In fact your Sterling Silver Maki chopstick earrings in fact much
of the Bento Box Collection on your site smacks way too similar to
Todd Reed's rough diamond cube settings and his style on which he
has become famous.
Boy. I’m not sure if I’ve been living in isolation for too long, but
of all the Todd Reed work I’ve seen (and it’s a fair amount), none of
it even remotely reminds me of Carolyn’s work. The only similarities
I see are things enclosed in a frame… (well, bezels have been
around for a bit long than Todd, and I doubt he can claim inventing a
heavy wall bezel or frame), and the fact that those frames have a
hammered or chased texture. Again, that’s hardly unique to Todd. In
fact, from the work of Todd’s that I’ve seen, that texture on the
frame is not the same as Carolyns, which is cross pein hammered,
while Todd’s appears to be a more uniform and precise chasing tool
used to set the cube diamonds. Also, Todd sets natural diamonds.
Carolyn is setting (or so it appears) plastic and polymer clay
miniatures that I expect she purchases on the commercial market, or
with some, perhaps makes herself. I’d say there’s not much similarity
in look, aesthetics, or “artistic statement” between the two.
but you are also using the trademarked stampings around the cubes
Doesn’t look like it to me. Carolyn’s texture appears to be
hammered, a crosspein or riveting hammer. Todds looks like a narrow
chasing tool used to set the diamonds as much as texture the metal.
Some similarity, yes, but infringement? I don’t think so.
If Carolyn’s work infringes on Todds, then any of us leaving any
sort of hammer or tool texture on metal anywhere near any non-metal
object, stone, or whatever, that the metal surrounds, is in deep
By the way do you have permission to use Pierre Herme Paris
Does she need it? She’s not made that little box. It’s a commercially
available collectable (as are a number of the other whimsical items
she sets in her work). If anyone needed that permission, it would be
the manufacturer of the collectable. It doesn’t seem to me that for
Carolyn to purchase an item and use it in her jewelry would then
require additional levels of permission. I could be wrong here, but
it doesn’t seem so to me. It would be different if she were the
manufacturer of that little collectable item. Then she’d need
permission. But for Carolyn to use that item, which presumably
already is made with permission, should be a fair and honest use of
the thing, I’d think.
Etsy. if you don't announce it is protected and copyrighted them
you can't expect a site that attracts crafters to not have people
that take your ideas and incorporate them into what they may have
been doing before you began.
Now, this IS a valid point. Nowhere on Carolyns site did I notice
copyright notices, nor on the Etsy site. To a degree, as has been
noted in prior threads on Orchid, copyright exists when you make an
original work. But defending that right is a whole lot more difficult
if no notice is given. This would be especially true since Carolyn is
using found or purchased items as the feature “gems” in her work.
Their use in jewelry is likely different from the intended original
use as imagined by their manufacturer, and perhaps this new use then
is copyrightable. But without that notice, it would be hard to
defend, especially if the exact little collectables being used were
not quite the same.
You can't just use manufacturers names without permission,
But I’m pretty sure you CAN use a manufacturer’s products you’ve
purchased or found on the open public market, in your own work. If I
buy a bunch of nuts and bolts at the hardware store, I don’t need the
manufacturer’s permission to use them in a product I make with them,
even if the bolts have a trademark brand name on them. I don’t see
this situation as any different. And that includes the champaigne
corks or whatever those medallions are. Again, I’m quite sure
Carolyn is not making them. They look like the genuine thing, used as
found objects. The manufacturer, not Carolyn, put the names on the
things. If I buy an item and wish to resell it on etsy or ebay, I
don’t need the manufacturer’s permission to sell something with their
name in most cases.
you can't adapt something like todd reed's signature settings and
because theyy are in plastic or clay not expect to have an eyebrow
raised - by his legal team.
Agreed. But Carolyn’s settings do not, at least to me, resemble
Todds. Not even all that similar in the texture, much less the
overall look. Todd is using raw elemental diamonds in dramatic,
elegant rough hewn luxurious metal. Carolyn’s work is much more about
whimsy, and perhaps humor. Simpler, and fun, mostly in far less
costly and more muted silver. Again, this changes the whole
character of the work. All in all, the two bodies of work are very
different, at least for me.
The champagne series - particularly the Feuilatte cufflinks would
make me as a couselor for the company send out a cease and desist
order immediately - not only is it quality work but is
capitalizing on a brand name that they own
yeah. using a product they made, and sold. That puts that product,
which Carolyn has reset into cufflinks, in the public market. Not the
name, just the actual product. For her to reset them doesn’t infringe
on the manufacturer’s rights. This assumes that I’m correct that
those cufflinks are set with genuine possibly antique (?) enamel or
glass or whatever medallions that originally came from that company.
If Carolyn indeed did the enamelling herself, then of course that’s a
problem for her. But I don’t think that’s the case.
Note. I’m not a lawyer. So don’t take legal advice from this post.
But I do rather think my eye’s still sort of work reasonably well.
And at least from what I saw, I’m not seeing enough of a resemblance
to even suspect that Todd’s work had an influence on Carolyn, much
less that she’s imitating or copying him.
However, it should be noted that the use of odd collectable items,
or found objects, or various whimsical cultural symbols or whatever,
is somewhat common. More than a few artists I’m familiar with use
things other than just fine gems and precious metal to make jewelry.
Some of them do indeed use some items that, while not the same as
Carolyn’s choices invoke the same sorts of impressions of whimsy.
One I know, for example, does neat little earrings and other jewelry
featuring the various little figurines and a few other parts that
come with Lego toys. Another casts the little figures from model
train accessories into silver and has the resulting little silver or
gold figures scampering around her wirework jewelry. Yet another cuts
Barbie dolls apart into bits and pieces and sets various assortments
of Barbie body parts into her work. And what about a certain well
known Maine artist who’s pins often used things like discarded soda
bottle caps or bullet casings or other such found bits and pieces?
And there are many more.
The point here is that using commercially available neato little
things does impose some limits on how original the ideas can be, if
the whole point to the works seems mostly based on the items used
rather than on a more complex message or symbolism that the items
might be used to represent (like in the case of those Barbie body
parts). The same is true with gems. If you want your diamond ring to
be actually creative and different from those of everyone else,
you’re gonna have to do something more than just strap the rock to
the finger with a head and shank.
While it might bring a grin to my face to see someone who’s ring
strapped an imitation piece of Sushi to the finger, perhaps making a
statement about what is or is not precious as a gem, I don’t see much
more in this body of work that takes it further than that. And it’s
been done before. I’ve even seen totally plastic finger rings with
imitation Sushi or various vegetables as the gems. totally costume
junk, of course, but it makes roughly the same statement, at a cost
of less than a dollar. Not that these aren’t nice, but I’d like to
see more than just a refrigerator magnet for the finger. I’d like to
find, at least in the whole body of work if not individual pieces,
more of an underyling thought process that gives me a reason as to
just why that sushy or bonbon should be on a ring. What statement
does it make? Why is it there? Why this one and not that one? If
these works are not just light hearted jokes, then show me why.
One big different between Tood Reed’s work and Carolyn’s is that for
me at least, I DO see that sort of thought process behind Todd’s
trademark devices of texture and rough diamond and what he does with
them. I’d suggest to Carolyn that if she wishes her work to gain
greater success, and be less likely to be similar to the work of
others, that it may be time to grow it a step further. It’s good as
far as it goes, but it could be a good deal more. Grad school was a
great start, but you’ve got to keep that process going. Carry these
further, please, and people won’t be ABLE to copy you.
Again, just my two cents. end of critque…