Did You Remember To sign Your Work?

Did You Remember To sign Your Work?

Do you know what the number one reason is for not being able to identify a work of art? The number one answer is a missing or illegible artist’s signature. Imagine if you will hundreds of years from now maybe in a gallery store room or attic, perhaps a thrift store, or tragically a dusty basement, someplace hidden anyway and its rescuer who found it wants to know “who created such a magnificent work of art?’  The number one way to identify yourself and your work is through your signature and yet many artists just don’t do it.

Don’t you kind of owe it to any finished piece of art to give it a proper send off? Your signature tells you as well as everyone else that “the work stops here and I’m satisfied with what I’ve created”. It’s your certified stamp of approval!

Being a polymer clay artist, this has actually been a huge problem for me. I have yet to find a consistent way to put my name on my pieces. I’m thinking that maybe I’ll just smush my big ol’ fingerprint right there in the clay. After all a finger print is one of the most definitive ways to identify an individual. Just remember to try to be consistent and if possible, sign your work in the medium in which it was created (pencil for limited editions and graphics). Consistency will cut back on others forging your artwork.

Regardless of how you sign the front of the piece it is important to have attached to it your full name and the date if possible. This may not seem that important but way down the line when you’ve created hundreds of works of art or lots of time has passed you’ll appreciate the dates being right there on the piece.

Who knows why artists don’t sign their work. I’m sure the reasons span the gamut and to be honest it doesn’t really matter why. Signing our work is something all artists should make their best effort to do as an important part of our processes and our art history, so go ahead and let the world know YOU are the one who made that magnificent work of art!

Written by StartsArts




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Posted in Handmade

10 Responses to “Did You Remember To sign Your Work?”

  • How does one sign jewelry? There’s no place to write my name, sad face… Excellent post on why it is important to “brand” yourself and your name.

  • Some of my work would be hard to sign, like Crochet items and jewellery. I have thought about certificates of Authenticity but they are not attached and get separated from the item. But I agree with signing those item you can. I have done that on my leather bags. I would love to have a little branding iron to use to mark my leather items.

  • startsarts says:

    Alchemists: I tried signing my jewelry but I didn’t look or feel right to me…maybe there is a way but I haven’t found it yet… if anyone has some good ideas…???

    Wynd: Yes a branding iron would be great for me and my clay art too! Great idea:)

  • Great reminder to take ownership of our finished pieces!

  • chainmaille says:

    I took me a couple of years to convince Kimberly to sign her paintings. Finally she did and now I just remind her too LOL.
    One thing we considered doing for jewelry was a little charm at the clasp stamped with our name. Never done it yet, but may in the future. I know knit uses a tag she made for signing her quilts and stuff. So just a label like in clothes could be an idea for scarfs and the like.

  • startsarts says:

    Yes, very good ideas! I could do a signature bead or even just a slice of a signature mini cane attached to the surface of one of the jewelry beads. I love the idea of the labels for the crochet and knit items and it got me thinking…a logo button could also work..Now the wheels are turning..:)

  • Andrew…those were the same ideas I had. as for jewelry, if you take a picture of your piece laying on paper with the date (like a newspaper) and your name, then adding that to your listing description would be kind of like a copyright. Just don’t delete your listing, just put it in a sold folder.
    As for me, my name seems so long, I’ve been trying to find a “cute” short way to sign it without taking up so much room in the corner. lol

  • It took Andrew forever to convince me to sign when I paint and not I generally sign every piece…with jewelry, as was said, it is not so easy. Guess it is time to start searching out stamped charms again. Thanks for the push.

  • lisianblue says:

    I started teaching this concept to my children and grandchildren at very young ages. All of my ornaments are signed – mostly with just my initials – I enclose 2 cards with every one – one that has the ornament name and my name and usually date painted on the back of one. the stained glass items are a little trickier – and most do not have a signature, a label for hats and scarves might be a good idea though! I like the idea of the stamped charm for jewelry – might even work with some of my stained glass items! Great article!

  • I have to admit that I’m really bad about this, especially with my porcelain pieces. I get the last fire completed and then realize that I didn’t sign it. I don’t want to have to fire it again, so I just don’t sign it. Great article!

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