Copyright, Can I sell my finished projects?

detailer-10Lenore, made a great post on the Pyrography Board at Facebook concerning copyright.  Its a common question I get here in the studio and so I want to address your questions and concerns.

Before I begin I note that I am not a copyright specialist. If you need specific information concerning Copyright Law you should contact a Copyright Attorney!

I know this is one of those long, long, long posts but after reading through this information you can use our patterns and instructions worry free!

The short answer –

YES, you can sell your finished project that use my pattern art or instructions given here on and ArtDesignsStudio.comNO, you can not sell, distribute, or post my pattern art or instructions, or distribute them in any manner even if you give me and my sites credit.  My copyright give you the USE of the patterns in your work, not for the DISTRIBUTION of the patterns and instructions in and of themselves.

The definition of a finished project is: the basswood board, the burned leather purse, the pen and ink t-shirt, the quilted fabric square, the stitched thread and cloth embroidered patch – a tangible, hard item.

The long answer –

Lenore in her post is so right about Copyright being a ‘sticky issue’ in pyrography, wood carving, and crafts – something we all need to address. If, as she used in her example, you work from someone’s photograph you are creating what is legally called a ‘translation’. Translations do not give the crafter copyright to the image, photo, or finished design.  Just as if you translated a book from the German language into English the story line is not yours but belongs to the original author.  It is the story line of a book that is copyrighted, not the language in which the book was written.

Henna Tattoo Pyrography ProjectTranslations of Original Work

Doing an exact copy of a photo into a sepia burning is simple changing the method – camera to hot pen tip, you are not changing the original image. The copyright of the image still remains with the original work, not with your translation and you can be in violation by claiming it as your own.

Just giving the original copyright owner credit does not mean that you have avoided copyright issues or protected you from violating their copyright to the work. As my beloved hubbie once noted … if you steal a hammer from Ace Hardware, telling everyone where you stole it from does not clear you of petty theft! So, yes, if you really, really, really have to use someone’s original photo please protect yourself by getting written permission first from the photographer or original artist.

One more thought on photography is that just because a photo is old or a common icon image – a photo you have seen over and over again – does not put that photo into public domain. A copyright is good for around 75 years, or for the life of the artist, and can be part of an artist’s will, passed onto the their inheritors. So, just because you see it everywhere does not mean it is free to take and use.

Complete Lora Irish Pattern Collection by DownloadUse of Patterns and Instructions

Now, saying that, the copyright for the patterns that you can find freely given with tutorials or purchased from pattern makers is different from that of photographs. Patterns are created specifically to be used – traced – in your craft.

In the case of patterns and written step-by-step instructions it is the line art/shaded patterns and text that are copyrighted. But both of those are specifically created for you to use in your art! The pattern and instructions become two parts of the whole that you use in your burning – just as you use a specific burning tool, a wood or leather blanks, and a painting media.

Not everyone wants to spend hours searching the net for images of a white tail deer, a fallen log, a thick forest background, and a split rail fence. Nor does everyone want to spend several more hours combining, adjusting, and refining those images to create one new, original composition. Most pyrographers and carvers have not studied composition, line flow, balance, perspective, or other art techniques for creating a design. What many of us just want to do is to sit down at our craft table and burn or carve!!!! That is where using patterns and instructions comes into our crafts.

OK … so what does that mean for my copyright to both and It means the patterns and instructions are for “Personal Use Only”. You get to use my patterns and instructions in your craft. You get to burn them, carve them, paint them, and even cut them out for your scrap booking!  The key word here is USE.

Complete Lora Irish Pattern Collection on Thumb DriveDistribution of Patterns and Instructions

You do not have ownership of the pattern images or of the written instructions. You can’t post my patterns to your blog, print them and put them in a kit you sell, or copy and paste my instructions to your selling website. You can not ‘snatch’ these and create an e-book that you sell on Amazon. Changing the digital format – say from a .jpeg to a vector art format – is simply a copyright translation and does not give you copyright over the Work.  The patterns and instructions belong to me under copyright law.

Your finished project belongs to you! You get to share your burning or carving anywhere you want. You get to sell as many as you can at art shows, craft fairs, and even on the net – up to 25 works from one pattern!!!! This is your work and it belongs to you.  You do not get to make up a kit that includes a board, a printed copy of my step-by-step instructions, and a printed copy of my pattern art and either sell it or give it away.

