Last week when my grandmother was in the hospital I started working on a few projects. These cute pink and green earrings were originally a bracelet pattern that I found in the April/May 2010 BeadWork Magazine. I started on the component for the bracelet and when I got it finished it just didn't phase me. There was no pizazz in my eyes! So I started doing a little bit of embellishment and was much happier with the results. I still think that I may go back and add a few tweaks in the next pair I do but I was happy with the way these turned out.
I also started working on a kit that I purchased from Nikia Angel two years ago at Bead and Button called Guivevere. The necklace had these cute triangle components that you were supposed to make and connect together to make a necklace. When I got a few of the components finished I realized that she didn't give me enough of a certain bead to finish the necklace. I started working trying to figure out something I could make with the components. What I ended up with was the earring on the right. After I got it finished I didn't like it. I didn't know if it was the colors from the kit or the shape of the earring. Thus, I went to work on the second one yesterday (the one on the left) and I was much happier! Both are cute but the oblong shape suited my fancy. I am going to get busy in the next few days writing a pattern for the earrings.
I have had a few emails lately about people, patterns, and copy rights. A lot of people have been coming to me and asking "When you make something and you change a few things about the pattern when can you call it your design?" I really wish I had an answer for you but its a really bad gray area! My friend Pauline told me that her silversmithing teacher told them that if you change 20% of the pattern then it can be considered something that you came up with. My feelings are that if you make something from someone Else's pattern and you want to make it yours then it needs to look completely different from theirs. When someone looks at the two pieces side by side yours should not look exactly the same or the same with just a few simple changes. Take the earrings above for example. The original components are triangle shapes. If I were to make a triangle component and put it next to the earring on the right then you could see the shape and see that the earring is simply two of the components sewn together with a few embellishments. If I made one and put it against the earring on the left then you would have a harder time seeing the triangle. Even though I have made a piece completely different from Nikias design I will still contact her and ask her blessing I guess you would say to write the pattern. This is just common courtesy to the original designer.
When I do my videos online I try to do projects that I have come up with or that are free patterns that can be found anywhere. If I want to teach a pattern that I have found of someone Else's then I will contact the designer for permission. Some say yes and are glad to. In that case I always give credit to the designer and always put on the video where people can find there projects or designs. On the other hand, if the designer says no then I put the pattern to rest. I never want to do anything that would jeopardize my videos or the beading world. I don't however need to get permission to do videos or certain techniques such as Peyote Stitch. The reason being is that this is simply a technique and trying to give credit to the person who came up with Peyote Stitch is impossible. It is the same with other projects such as some rings that I do. They have been around for so long and have been adapted so many times that it would be hard for me to give credit to a designer because trying to find that information would be like me trying to find a dinosaur. Some things just aren't going to happen.
These are simply my feelings on copyright and if you have any other comments or suggestions please be sure to leave them!