Post # 1
I have a bit of a strange situation and I’m hoping anyone else out there with a custom done ring (or not!) might weigh in on this.
I collect jewelry by studio artists from the 1940’s-1960’s, almost all of it very modern or ultra modern. (Google Margaret DePatta or Sam Kramer if you are curious for some examples). I usually have to find these pieces at auction because the pricey gallaries in NYC that carry the work want a mint for them.
Anyway when it came time for my wedding/ engagement ring my fiancee (now husband, married this year) happened to find out one of my favorite designers of the period was still alive (which is RARE to say the least) and I was able to get this designer to create my ring. To say I adore this ring is an understatement.
The designers of this period were known for eschewing gems, which they felt became the whole reason for the jewelry. They wanted to create pieces where the design was the most important element – so I didn’t care if it had a stone, or anything, just so long as this artist designed and created my ring. The jewelry is more akin to sculpture than typical jewelry – its actually referred to as the “wearable art movement”(I ended up with a beautiful diamond for the ring, but only because it worked with the design)
Now that I’ve explained the background…. The designer is to be featured in an upcoming magazine article. The mag wants to publish photos of their famous older designs and show examples of current work. The designer’s manager asked if they could use a photo of my ring to use as one of the “current” examples.
One the one hand I thrilled they want to use the photo – but on the other – well this ring is truly a one-of-a-kind design. I know this jewelry certainly isn’t for everyone but I think if a photo of it was published widely, well there will certainly be at least a few people who might want to have it created for themselves. (Whether they would seek out the artist or just try to copy it via another jewelry by showing photos. IDK if the designer would agree to do this ring again for another person, I don’t think they would, but might do something very similar if they really love it. But who knows!)
Even though I will wear this till I die, there is a big value consideration in this being the only example of this design by this artist. But then again having photos of my ring published in a national magazine certainly is a cool thing.
Any opinions? I know quite a few people on here have had custom rings made so I figured this would be a good place to ask. Or hell, anyone with a ring they love (whether it was custom made or not) you know if a photo of it was published there might be a lot more people suddenly getting that style? (Which would either be a good or bad thing, depending on your opinion.)
Post # 4
I wouldn’t have a problem with publishing pictures of the ring or people suddenly getting that style. If your ring is published, everyone will know they saw it there first. Who knows, your ring could be a trendsetter!
Post # 7
Personally, I wouldn’t let the pic be published. I’d prefer to know my ring is truly one of a kind.
Post # 8
Thanks Lulu, I guess that might be a bit of a fear, but not too big of one. I know modernist designs are not for everyone, not by a long shot. Anyway, you are totally right it would be established as the first/ original design by it appearing in a mag.
I guess, it’s just you go through the effort of having something designed so it is unique for you and you have a desire for it to stay that way. I sent the designer some photos from past designs that made me drool, then they sent me sketches of ideas based on that. I thought I was just going to have them basically recreate a design from the 50’s, but once I saw the sketches I fell in love with a new concept. So I guess I feel a tad more invested? Idk. I can’t believe how undecided I am on it – and I’m not usually ever indecisive.
Post # 9
This is how I see it…..if you truly want your ring to be one of a kind…no spinoffs of it etc…then don’t publish the pics. Let’s be real, if you did decide to show it you know SOMEWHERE someone will have a ring like it made…maybe not exactly like it, but close. If that doesn’t bother you, then go for it.
Congrats…your ring sounds wonderful….can we see a pic of it?? LOL just kidding
Post # 10
It’s unlikely that a photo of your ring would trigger a massive number of copies. Since it sounds like this artist is quite old, it would be generous of you to allow the ring to be photographed as it’s likely one of the last pieces they will create. And if it does trigger some sort of craze, you have the original and will know in your heart all others are mere imitations.
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Your ring is art and nobody will ever be able to exactly replicate it. Plus, I would assume if any molds were used they were broken or the ring was sculpted so far past the mold, that the mold alone couldn’t replicate it. I say go for it.
Post # 12
Thank you everyone for your input! I tend to agree with Ophelia and Megan.
Cappugcino, just so i don’t seem like I’m denyingat this artist anything – they have plenty of other designs they could submit. I guess I was honored they even thought about submitting mine. This designer is quite old, but still productive. They have no website because they are too busy as it is and don’t need any more clients. They are stil creating because they love it – not for any financial need or anything other than doing what they love.
Post # 13
I’m kinda rethinking who cares, cuz you have the original and you know it!
Post # 14
Hmm, I think that’s a very personal decision, OP.
I admit that while the main reason I don’t post my ring photos online is for anonymity, a smaller part of it is also that I like the idea that it’s a one-off (no famous designer came up with it, but my Fiance did), and I don’t really want someone copying it. Not that anyone necessarily ever would, but, that’s still a little bit in the back of my mind.
However, if it were to be featured in an national jewelry magazine? Yeah, I think I would go for it! Obviously I’d be proud to show off FI’s ability, but even if it was a scenario more like yours (a recognized artist came up with it), I’d still be so flattered that I’d want to share. Plus, if I were the artist, I’d really want to show the work I was so proud of… and knowing the artist feels that way would also motivate me as the owner strongly.
So that’s me, I’d do it. But you might have different feelings about it. I’d sit and have a good think about it, and do what your heart is really telling you that you want to do.
Post # 15
I understand. I had to think about it before I posted my answer. To be honest, my first reaction was “heck no”.
Post # 16
Hi, thanks for your reply.
Actually no mold – everything was hand hammered and worked. The design is fundamentally simple and would not be hard to at least imitate the basic concept. In fact, I mentioned you can only find the designer’s work online via vintage/modern jewelry auctions. I listed one reason above, but when I inquired further I was told they didn’t like to put their current designs online due to copying and other shadiness.
I have to say I had NO fears about this sort of thing when I first got the ring. I figured I would seriously be that girl that people say “that’s unique” to for many years. (& I don’t care a wit because I know what I like and don’t care aboutanything else) But then my weddingphotographer loved my ring. At first I figured, she says that to all her subjects but then she actually posted photos of it on her public FB and said it was the most awesome ring she had ever seen. It then dawned on me that maybe more than just me would like it. Then the mag thing came up last week.
Please don’t think I’m being big headed. I do not think this would start a massive trend. Modernist jewelry is niche thing. But so many people want something “different” but don’tactually know what that “different” thing is that I’m sure coming across the photo would be an easy way to solve the problem rather than you know – actually doing something truly unique or OOAK.
Big thanks to everyone who was replied, writing and thinking through this – via others good andthoughtful input is a huge help.