Owner: Braven K. Smillie
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself . Do you have a family? Do you have pets? What do you do at your day job? Or is Etsy your full time job?
I'm a freelance translator (Japanese to English) and a self-taught sculptor. I'm a wannabe full-time artist, and my dream is to make Etsy into a full-time job by expanding sales from two or three a week to five or more a day. I live in Portland, Oregon with my wife and two daughters.
|Gold Copper Moon|
2. How long have you had your Etsy Shop?
About two years now.
I came up with the name "Claybraven" for my shop because it combines a very familiar word that hints at sculpture ("clay") with my name, which is a good unique identifier. Together, they make a brand name that I thought would make my items easy to search for on the Internet. If you type "claybraven" just about anywhere on the Internet, my stuff will pop up somewhere in the search results. So I label my free samples with "Just Google 'claybraven'!" I like to hang sculptures up on telephone poles and let people discover them. I needed a unique handle to write on the back of these giveaways so people would be able to find my shop easily by Googling it. Once in a while, I'll get a message at Facebook from someone who found one of my sculptures where I left it.
4. What types of items does your shop carry?
My hand-cast reproductions of my own unique sculptures-- mostly indoor/outdoor wall hangings with expressive faces.
|Cast Stone Wall Art Mask|
|Cute Little Yellow Sun|
Since around 2009.
6. What is your process for making your items? Do you use special materials or processes?
I sculpt an original out of pottery clay, bisque fire it, then smother it in silicone rubber, flip the rubber over to create a mold. Then I fill it with cement, cure it, trim it, tint it, dry it out, and polish it to a gorgeous stony lustre.
7. What inspires you?
Natural, candid facial expressions. Capturing a natural wistful look, a big laugh, a bittersweet smile or a surprised look is inspiring to me.
|Goddess Planter Pot|
Frequent renewing is cheaper than advertising, and seems to work.
9. Anything else you'd like to talk about:
Thanks for coming to see my store. I work slowly, but am always making improvements and adding new items, so stop by Claybraven now and then.
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