Educational Institutions

There is a clause in Copyright Law that allows educational institutions to use Works that are copyrighted for teaching.  Posting someone’s Copyrighted patterns or instructions to your own blog does not fall under this clause.  If you think that your site might qualify as a teaching or educational institution, please contact your Copyright Attorney before you post to insure that you are within your legal rights.

Celtic knot pyrography wood burning patternMass Production and Licensing Agreements

Our copyright covers personal use, it is not meant for mass production usage.  If you intend to create multiple units of any or pattern, over 25 units, then you need to contact us to discuss a licensing agreement. Example, if you want to trace and paint 25 glazed coffee cups for sale at the craft shows using one of our patterns you are covered under our ‘for personal use’ copyright.  If you want to create a fired decal that can easily be applied to a thousand or more coffee cups through mass production, you need a licensing agreement.  Please write us through our Contact the Studio link in the nav bar.

Pattern Catalogs for Finished Project Sales

Many of our craftsmen that sell finished projects purchase the Complete Pattern Collection, either by download or on thumb drive.  This is the best price value for our customers and gives you all of our original Lora S. Irish patterns and designs at the time of your purchase.  Currently we have 140 pattern packages, sorted by theme or topic, and are approaching the 3000 mark for individual patterns.

To increase your sales and stay within Copyright law, you can link directly to my pattern website,, and advertise to your customers that you can create any project for the patterns shown and offered there.  This saves your tons of printed paper, and tons of bandwidth, while increasing the chances of making the sale.  Your customers are just a click away from finding that specific pattern they want you to create!

tracing a pyrography patternCopyright conclusion

So … have fun sharing your finished projects on Facebook if they were created using one of my patterns. If you are selling finished items work using my patterns I truly hope you sell everyone and make a mint of money!

And if you really want to share my work, please share the link to my websites – and – or share the posts from my Facebook page.  You get the “Ohs and Ahhhs” for sharing the link and I get the “Ohhs and Ahhs” for creating the work.

Please remember the finished work is yours, the pattern art and instructions are mine – an easy line of ownership, use, and copyright … 🙂 Thanks everyone !


Craftsmen and Hobbyists:
Reaffirmation of Our Policy With Respect to Use of Our Designs

Dear Friends, Craftsmen, Hobbyists and Users of our Patterns.

Those of you who are familiar with our products know that for many years we have been creating and supplying patterns for use by hobbyists and craftsmen . We have from time to time received offers to license our designs to commercial distributors.

All of our designs have been registered with the United States Copyright Office and the unauthorized copying, distribution or sale of our patterns to third parties is a violation of the copyright laws of the United States.


When you purchase a pattern from and, or receive one of our “Freebies”, the pattern is subject to certain restrictions reserved under our copyright. You have the right to use the pattern for your own personal use to make finished products for sale or personal use. A “finished product” is an article of manufacture on which the pattern is embodied. For example, it may be a laser engraved wall plaque,  computer routed door panel, wood carved bread board, a stitched out cloth quilt, or any other tangible hard goods project enhanced by our pattern design. A “finished product” is NOT a copy of the original pattern made for further distribution. You may display and sell your finished products on your web site to show how they have been enhanced. You may personally digitize or alter the computer file format of the pattern to assist you in personally making multiple copies of finished products.


You cannot copy, reproduce, publish, distribute, redistribute, sell, barter, transfer or otherwise make available the pattern which you received from us or duplicates thereof to third parties. You cannot publish our patterns on your website (other than as embodied in a finished product) and represent them as your own. You cannot distribute or include copies of the patterns as part of a kit or instruction package, whether as computer files or as paper copies,  to be distributed and used by a Third Party. You cannot offer the patterns which you received from us for sale to third parties. You cannot sell or distribute digitized versions or altered computer file format versions of our patterns to third parties, nor can you request third parties to digitize or alter the computer file format of the patterns for you.


All patterns distributed by and have been copyrighted under the copyright laws of the United States and are published with a copyright notice. These patterns are for the personal use of hobbyists and craftsman. When you receive a pattern from either or and open the package, you receive a limited license to use it personally to make one or more finished products enhanced by the design which you may sell. You may not copy, publish, sell, distribute, redistribute or otherwise make the pattern you received from to any third party and you may not publish or advertise the pattern on your web site as your own. and
Lora S. Irish & Mike Irish