Sunday, February 5, 2023


About 18 months ago, I received an email from a one-time acquaintance of Ivaan's and mine named Tom. We'd engaged him as an eBay trader in 2005 to help us sell Ivaan's massive vintage camera collection. Once the camera equipment was sold, our contact with Tom ended. He was an entrepreneur, and he moved on to other activities. Following Ivaan's death, there were lots of changes in my life, and I was just glad that over 700 vintage cameras were not accompanying me on my journey. I continued with my university studies, continued Ivaan's jewellery work, bought and sold some real estate, and eventually found myself living in this rural paradise. That's when I heard from Tom. His wife was interested in learning jewellery making and he thought I might be willing to help her. That was a short conversation. I also don't teach people to drive, so....nope. A few months later, we were once again in touch, as Tom was interested in buying some of my jewellery making equipment for his wife. During the transaction, Tom asked if I would be willing to sell Ivaan's entire inventory to him. Initially I had no interest. How does one even do a valuation of an artist's life's work? What would Ivaan's family think? Tom persisted. He wanted to buy the rights to Ivaan's name, his website, this blog, all the inventory, the masters, the rubber moulds, the photographs, everything. 40 years of work. I consulted Ivaan's family; with some reservations, they agreed that it would in theory be a good idea to have someone continue his work. Tom and his wife came over, looked over all the inventory, photographed it, and went away to discuss it with their family. Eventually, we agreed that Tom would bring a monetary offer. He asked if he needed a lawyer. I equivocated: he didn't need a lawyer to make a without-prejudice verbal offer, but he was free to consult a lawyer before putting an offer in writing. Meanwhile, a longtime Toronto jewellery shop we'd worked happily with in the past expressed an interest in taking over Ivaan's work. I waited, not able to decide what to do. Time passed. Nothing from Tom. Eventually I emailed Tom and said if he planned to make an offer, he should do so. He did. He made an offer by email. I was so shocked, I couldn't even bring myself to respond. So I didn't. Weeks passed. Tom got in touch again. He reiterated the same offer. I felt as though I'd been spat on. A pair of wedding bands by Ivaan would cost more than he was offering for Ivaan's life's work. The jewellery shop's offer will have to wait. Several people have come wanting to buy jewellery by Ivaan since then. They'll have to wait too. It will be a long time till I'm able to look at Ivaan's art without feeling revulsion that I might have entrusted his life's work to the wrong hands.

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