The last few days there’s been a bit of an uproar in the lampwork community. Apparently there is someone on one of the online sales venues who is buying SRA handmade lampwork beads and then reselling them. What’s the problem with that, you ask? Nothing really EXCEPT that she’s saying she made them. That’s a whole nuther ballgame if you ask me (not that anyone did). I’m not going to go into all the details here and if you are part of the lampwork community you probably already know what I’m talking about. If you aren’t part of that community you probably aren’t reading this blog. LOL You can find threads of information in just about all the current lampwork forums if you are so inclined.
So how do you protect yourself from this kind of thing? Ultimately, I’m not sure that anything is 100% but there are certainly things that you can do that will help. Personally, considerint what’s going on with this incident, I think contacting a lawyer would be a good idea. Hopefully there are things you can do to keep it from getting to this.
Get a Ti Pen. And more importantly, USE it on every bead you make. EVERY ONE! Don’t assume that those wonky beads can’t somehow get into someone else’s hands and be sold. There is a learning curve to a TiPen but it’s worth it. When you get it, use some scrap glass, wet the tip of the pen and scribble, scribble, scribble. It may take you a while but you’ll start to see something. They sound like they sratch the glass but they don’t. They leave titanium behind. You can do your initials, the date, the Declaration of Independence…whatever you want but put something on each bead. You might also want to always put it in the same place on the bead. You can have a little blurb on your website telling people where it is, or you can send a little card with the bead letting them know that way. Is it foolproof? Of course not but it’s a start.
You can also have cane murini made that identifies you. Again, it can be initials, a little picture, whatever you want it to be that identifies you. It’s hard for someone to claim a bead as theirs when your initials are tucked right into that bead.
And lastly, take a picture of each and every bead you make. Be sure there’s a date on them in case you get into something with someone. Keep track of all your sales. Put all this information in your computer as well as on a CD. Computer crashes, you still have it.
I’m sure there are a lot more ways things can be done to help you identify your work but this is what I can think of off hand. If you have other ways that you identify your work please let us know in the comment section. This affects us all in many ways. It’s not just the beadmakers, but the jewelry makers, the silversmiths…all of us. We all have to find ways to protect our work