Sunday, October 28, 2007

Visibility is a double-edged sword

As I make my work and develop designs, having a great number of people see them is very important. I have to count on a great number of people I have never met, to enjoy my work enough to exchange their money for something I have made. So, in service of that, I try to have my work visible to as wide an audience as possible. The internet gives all artists such a wonderful way to reach so many people.

And then one day, a forwarded e-mail from a colleague arrives in your inbox and there it is, a company in India claiming to make your designs and have them available to order. I received that e-mail last week before my trip and decided to talk about it before I got on to the delightful things that I saw in San Francisco.

above: Flourish Earrings
copyright Natasha Wozniak
made in the USA

Not only were images of my work used falsely by this company, but so were the images of other designers. I immediately recognized this necklace by Sydney Lynch (below).

There were also images that I am sure were taken from other designers webpages, I just don't happen to know the designers. Is there anybody out there that can tell me who made the jewelry in the following images?

Here is the e-mail that accompanied the images:

Dear Sir/madam ,

We are the leading Manufacturer and Exporter of Sterling Silver, Gold and Diamond jewellery from last 25 yrs. We are the 100 percent export oriented company with the workforce of 350 artisans, who are working under the trained & skilled supervisors who are having good experience to serve the overseas market with the quality products and time bounded delivery system.

Kindly�go through our website and let us know your feedback.

If you have any other query, please feel free to mail us.

Looking forward to hear from you.

With warm regards

So, two things about this made my blood run cold. First, there is the possibility that they will get an order for my designs from this e-mail. I could walk into a store in a year and see a cheap version of my carefully designed and made work. The other reason I was so upset is that I am adamant about the fact that I am making this work right here in the US. I participate in craft shows that are for only those that make their work in the US. This e-mail threatens the credibility that I have among my peers.

at left: Foliage with Dew set
copyright Natasha Wozniak
made in the USA

1 comment:

Lana said...

besides copy cats,as in the case of the Margaux Lange earrings(check out her blog)and this sort of thing is really shady! it makes me want to go back in hiding.

my question is: how do you protect your designs from these mass production cheap Jewelry hounds and copy cats?
is copyrighting the work alone good enough?