I may be way off base, but how I interpreted Gustavo’s original post
was that teachers that teach a technique to students that results in
designs being made by the students that is similar enough to warrant
some to call the works copies (or, stolen).
The example that immediately came to mind was a very good friend of
mine that did an article in one of the artistic jewelry magazines.
She presented a great tutorial on piercing and engraving. This
combination of techniques was a staple of her style, and she was
starting to gain some recognition for it. But, then she started
running into works online that looked exactly like her style.
In a discussion with her, she had said that she knew that this might
happen, but had remorse when she actually started to see the designs
posted for sale or display.
I am not sure how often this happens. But, it very well could have
been a tutorial on making a forged hollow ring, an original chain
design, or even a linked bracelet design. But, when one posts a
tutorial or teaches a class on a technique, there has to be some
design to the thing being made. Is the artist that is posting or be
some design to the thing being made. Is the artist that is posting
or teaching giving permission for the design to be reproduced?
Now, design can more easily be discussed in a class or tutorial
specifically on design or an aspect of design, such as “Using Cold
Connected Layers” or “Designing with Hollow Forms.” But, unless you
are going to include the design aspect of the creative process,
everyone should assume that the design is up for grabs, in my
opinion. However, I personally think it would be a waste of time to
do so; newbies might think differently.
There was another example a few years ago when I met a designer who
was making pendants, and she sighted her mentor on her website. So, I
looked him up, and low and behold their works were of the same
theme, the same materials, the same techniques. Further Googling
showed that many other girls were out there making copies, and they
sighted this same guy as their mentors. This teacher was an Native
American who has his website chock full of books that you can buy
from him on creativity and originality, even though if you took some
of each of these people’s works, put them in a bag, and shook them,
anyone would have a hard time figuring out who did what. I busted a
gut laughing at that, lol, but when I asked this original girl that
I had met about it, she became defensive and denied that there were
I also tried to get her to discuss the possibility that her teacher
had taught her in a native tradition, even if the works were based on
Greek Gods and Goddesses. But, she’d have nothing of it. She was
totally original in her opinion. However, the teacher was original,
the students were copying, in my opinion.
The gist of the problem with this scenario, was that the teacher
never discussed design options outside of the techniques or even
subject matter (nor encouraged her to look for other teachers or
artists). And, within this group of girls and this teacher, this was
OK. However, the general public may not agree. If she wins an award
for her work, she is winning with a copy in my mind.
It’s definitely a sticky wicket. But, I think that Gustavo was
hitting on something that is happening frequently. Some Jewelry
teachers come into my area and spouse to teach jewelry techniques,
but everyone makes the same thing. One even went as far as to say his
ideas were controversial concerning how he teaches soldering. “The
experts say that you need this or that, but I prove them wrong.” And,
he does, but only within the context of this one style. He then he
has trained a bunch of folks to only use materials in one way,
resulting in a bunch of people who make things that look in the same
style. And, then they have this notion that, that this one way is the
Whether it is a published tutorial or a class, something about
design should be mentioned. Teachers should encourage people to be
open minded and learn from as many sources as possible. There is no
one correct way to do anything. This forum proves it. If I asked
everyone on here to list exactly step by step how they would solder
a simple band 14k band, we would get at least 100 differences. And,
they all would work. well, most would, lol.
OK, sorry about the novel, LOL.