My Hallmark

How important do you think it is to the collectors of our work, our clients, to know that they are buying an authentic piece of art?  The real deal, no fakes, no imitations, but an original art work created by the artist.

I believe it’s very important to them.  I know it is to me and I’ve witnessed it in others.  Last year I knew a woman who had purchased a Michael Boyd ring at the silent auction at the Colorado Metalsmiths Conference.  It was the real thing….Michael was there, he donated several of his works, yet this ring didn’t have Michael’s Hallmark stamp.  It was very important to her that the ring have his Hallmark to confirm its authenticity and she asked Michael to mark the ring….to my knowledge he did and she’s one happy woman because she has added a Michael Boyd ring to her collection.  It’s authenticated by the Hallmark stamp, placed on the ring by Michael himself.

Last year I decided it was time to mark my works with my Hallmark, also known as the Maker’s Mark.  It is a way that jewelry artists use to show the authenticity of their work, that is, it is proof that we made the piece.  I had reached a point where I wanted to insure that anyone, who bought one of my pieces, would know by way of this mark that it was something that I made.

Painter’s sign their works.  Some glass artists sign their works by etching the glass, using a gold ink that can be fused on their fused works, or even using a paint that can be ‘baked’ to permanently to a piece of the glass that will comprise their work.  Sculptures have a mark.  The point is, artists have been using their ‘mark’ for centuries to show it is their work.

It’s a wonderful affirmation.

Initially I had been using the ‘K’ from a set of metal stamps, but that wasn’t truly distinctive in my mind.  As I continued with my work, I revised my logo and eventually came up with my current logo that you see pictured at the top of this post.  Once I had that, I knew I wanted to have that as my mark to show my clients that they were buying an original Kathleen Krucoff piece.

My Mark

This is how my Hallmark looks when stamped into the metal.  It’s a little hard to refute the Maker’s Mark.

I ordered mine from Microstamp.  They had the best price for custom stamps that I found.  All the instructions can be found on their website and I found them to be very responsive to inquiries.  They want to be sure you have a stamp that meets your specifications.

My Stamp

It is a very finely crafted stamp and I am very happy with it.  I have just registered my Hallmark with Art Guide Source as it is a service that aids in finding artists / metalsmiths when all a viewer has is the hallmark.  Seems like a good idea.

I’m curious.  How many of you sign your works?  If you are a metalwork artist, do you have a custom made stamp to make your mark?  For any of you, did your ‘mark’ go through an evolution until you came upon the one that was your true signature for your work?

Since I started using this hallmark a little over a year ago, it has given me a certain peace of mind.  I felt I was taking that extra step for my customers to show them that not only do I care about the craftsmanship in each of my pieces, but  I care enough to personalize the piece and assure them of its authenticity.  What are your thoughts on this?

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.