Sunday, 10 May 2009

Snap! Well, sort of...

There's nearly always some discussions going on in both the Folksy and the Etsy forums on the subject of copying and an awful lot of paranoia can be generated in these threads. I thought I'd post this as an illustration of how similar creations can arise totally genuinely and independently of each other!

The necklace below is for sale in my Etsy shop, I made it a month or so ago but only listed it very recently. The other day I bought my regular copy of Bead, a brilliant UK magazine that mainly features beadweaving but also includes some wirework and polymer clay projects. Right at the end there's a project called Tubular Belles, which is strikingly similar in in construction to my necklace but which must have been submitted a good few months ago!! So clearly neither of us can possibly have been even subconsciously influenced by the other.

Here's my necklace, I can't show you the similar one but see below for a full description of it and some more details...

If you are a subscriber to Bead's you can log on to see the similar necklace, which is designed by the talented Jo Porter. (If you have the latest edition of Bead, it's on page 104.) Her necklace uses very different colours to mine and is made with translucent seed beads rather than with matt ones. She also uses different peyote stitch patterns for each beaded tube whereas I've used the same pattern for each, plus the distance between the peyote tube and round bead sections is longer and the whole necklace is long enough to not need a clasp.

Given that the beaded peyote tube is commonly taught and that there are, after all, only so many different colours, finishes and sizes of seed beads to make them with, only so many different ways creating pattern in them and only so many different ways of arranging the end results then similarities such as this are bound occasionally to arise. So please everyone, let's not be paranoid about copying! There is obviously individual creativity at work both in Jo Porter's creation and in mine.

I'm going to send a photo of my necklace to Jean Powers, Bead's editor, as they do ask for readers' work and are interested in what people have created as a response to patterns published in the magazine. But I'll also mention that I made it before I even opened the magazine!

An interesting thought is that originally I was going to arrange the peyote tubes in a completely different way, with them all in one central section with a length of thong on either side. I did it and it didn't look right, so I changed the arrangement to how it is in the photo!


  1. There must be a million ways to string beads, yet the limitations are there......I can see how something like this can very easily happen. :)

  2. I am guilty of holding back on ideas because I suddenly see something similar to what I had already planned! You are quite right, we should not be paranoid. x

  3. It's fascinating is this, as the more I look the more I see! Yet I feel certain it's all just "coming out of our heads", I've yet to see a direct copy of anything.

    The best way to describe it is that quote from Compare the Market's brilliant Compare the Meerkat ad campaign on UK television - "similars, but different!"

    (Apparently the Aleksander meerkat character, back in January had 45,073 fans on his facebook page!!)