Friday, June 6, 2014

Jewelry Soup

I promised myself I would not blog about this but I'm just so tired of it I don't even feel like working. The big drawback to selling work on etsy is the constant copying. It's gotten to the point that I know if I make something interesting it will be copied before I could even make a second run on my own work. I've tried to exclude my customers and followers from this topic. I have contacted the crafters personally and asked them to stop without so much as putting any trip in their stride. I try to bring ideas that are new and fresh, ideas that are my own but I'm starting to feel defeated. Yesterday one such crafter just took a big run on my design ideas and it makes me feel like just stepping aside and letting her do my work, I feel run over. Whatever happened to respect or even the enjoyment of speaking in your own voice. Copying and plagiarizing can't really be fun, so I guess it's all about making money. I must say when I look around on etsy the jewelry just starts looking like a big unappetizing soup. I know a few talented women that just couldn't hack it any longer and moved on and I think that is tragic loss but a true artist is often sensitive and there are a lot of bullies here ( when I say here, I'm speaking of etsy), people that won't keep their nose out of the business of others and obviously have no scruples. I'm hoping by printing this it will help me purge it from my burdened mind.  A lot of advantages have been brought on by having the internet at our fingers but also disadvantages when everything becomes an ambiguous slop. I know this is a tired subject and I know it permeates every form of creativity.

I also know I didn't invent the wheel but I try to include my personal experiences along with those eureka moments while spending long hours in my studio to create my pieces. Why can't we look at someone's work that we like and feel congratulatory towards them instead of stealing from them? Imitation is NOT the highest form of flattery but the saddest form.

Sincerely Ro


  1. I am sorry this happened, Ro! I agree with everything you say. If makers spend the time they devote to copying to developing their own designs, etsy would be a much better place...Imitation is NOT the highest form of flattery, especially from makers that do not trouble to discover their own voice...

    On a positive note, the discerning beholder and lover of your work will instantly spot the article that is not genuine. Your artistic vocabulary may be parroted but it cannot communicate anything beyond the parroted parts.


    1. Hi Sophia,

      I always think the same thing, with the time they spend trying to figure out just what it is someone else is doing they may be surprised at what it is they might be capable of discovering. I'm certainly not speaking of only my work, I'm sad for the other artists that get attention and are ripped.

      Thank you nice lady, I can spot the phonies too and the original sources.

      You're work is amazing and I dare anyone to accomplish what it is you are creating.

      Keep on xo

    2. Ro, I know how you feel ~ just keep creating - the copiers cannot match the creative energies of a genuine artist, they tire and fall by the wayside :-)
      xo S

  2. You are a true artist, so creative! I am constantly in awe of you! No matter what others do, because they can't hold a candle to your work, and when they try to copy...the work is obviously not done well. Take some comfort knowing that we all know the difference!
    Much love!

    1. Goodness know's you have heard it all before….I really hit the bottom of the barrel yesterday, just couldn't muster a luster, just so tired of it.

      It's Friday Deb :(((

    2. Sweet Ro, I miss you so much!!! I miss my Friday visits too!! :(
      I meant to say also,
      "to thine own self be true"

  3. Ah, Ro. It would be very hard not to feel defeated in these moments...I'm glad you shared your frustration. My other metalsmithing friends share similar heart bruises when their work is imitated...and it is just an imitation. As Sophia and Debbie have already said, it's always so easy to spot the copies from the genuine article, and let's face it—no one can imitate the packages of joy from our very own Gallery Darrow!

    I just can't see how these people aren't bored out of their minds if they're imitating others. I remember a few years back contemplating the idea that perhaps I should try writing in a style that seems popular these days. Thankfully, after a sum total of about five minutes, the mere thought put me into a semi-coma and I was saved from myself—ha!

    Stay steady on your creative path, Ro. You're the genuine article. I hope you can take heart from those who have been gifted with silvery little pieces of yours!

