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The pique of success

The title is a bit of a play on words – in crafting the title I spent some time with thesaurus (love thesaurus, particularly the digital version) and found out that pique means “to excite or irritate”.  In this case I mean it both ways.

I’ve had a very successful week.  I’ve had multiple sales, sales to new customers, sales to new customers for multiple items, and a big new customer become a big repeat customer this week (yeah!).  I’ve also started building a relationship with a colleague, and we planned several events where we’ll share space.  This is all really, really good, and the “excite” part of the pique.

I’ve also been dealing with a less enjoyable side of success, that has to do with copying.  Copying is part of the business of jewelry and hot glass.  The basic techniques have been around forever.  The Vikings shaped glass into beads with ovens in 8th century; the Venetians have long been masters at shaping hot glass, with at least one company existing since 1295.  Given those hundreds of years, and people that have spent lifetimes creating in glass, and the fundamental properties of glass – all glass artists are reworking the same themes.  I know this, I understand this.  Much of my work is inspiried by some wonderful piece of art I’ve seen, and some of that art was glass to start with.

So I’m very aware of the fact that just because I came up with an idea doesn’t mean that I “invented” it.  But still I was slightly peeved when I caught someone photographing my booth.  I say “caught” because I had stepped across the aisle to speak with another vendor and noticed someone photographing.  As soon as we crossed eyes, they took off in the other direction at just under a run.

I’ve found it harder than I expected to let it go.  I believe the phrases “there is nothing new under the sun” and “copying is the purest form of flattery”  are still true.  They just don’t work as well against annoyance as I’d expected.  So instead of stewing, I’m off to the studio where I will make creative new things that are even better than what is being copied.  That’s the best I can do.

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