Intellectual Property dispute over crocheted jewelry

Funny thing happened: On a artisan show we are doing a lady
approached us, claiming the technique of chrocheting silver wire as
hers, asking us to take our jewelry off our stand, or else she would
call the police and file a lawsuit amongst other thing. All in all a
very strange and unpleasant situation.

She claims to have filed the designs with the local IP authorities,
which may complicate things, but I fail to be really worried about
this: IP demands that the object is new and never seen before.

Now I would be very surprised to learn that this lady here in
France has invented the technique of chrocheting jewellery, but she
seems to be determined to call legal help. My simplest and easiest
reply would be to find pictures, eg. in books, on paintings or
whatever, about this type of jewelry, and this is where I am calling
the Orchid community for help.

I seek images of crocheted jewelry. I talk about a round crocheted
ear jewelry hanging on a simple hook, a simple wrist band 2,5 cm/1
in. wide and a simple necklace of the same width. There are no pearls
or stones on any piece, just flat, crocheted silver wire.

Amazon has thousands of books in every language, but I seek
something that is older than at least ten years. A thousand years
would be ok as well.

I believe there is a need to protect creativity, but there are limits
as well. Please help me with references and possibly some pictures
from a book for my concrete case, and please let’s discuss what to do
in such a case.

Thanks a ton,

Oppi Untracht has the flat strip illustrated, circa 1982, crochet
goes back a long way, I don’t see that she stands a chance


Hi Andreas,

I have seen something like you describe (I think it might have been
a belt or bracelet, it was quite a few years ago now) in The British
Museum (the big one in London) so you might find some pictures of
actual finds from antiquity through them, but other than that all I
have seen have seen with in the past ten years… But I KNOW that
these techniques (knitting and crocheting) being very old thread
processes would have been applied to jewellery many ages ago; it’s
just the way the world works.

Sorry I can’t be of more help.


I seek images of crocheted jewelry. I talk about a round crocheted 

Heavens, what a problem. The book Textile Techniques in Metal by
Arlene Ficsh should do the trick. It’s from perhaps the 70s? early
80s and must include crochet.

A friend just learned that technique in a workshop last weekend. It’s
certainly not new.

Good luck to you.

Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Here’s an example on Dawanda, the European

Just do a google search on “crochet silver” and you’ll get pages and
pages of good hits.

Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Ummm, this individual is deluded, in my opinion.

Textile Techniques in Metal by Arline M. Fisch

was has a 1996 copyright, and was based on an earlier work from
1975. It has a 12 page, profusely illustrated with photos of
crocheted jewelry pieces by at least 3 different artists, chapter on
the topic.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL

I googled “crochet jewelry wire” and got a ton of hits…there are
many, many sites with tutorials, pictures, galleries of work for
sale, etc. using crocheted metal wire to make jewelry. Also lots of
knitting and spool knitting sites. Plus links to television shows
that showed viewers how to do this. No way is it “new” and “never
seen before”. Did not come up with any historical references; on the
other hand didn’t have the time to go through all the many, many
pages of hits Google returned either!

The lady is obviously not up with what has been going on around the
world for the last 20-30 years (the approximate dates of most of
what I saw), and what is going on today. There is a ton of crocheted
wire jewelry out there! Plus lots of class listings.

Good luck with this. She hasn’t got a leg to stand on.

Beth in SC


Where specifically did this take place? And what are IP authorities?

Check Alan Revere’s books. He and his students were crocheting at
least twenty years ago. Pretty bizarre and the woman is poorly
informed or a menteuse.


Let’s discuss letting an attorney handle this. Few of us are
familiar with the European method of protection of intellectual
property; it’s much different here is the States…except for the
"call an attorney" part!


Hi Andreas,

Nowadays, the technique of crocheting chain/jewelry is almost as
universal as some of the other techniques of weaving chain (loop in
loop, chainmaille, etc.).

Also, you are aware that there is a difference between “crocheting”
and “Viking weave” techniques? What is actually a Viking weave or
knitting is also sometimes referred to as “crochet,” when indeed an
actual crochet hook is not used. Do you know which one she is really
using? That would help because if it is the Viking weave-then that’s
been around for eons.

In any case, here are some books I have that cover both crocheted
jewelry, as well as the Viking weave and other knitting techniques. I
know you’re looking for older pub. dates/photos, but I haven’t been
able to dig up anything like that yet.

Crochet (that is, with a crochet hook):

Crocheted Wire Jewelry, by Arlene Fisch

The Complete Book of Jewelry Making, by Carles Codina (pg.
154-155)-Originally pub. in 1999 as La Joyeria; also has a photo of
a flat, strap-like piece

Crochet with Wire, by Nancie M. Wiseman

Viking Weave and other “Knitting” Techniques:

The Complete Metalsmith, by Tim McCreight (pg. 227)

Great Wire Jewelry, by Irene From Peterson

Professional Goldsmithing, by Alan Revere (pg. 52-56)-pub. 1991

There are also other members of this forum who have been using
actual crochet techniques, with a hook, for a very, very long time-so
I don’t think this lady can claim a monopoly on the technique by any
means. But, again, is she trying to claim the actual technique or a
design? If it is indeed the technique, by virtue of the fact that
there are so many books available on how to do it, along with
numerous design illustrations, etc., I don’t see where that’s
possible. But I’m not an IP attorney either.

