Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stringing Magazine: Spring 2010...

You should definitely check out the latest issue of Stringing magazine from Interweave Press. It's full of beautiful and interesting designs. I'm not just saying that because my "Garden of Earthly Delights" bracelet made it on the cover (featured in the Clay in Bloom department), or that one of my necklaces was spotlighted in Michelle Mach's Take Two! article, or that I've got a necklace design called Spring Awakening and another bracelet and some earring designs in there either! It's a great magazine.

Now, there is a bit of controversy surrounding this issue. One of the projects in the magazine features knock offs of our work by Forever Silvers. It's horrifying! But you should know that I don't hold Stringing magazine responsible. The editors really can't be expected to know the complete lines of every one of the bead component makers in the industry and I imagine that they take the word of the designers concerning where the components were purchased. However, if you like the pieces featured in project, buy the pieces from the original source and not from the Thief. (The pieces in question were fashioned after our bronze bird coin and our safe angel pendant.) Now, so that it's completely clear, I want all of you to know that I DO NOT hold a grudge towards Stringing magazine and neither should you. I do think that it's important that every bead magazine be aware that Forever Silvers is unethical and steals original designs. The editors of the Interweave publications have been made abreast of the situation and I'm confident will not continue to support companies that are maliciously targeting small family companies and their hard work.


SueBeads said...

Hi Andrew - I did see that. Sorry these people are stealing...

On the other hand, it's a pretty good issue, wouldn't you say? I have some earrings in there!

TesoriTrovati said...

I love Stringing and really agree that the editors there are the best. But I also appreciate that you are being transparent about this with the name of the company in question, so that we can be aware and make others aware. Only then can progress be made.
Can't wait for my copy!
Enjoy the day!

Gaea said...

I thought something didn't seem right about the "GGS" items and now I know why! When I first saw them I thought "Hmmm... when did they start with the gold vermeil?" It is a great issue of Stringing though! Congrats on making the cover! It is a lovely piece!

SummersStudio said...

I am looking forward to this issue and seeing all of your lovely work. Unfortunately, we are several weeks behind here on the 'news stand.' I am quite disturbed that GGS knock offs made it to the publication. But so appreciate that you have offered up your thoughts about the publisher. I keep thinking there is a public education issue here in how to spot the knock offs. For example, a few years ago when I visited Thailand, knock offs, in clothing labels and watches, in particular, were rampant. But you could look at the fabric, the quality of workmanship, and know this was not all that it seemed. Replicas will most often lack the clarity of an original. Anyways, I am rambling here and am just offering up a little food for thought. Warmly, LeAnn

Unknown said...

Its a lovely Issue as Always! And your work always brightens the day Andrew! I hope Forever Silvers takes Green Girls "copies" out of their publication soon, bc they are still there. (Online catalog). Ill be really satisfied when I see they are gone. I agree Stringing cant be blamed. Take care!
Janet xx

Margot Potter said...


You see, this is our power. We shine the light on these people again and again and again and then it becomes harder for them to steal. We have to bang the drum loudly and make sure people hear and if we get together as artists and make it a mission to spread the truth, I think we can make a dent in this kind of activity.

Good on you!


Heb said...

Greetings Andrew,
I was happily looking at the new Stringing issue last weekend and was thrilled to see you featured. I didn't immediately notice the TOTAL RIP OFFS from Forever Silver but I did see a piece of theirs in something that I liked so I went to their web site and was HORRIFIED to see how many of Cynthia's pieces they have unashamedly STOLEN. Several pieces that I have purchased over the years from Green Girl! My jewelry companion that weekend suggested that I bring it to your attention but I felt you were probably already barraged by other horrified friends alerting you and Cynthia. While I do feel imitation is the highest form of flattery, this clearly crosses the line! What FS has done is despicable and I will NOT be ordering anything from them and I will ensure none of my friends do either. If there is some avenue you feel we should pursue as consumers that would be helpful to Green Girl and the artistic community, please advise.
Thanks much,

Vintage Blue Studio said...

I sent Forever Silvers an email. Wonder if they'll even have the guts to write back to me. This is why I buy all my Green Girl in person at shows...well ok it's also because I like talking to you guys!

Molly Anne said...

Congratulations on making the cover - your work is fantastic!

I found this post very enlightening - I hadn't heard about these companies taking original designs. I'm a huge supporter of small business and buying from the artist. If there is a way to distinguish knock offs I'd love to know about it.

All Wired Up TOO said...

Congratulations on the cover!
Thank you for the info!
thank you for your kind comment on ArtFireAJG blog..

Jeannie said...

I'm with Heather!..If you need ANYTHING from us, let us know.