    Big hugs and cool breezes,

    A xxx

  4. Ro,
    I've ordered several of your creations and NO ONE can hold a candle to your creativity and Quality Craftmanship ! I get so tired also of copycats and can usually spot a lower quality of work and the body of copiers designs hold no creativity.
    Hang in there, you have a GREAT Fan Base. I love your blog and your feelings always show in your work.
    I also agree that the internet has become a double edged sword, (good & bad). Please keep creating, I will always be a supporter.
    Have a good, relaxing weekend.
    Caryl Griffin

  5. I can't imagine how frustrating this must be for you and all other true artists :( The copiers can't come anywhere close to the depth and meaning in your work!!! :)

  6. Oh Ro, It's so bad:-( I know that this copying remove the power for new work:-( But you beleive that your work is always beautiful and recognizable among others!!!! And you're the best metal artist !!!! I'm sorry for ma English, you know it:-))) Have a nice day. Adela

  7. I'm so so sorry that you have to deal with copiers. Agree with all you said (& the commenters too) & my heart aches for you. Me & all of us who truly love your work admire your creativity & silversmithing skills not to mention the wonderful stories that go with them. We would not be fooled by someone's copy. Don't let the jerks take away the satisfaction & joy I know you get from creating. My impulse is to throw out a long string of curses at them for you. instead I'll just say xoxoxo

  8. yep. As much as I love Etsy, it is a mixed blessing. While it enabled me to sell my work to an incredible group of folks, it also exposed my work to Chinese factories through AliBaba that offered knock offs in hundred quantities and made it available to other sellers that without hesitation offered bad copies. My shop is on vacation now. Sometimes I just need to close the curtains and regroup. I'm very sorry this is happening to you. I love your work and agree with other comments that it can't be duplicated. That can be cold consolation though. Your silver-work comes from your heart and it shows.

    1. I'm sorry Melissa that is a horror, I know I can't make you feel better but if you want to talk you know how to reach me. I could always see how much fun you had making your pieces, it really showed, I hope in time you will get past this though I'm sure you feel like you have a target on your back. I have met SO MANY lovely people through etsy one being you!

    2. I feel the same way Ro...about "meeting" you! I know when the time is right we'll get to meet in person and I'm positive it will feel like we've known each other forever :-) Here's hoping that day is soon!

      I'm doing fine...hope you're feeling a little better too. Keep. Making.

      hugs. m.

  9. what the hell?!?!

    sometimes, i'm SO DONE with etsy.
    i wish my favourite artists would open their own online stores….

    the gallerydarrow pieces i own are one-of-a-kind, for sure.


    [p.s. thank you for speaking the truth: imitation is NOT the highest form of flattery….it's the saddest form….]

  10. Thank you all for the moral support I really appreciate it, you are the people that keep me on my path, though I must say I am not ashamed that I printed this because these are my true feelings and ones that are hard to move past. I thought if I just put them out there it might help and that it might also help others that feel the same way. I hate giving away the power of my feelings, to be angry and frustrated over this and frankly I've always felt bad when I've read other people discussing this topic and feeling glad I was not in that pit. I am humbled by your kindness and feeling a more peaceful mind because of it, thank you.

  11. Hi dear Ro,

    I am so sorry that this phenomenon even happens. It is so evident to us that your pieces are not only exquisitely made, but that they originate as a vision -- and an ORIGINAL one. It is sad indeed that others try to copy you. I shall echo everyone else above in saying that your work is special and the appeal -- for us -- in part, is that we know that there is a story behind each piece. A story and soul. My heart is heavy when I realize that you must deal with these copiers. I wish there was something more that I/we could do. I guess it comes down to money for these other people...wanting to obviously cut corners and bring in the quick dollar. Other commenters are correct when they say that we can recognize these imitators and we absolutely know it has GOT to be highly offensive (and that's an understatement). Please know that as you put your head on your pillow at night, that you are the real thing, you are a one-of-a-kinder and of the Hall-of-Famer quality. Consider me another die-hard fan that feels honored to support you -- both your loving heart and creative mind!! Sending a big hug over the miles...... oxoxox