Good luck!
Tamra Gentry

Hello Andreas,

In your shoes, I would be gobsmacked! Maybe this woman is slightly

I cannot speak to the French laws, but in the US there are many
crochet artists who work in fiber and metal, and I doubt any of them
claim to have invented the technique. Wire chrochet is not new, but
specific tutorials have been copyrighted - as this website states You
will note that the earrings you described are illustrated on this
website, so it would appear that anyone who wished to make such
earrings, could do so.

I would probably ignore her… but again I don’t know anything about
French law.

Judy in Kansas, where a lovely five inches of snow fell. Still many
rural folks without electricity, though. Makes me really aware of how
dependent/spoiled I am when it comes to a comfortable home.


I agree that this lady is not much of a threat…but to aid in your
situation, I did a number of extensive searches and finally came up
with this:

The blurb that caught my eye was:

“Asawa learned the basic technique for making these sculptures in
Toluca, Mexico in 1947. The Mexican villagers used a crocheting
technique to make egg baskets from galvanized wire. The outside form
of these sculptures comes from patterns that she drew as a young
child on the farm.”

I checked WIPO and the US PTO websites, and no one has filed
copyright or patent for wire crochet, near as I could find.

Hope this helps you.


Hi Andreas,

My Arline Fisch book “Textile Techniques in Metal” was put out by
Lark Books in 1996 and it says a different version of the book was
published in 1975 by Van Nostrand Reinhold (publishing house) Many
amazing artists such as Michael Sturlin are crocheting metal all the
time. Alan Revere has a class that teaches it as well. Soooo, I don’t
think you have anything to worry about.

Marta Irvin

Hi… check out Pat Moses-Caudel’s jewelry. Google her or do a
search in the Orchid archives. She’s been doing crocheted wire jew
elry for a long time.

Good luck!


Andreas; Oppi Untracht’s book Jewelry coocepts and technology has a
section on crocheted jewelry with references to the U.S., Europe and
the U.K. it is copyrighted 1982,1985 hope this helps.

Dave Owen


From the fiber point of view…

Is it knitting or crocheting? A knit stitch is subtley different
than a crochet stitch. When you knit you usually have one or more
open stitches, think about someone knitting a scarf or a sweater on
knitting needles.? When you crochet you only have one open stitch
(even when you are doing something really complex like triples or
rondels you finish the stitch with one open loop on the hook).? In
his book, The Complete Metalsmith,Tim McCreight gives a technique
for a “woven chain” which could be a varient of knitting? too.?
There is even Scandinavian nalbinding which has been reincarnated as
Viking Knit these days (don’t quote me on this).? Arlene Fisch’s
books on metal fiber techniques have many examples of knitting and
crochet. ?

As to a flat chain, that’s a basic shape,? I think there are plenty
of other chains that are commercially available in the same shape.?
You can even buy knitted “mesh” (I cord) from Rio Grande.? I don’t
think the woman has a case.? (I’d tell you to go to my website to
look at my flat chain but there is a problem with the thumbnail for
that photo and mine is knit.)

Bon Chance,
Marla Rudnick

P.S. Baking cookies for the weekend…

Hi there,

Here in San Francisco, you should check out the work of sculptress &
jeweler Ruth Osawa…John has repaired crocheted earrings that are
over 25-30 years old…Plus check out work from Calif. craftsmen
from the mid-1970’s I believe that there are a few that did
crotheted wire jewelry pieces–Mary Lee Hu ?

Cheers from sunny but cold Bay Area!!! Buon Natale y Felice anno a

Jo-Ann Maggiora Donivan

Oppi Untracht first published “Jewelry Concepts and Technology” in
1982. Various types of crocheted jewellery are shown from page 228
including traditional patterns from Nepal etc. These are all over 10
years old. It may also be worth checking your local museum for older
examples especially from the middle-east as well as it was used in
some old harem jewellery. If the lady invented it she must be as old
as Methusala!!! Regards and Seasons Greetings to All

Robin Key
Clavis Jewellery Aberdeen, Scotland

Hello Andrea

There is an article online - which is available through the Lapidary
Journal website - Nov 2000 - titled “Silver Shows Off”. A jewelry
artist, Lenka Suchaneck, who does beautiful silver lace sculpted
pieces, was featured in this article and in the interview, it gives
reference to her historical sources of inspiration. (If you were to
do a google search of her name, you would easily find a link to the

Hope this is of help to your situation.



Googling Cheapside hoard gave these interesting links:

The first link actually has a good Bibliography.

Karen Bahr
Karen’s Artworx