I've never bought from Green Girl online only when you're in town.

I'm so outraged by this I posted about Forever Silvers on my blog.

I love your bracelet on the cover. You're a SuperStar!

Anonymous said...


I have to admit that I have not seen any recent issues of Stringing magazine and am not familiar with Forever Silver. Stringing is one of the few bead magazines that I do not yet subscribe to.

In your article you say, "One of the projects in the magazine features knock offs of our work by Forever Silvers. It's horrifying!"

How do you know that someone copied your work and did not create it on their own? The reason that I ask is that yesterday, I was reading the most recent issue of Bead Trends, and creating designs from inspiration that came from looking at jewelry photos in the magazine. I saw a chain necklace with seven bead that I somewhat liked. I immediately drew design plans for a necklace that included similar componenets, but they were put together completely differently, and my necklace was all beads with no chain. Since I always design in sets, I also drew designs for a bracelet and earrings.

When I turned the page, the necklace on the next page was almost identical to the one I had just designed, with the exception of the clasp and dangle. I was dumbfounded. Since I had just taken the plastic wrapper off the magazine, I could not possibly have seen the necklace before, and since I had just created the design, there's no way the magazine stole it from me. The magazine did not include a bracelet, and the earrings I designed were no where near similar to the earring on the following page.

I agree that copying someone else's work is wrong, but if I can look at a necklace that has only seven beads on a chain and come up with almost the exact same design as the photo on the following page, how can you say for sure that someone is making knock off's of your work? Please do not misunderstand. I am not being rude; I am asking a serious question.

When my health improves, I plan to make and sell all the necklace sets that I have designed over the past two year. I have seen many necklaces, bracelets, and earring that are very similar to items that I designed a year or two ago. I would hate for someone to say that I ripped off their work.

Warmest regards,

Rebecca in Arizona

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Rebecca,

Well, here's the thing, my family owns and operates Green Girl Studios. Green Girl Studios is a metal-smith based company that creates original designs for jewelry components, carves those designs, and then produces them in metal. The company is 13 years old, so we've been doing this for awhile. We know that these are knock offs because they are the exact designs, right down to MY fingerprints on the backs... but we did not make them.

Also, we know that the designs are stolen because the owner of Forever Silvers posed as a bead store owner and purchased the beads that are currently being cast from OUR designs. We have her receipt to prove this.

When you draw out a jewelry component, carve out the piece and then do a casting process, you become intimate with every single detail and it is easy to recognize one of your own.

I would compare it to having spent all the time drawing and painting a picture and then having someone steal your painting and make color copies of it and say they painted the painting.

And your example is understandable. This happens a lot and I don't think it's a bad thing. I think that often times great minds think alike. However, I do think there's a difference when it comes to certain techniques that are unique and individual to the design and the project creator. When the design is so simple, as in the one you gave an example of, it's easy to see how two artists can reach the same conclusion with similar materials. I think these are good opportunities to look at your work and evaluate what really makes a piece unique and really scream your name and your style.

Rose said...

I'm so sorry about the thieving and stealing, but how exciting to have your work on the cover!

I'll never buy from those people. Very shady indeed.

Cyndi L said...

Congratulations on filling this issue with your work!! As for FS, thanks for the heads up. Shame on them.

Cindy said...

Hello Andrew
I have to say this was one of my favorite issues of Stringing! So much to love in this one...your pieces for well as many other beading friends. And the article by Michelle Mach, redesigning an "old" piece was terrific! I loved seeing everyone's before and afters.
I'm really sorry to hear about the design theft though...that puts a real damper on things. Thank you for informing those of us that were not aware - so we can be vigilant and on the look out. Have a nice weekend!

moonlitfantaseas said...

Congratulations on making the cover of the magazine, thats quite an honor, I haven't seen the magazine yet, but will have to purchase a copy......also ty for visiting my blog, and for leaving your nice comments

Dee said...

Hi Andrew, Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your wonderful compliment. I've enjoyed browsing your blog here and will be a frequent reader in the future. Congratulations on your entries in Stringing magazine...can't wait to get my copy!

Anonymous said...

Forever Silvers has been copying a lot of "in" artists, and unfortunately you are one of them....hope they stop! Or haul ber butt to court.

I do know that she and her previous partner/boss have copied blatantly and once even told them, but they just threw me out of their booth :(

Unknown said...

I am so sorry adrew that Forever Silvers would do that to you. I have purchased from them in the past and intend to let them know that I don't support companies that rip off artists. I make jewelry myself and if they did this to me then I would not be very forgiving. It is so hard to make it as an artist anyway and then to have companies think they can just steal your work. have you thought about hiring an attorney?