of wire. The other is that you can confront the other seller but you will never ever know if they are being truthful or not. Or maybe you will not believe anything less then if they say: Yes I copied you. But if that's the case I guess you don't care about truth, only to be right. What I am trying to say is that you will never know so why waste everybody's time. Rock on with your bad self instead, and keep creating. Keep challenging yourself instead of pointing fingers at others. But if you desperately need to know. Just f-ing ask.... and yes, I mean YOU. Please don't make someone else do the dirty work for you. But be prepared to accept the answer you get and move on. Even if the answer is as simple as "great minds think alike".

Some of you reading might know where this post is coming from and I just needed to vent. Get all this thoughts out of my head before it would explode. A dear friend of mine was accused of something as terrible as copying other sellers work. I felt it was handled incredible bad and that she was left with no choice than to walk away from something that had mattered a lot to her. The situation left me feeling that anyone could be next. You could suddenly discover that you were on the receiving end of being accused of copying and you would have no way of defending yourself. I just don't want to have any part of that.

It takes many people to build a community but only one to bring it down.


  1. Tess, you are lovely. You are so right - anyone could be accused of copying. Its bound to happen in any community like etsy were there is such a saturated market for jewellery. I often find its the simplest designs that people feel they are being copied on. The reality check here is that little studs and hoops have been around FOREVER and there are only so many ways they can be spun. Dragging someones name through the mud with rumours and suspicions only with negatively effect the accuser in the long run. Especially when a pattern of them accusing people of stealing and copying designs becomes common.
    Thanks for your sweet hearted post - your ability to see through the mud slinging makes you a better and bigger person :-)

  2. Couldn't have said it better myself! Aren't we all too busy for that silliness anyway? I hope everyone can keep their chins up (er, one chin each) and most importantly - keep soldering!

  3. Thanks Jaime and Wired, glad to see that you agree!

    I will for sure keep soldering :o)

  4. Well, I'm going to have to disagree with Bella and say there was no 'mudslinging' going on. Just sincere concern and a desire for clarification, which for whatever reasons, Bella is unwilling to clear up.

    It does make me wonder..... If you have nothing to hids then why run away and gather people on your way out?

  5. Good lord, how much more can things be cleared up ? Do you know about anything other than your and my conversations ? Did I say YOU did the mudslinging ? NO. Perhaps you dont see comments such as I must be " internally miss wired" or comments like my work sucks and my shop has no cohesiveness as mudslinging, in that case, youve turned a blind eye.
    Kelli - I offered my "clarification" on things in our convos. Like the fact that 3 of the links you provided to me were designs that I had listed and blogged about first. I also thouroughly went through the process of one of the designs step by step, to show how different they actually were ( including how one was soldered versus riveted, hammered versus smooth, 2 componants versus 3) im not sure how much more i can clarify that for you. While somewhat similar, they use totally different metalsmithing techniques and are comprised of different parts. As for the last ( and I suspect the biggest concern) I explained the coincidence, and the fact that hoop earrings have been made for centuries. I hardly believe someone can hammer one end of a piece of wire flat, form to a hoop and think they are the first.
    I did no gathering of people, these are metalsmiths I respect, who made their own decisions. Im not running away either, I will continue to create and share tips and techniques with my respected peers because I believe in teaching the craft. I left the team due to the negativity and hateful words said - NO ONE needs that in their life.

  6. If after time you calm down and would like to talk calmly and rationally about this I would still be open to getting all the facts straight. In the meantime, I wish you nothing but the best my dear. Take care.

  7. Now I see where all the consternation came from. Don't ever accuse anybody of anything and expect them to take it "graciously". If you are wrong, you can't expect them to explain why you are wrong in a nice way. Unless you have unassailable "proof", I wouldn't accuse!

    I'm married to a lawyer...haha

  8. I am not certain at all what happened here. I will admit, I was excited to join a team on etsy and I feel like I am on the side lines of a team and not part of it. Conversations take place between the same people in the forums and it seems to be more of a clique than a team. Not sure to stay or go.
    When posed with the question about copying someone's work sometime last week I mentioned that most things have been done already. The difference is that everyone has their own spin to it. Maybe we see ideas we like in other's work and they stick in our minds and we aren't sure why. Then we sit down to create and out comes the design we saw and it is probably not intentional. In the end I believe it is our interpretation and not a duplicate. Looking at the shop minis on this blog I see that we share a common aesthetic but we approach it in a different manner. There is such a thing as healthy competition.

  9. I totally agree with you about the fact that most things have already been done. Not much new under the sun, as a clever man said. I am sorry that you feel as you were not a part of the team as I am sure that was nobody's intention.

  10. Duffy,
    In my opinion, there is a difference between presenting information to someone and asking for clarification, than making an 'accusation'.

    It's all about perspective. I might add that it is dangerous to formulate an opinion on something without all the details.

    You can be sure that if someone thought I was copying them I would WANT to know and would want to clarify with them. I'd hate the thought that someone thought I would purposefully do something like that.

    K'obrien, I'm sorry you feel that way. We just come on and chat with whomever is there. I know that most of the members are happy to share with anyone who is present on the thread. I personally am happy to chat with everyone.

    I might add, this team has been WONDERFULLY supportive of one another. Up until this recent event, everyone has been VERY encouraging and supportive.


I treasure your words and the fact that you are
taking the time to share them with me.
Please forgive me if I don't respond personally to you.
I always try but sometimes time just flies away!
love ~tess