ACID Member Liz Crow of Liz Crow London is a designer-maker of award-winning jewellery. Liz is passionate about creating jewellery which allows the wearer to be mindful about intentions based on Eastern philosophy, where fluidity is key to moving passed rigid obstacles in the mind or life. Her pieces are contemporary, elegant, and simplistic in nature to carry a strength of being present by the wearer. Her innate beliefs are to be kind to people, yourself, and the planet. It is these qualities which she harnesses and imbues into her jewellery for the wearers of her pieces to harness for their own strength and empowerment.
Liz has a degree in Fine Art Painting and founded her company in 2022. As such a young business, she has already won the New Jewels Award 2023 and is shortlisted for the UK Jewellery Awards 2023. Her personal inspirations combine intrinsically to create structures of beauty and fluidity, through the movement of water, art minimalism such as Jackson Pollock, and old Hollywood glitzy glam. She achieves her design process by working with molten metal, whilst artistically manipulating it but allowing a free-form movement to take place also. She feels this is the material working with her, which creates a synergy between designer and material.
Liz takes her IP extremely seriously. She has the ‘Member of ACID’ logo on her homepage, along with her ACID IP Charter Signatory badge. She registers her designs with the IPO to ensure she has as much protection as possible for her designs. Liz also takes advantage of ACID’s free initial advice from the legal affiliates to support her business with the best legal advice.
When and why did you first start creating jewellery?
After my Fine Art Painting degree I started taking evening courses and then decided I wanted to do it as a career, so I took a part time diploma in jewellery making and here I am! I’ve always used jewellery as a way of reminding me about little messages throughout the day in a personal way – for example I used to have a little bracelet that said love, joy, etc. As we are always wearing it and can always see or feel the pieces.
It is clear why you are a prestigious award winner; your designs are stunning, what inspires you?
Thank you! I work with molten silver, so all the original designs are organic and not made in CAD, which I’m really inspired by. It’s like this little partnership between me and the metal and there are always surprises with how things turn out! It’s quite experimental work which I am also very engaged by.
The main theme of the work is based on fluidity, and I’m inspired by this for two reasons – firstly aesthetically, I think there is an effortless elegance in the organic shapes in droplets and splashes of water, which can be both delicate and beautiful, visually striking and statement pieces at the same time. There is also the idea of mindfulness that is combined with the element of water and fluidity.
My work is inspired by Eastern philosophy which mentioned that water is fluid and yielding and can overcome what is hard and rigid, which I thought was a beautiful metaphor for life. If we adopt a mindset of fluidity, we are much more capable to face and adapt to life’s challenges. The pieces are all wearable emblems to remind of us that philosophy. The pieces are also inspired by minimalism and simplicity, with a touch of vintage Hollywood glamour – I’m a sucker for the glam!
You have a very personal and intention filled basis for creating your designs, does this mean you have to pay close attention to how you protect your IP rights? Do you take special steps to protect your IP?
I have registered all my designs with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). I think for me it’s been about communicating I am a designer that takes my IP rights very seriously. I now add a disclaimer about this and my copyright rights on all marketing materials including my website.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your IP has been infringed upon? If yes, how did you deal with it? What was the impact?
I have been lucky that so far, I have not, however a recent experience with a large company which will hopefully be resolved has been quite concerning. Having ACID’s backing on this has been amazing, the support was very proactive and immediate, something I wouldn’t have known or have been able to do as just a single designer.
Did you have any knowledge of intellectual property when you started your business?
I had none, and thought IP was just for large companies, not little old me!
Which ACID Membership services have you used and how have you benefited from being a Member?
I have used the free lawyer consultation call to ask questions about IP text which was extremely helpful. As I mentioned, I have also experienced first-hand the dedication and genuine care ACID have in resolving any infringement issues, for which I was grateful!
Have you brought anything new to the marketplace recently that you would like to share?
I am about to launch two new collections, I’ve been busy! One is slightly more evening glam and the other more relaxed day wear. I am also now bringing gold vermeil to these collections and there will be much more on the website to choose from. Solid gold and diamonds are next on the list!
What is the best aspect of ACID Membership for your business?
Having knowledgeable and dedicated individuals at the end of the phone – I have always been able to get through to the team whenever I need them. Knowing they have all the knowledge I don’t have, and they are experts in their field, puts my mind at ease, in what is quite a daunting and potentially scary legal area to deal with! I have also been grateful for the free support they offer to specialists and the vast extent of documents like NDA’s etc to make this simpler too!
What advice would you offer to a new designer?
Value what you produce from the very beginning because others will. I think as designers we all have a certain amount of imposter syndrome and doubt our work, but if we try to see each design through the eyes of others, we can see the value in the work, and we can also then see the potential for others to want to copy. Treat IP as a business necessity and not a nice option to have.
ACID values the support of its members to enable it to campaign for design law reform. Do you have any messages for Government/Policy Makers on IP issues? Do you think that copying of designs is deliberate and blatant?
I think one of the less talked about aspects is companies hiding IP ownership in their T’s and C’s, which even apply if you are entering a competition. It’s such a deliberate and sneaky way to assign IP away from the deserving creators – why is this fraudulent act still permitted? Designer’s need protection in law against this type of unscrupulous activity.
Liz Crow is proud to be an ACID IP Charter Signatory so she can state she is a designer and business who believes strongly in respect, ethics, and compliance in design. If you would like to be an ACID IP Signatory also, you can sign here. Anyone can be a signatory and it is free to sign. It allows you to state you are aligned with our ethics on original design and helps us with our campaigning for design law reform.
Liz Crow London