The copying of designs is always a controversial subject in the fashion industry, but validity of those claims is difficult to prove. The roots of jewelry design run deep, and through the years, the sources of inspiration for those designs has come from many places.
I'm sure as handmade jewelry designers today, we've all been influenced in one way or another by jewelry that has caught our eye in jewelry stores, magazines, movies, galleries, fashion runways, history museums, nature, from our own friends and family and a host of other places. This is how we've all developed our own individual senses of style. Every designer has drawn their own cup from this vast pool of resources, and it's a rare occasion when someone comes up with a design that hasn't been done before in some form or
similar fashion. I don't believe true artists steal designs. They're just students of the world around them, developing their own take on what is beautiful, and creating their art from that. It seems clear that "popular beauty" ebbs and flows through time, carrying artists along with it. We are products of the era in which we live, and we conform to it to some extent, but we're not limited by it. Imagination has no limits.
As I sit here at my computer, I can easily conjure up a myriad of images in my mind of jewelry designs that appeal to me. They're a culmination of my own thoughts, experiences, imagination and relationship to the world around me. They're my very own unique view of what is beautiful. And as these beautiful images dance through my head, I realize that I'm limited as to how many and what kinds of them I can actually create. Sometimes my pocketbook, which jewelry materials are considered to be "good sellers" at the moment by suppliers, and other little bits and pieces of life narrow my creative ability. I'm pretty sure it's that way for a lot of handmade jewelry designers. It's also what can tend to make some of our designs look similar to others.
But the desire to uniquely create remains alive and well in the artist's mind, even when it is influenced and driven by outside forces beyond the artist's control. So no matter where your inspiration comes from or how limited your resources may be, keep creating ... it's all good.