Thursday, June 9, 2011

Aspiring Artisan: peifferStudios

will and b draganized
Us in our "studio", which is really a garage. :)
Tell us a bit about yourself.
We are Brooke and Will Peiffer, and we were both born and raised in Michigan, though from significantly different areas. Will is from a very rural area and considers me to be a city girl. We met on an internet dating site, and at the time, Will was working in stained glass. Glass and clay in the same studio space didn’t work out so well, but fortunately he was quickly won over by clay too. We have a 5 year-old son named Gabriel who keeps us super busy much of the time. We love music and movies and nature…and Legos.

bowl with hands
Pod
Apart from creating things what do you do?
We watch movies, when we all agree on one. We play outside a lot, touring the areas finest playgrounds and parks; we build lego sets, over and over. Will tends to his unusual fish collection, and is contructing a gigantic slot car track...for Gabriel (wink wink.) Will also enjoys keeping up with The Daily Show, and SNL. I work full time teaching high school ceramics. I take photos constantly, and dream up fun names and product lines for future Etsy shops.

spiral
Cream Porcelain Spiral Pendant
What first made you want to become an artist?
Brooke: I was always drawn to artistic pursuits. Finger painting, coloring and sewing pillows for my dolls were my earliest. My father was an electrician, and I loved to watch as he crafted intricate copper wire tree sculptures out of his scraps. When I was still in grade school I designed a series of “food people” illustrations and sold them to kids in the neighborhood for 10 cents each. When I was 13, my uncle gave me my first real sketchbook, and a few “how to draw” books on various topics. I couldn’t stop drawing. I became interested in fashion design and in high school made most of my own clothes. I found clay during college and have been in love ever since. So making art has been a very organic part of who I am.

Will: I’m not what could be termed loquacious, and have become less talkative recently. To say this is a difficult process would be understatement; so please be gentle while reading these answers. I have always been drawn to acts of creation. More than the end product, this act is a driving force in my work. I would like to say this leads to a prolific portfolio, unfortunately I can not. While the process is of less import than the product, it creates an interesting catch 22 in that process places unreal expectations on product; often leaving me unable to work. In retrospect it may be disingenuous to say the end product is of less value than the process. What one is to the other is like the chicken and the egg – entirely unclear but for those with all the answers.

resolute
Resolute
Please describe your creative process.
Brooke: I am very creatively chaotic. I jump around from project to project, finish only half of what I start, and never like to make the same thing twice. Sometimes I will have an idea that pops into my head and I will just go make it. Other times I sit and sketch to get the creativity flowing. Other times I will just start making something, and play with the materials and experiment with texture and shape until I get something worth keeping...or throwing away. I also have creative urges with fabric and design, the products of which land in my other Etsy shop called xAlstroemeriAx, named after my favorite flower. And if that’s not enough, I am also working on a photography collection, and will soon be opening a third shop. Art is VERY therapeutic for me, so I do it as much as I can, which is not nearly as much as I want and need.
Will: Manic
fungi
Turquoise and Cream Cup Fungi Pendant
Please tell us something about your subject matter, a little background into why you make art about what you do.
We both make art that is heavily influenced by nature. We love the texture and detail we find in mushrooms, coral and our six-legged friends. We inspire each other’s creations and have a running joke about who stole what idea from whom. Will grew up on 65 wooded acres that backed up to a state park, and his family owns and operates a plant nursery, so he has been immersed in woodland inspiration from a very young age. I fell in love with the look, feel and idea of seed pods when I came across a book by Karl Blossfeldt called Art Forms in the Plant World.

peifferStudios
Whimsy
What specific steps are you taking to grow your Etsy shop?
Since I (Brooke) do all of the Etsy stuff I will answer this one. I have joined two amazing Etsy teams, the Aspiring Artisans Guild, and Elite Sixteen. They are both focused on exposure, and growing businesses. I want to thank my friends in the Treasury League as they were my first Etsy team and taught me a lot. I have added a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a blog to my list of too many things to do, and we are trying to add more functional pieces to the shop including bowls, vases and coming soon...pitchers and cups.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Join a team, don’t give up. Think about what makes your work unique and focus on that. Learn to take great pictures of your work. There are many articles on this topic, because it's super important.

reveal
Reveal
In ten years where would you like to be?
Brooke: I would like to be living in a more rural setting, with a healthy and happy family, with our artwork as our main source of income. I also have this dream of having a group of cabins and studio spaces, so I can bring in ceramic artists to put on amazing week-long workshops. I really want to be part of teaching and learning my whole life!
Will: It’s a secret. I think Brooke knows, but I sure don’t.

You can win this "Tender" pendant by peifferStudios!

tender
tender2

To enter:

1. Visit Brooke and Will's shop and leave a comment
below letting us know which piece is your favorite.
2. Blog/Facebook/Tweet about this giveaway
3. Purchase something from peifferStudios.
You can enter in as many different ways as you want!

Leave a separate comment below for each entry.
I will select a winner at random on June 14th using random.org
will and brooke portrait2
Visit Brooke and Will's Etsy Shop!

And the winner is.....

Sarah Ortega!


Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

37 comments:

  1. I LOVE everything, but my favorite would have to be the Pod bowl. It's gorgeous & simple. Love it!

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/75666854/pod-a-simple-serving-bowl-with-a

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  2. Tweeted this giveaway @SpareBedStudio

    http://twitter.com/#!/SpareBedStudio

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  3. Ooh, my favorite is your petal bowl: http://www.etsy.com/listing/50729903/petals-ceramic-bowl

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  4. Every time you put a new piece in your shop it becomes my new favorite! Everything you make is AMAZING!! But right now my favorite is the Pod bowl-stunning!

    Loved this interview and getting to know more about you, Brooke. And to hear a bit from your hubby too! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I'm so happy you found them! I have loved them on etsy for a while now!

    Right now I think my favorite item is:

    Wait - A rustic porcelain and copper necklace.

    I love it because it reminds me of my own Colorado mountains.

    Thanks for featuring them!

    All the best,

    Allison
    One World Two Hands
    Etsy.com

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  6. They actually caught my eye back in February. I fell in love with a certain necklace and purchased it for my mother, who loves it!

    I bought this:

    http://www.etsy.com/transaction/44105120

    Just beautiful, keep up the good work!

    ~Allison
    One World Two Hands

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  7. Also I had to tweet about this! Peiffer studios has some of the most thoughtful work around. Admiration.

    http://twitter.com/#!/1World2Hands

    Thanks again for your lovely work!

    ~Allison

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  8. I'm a definite fan of your work. Your items are so beautiful. I really enjoyed reading about your lives and creative processes!

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  9. Great feature. I really enjoyed reading this! I love everything, your whole shop is gorgeous! The pod bowl is one of my favorites.

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  10. I think the reveal ring is just stunning! Love it.

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  11. What a lovely feature! I can see the love of nature in your pieces.

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  12. Wonderful post! So glad to know more about you Brooke! And my favorite is the Pod Bowl, but it was a tough choice since everything is so beautiful!

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  13. Such gorgeous work - and their photos are amazing! My favorite piece is "Whimsy"!

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  14. I tweeted -

    http://twitter.com/#!/lesperancetile

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  15. Your shop is beautiful.. so hard to choose a favourite.. i actually love the green leaf pendant.. and the little blue fungi pendants :) but i think my favourite would have to be this one: http://www.etsy.com/listing/72735914/family-of-three-a-sweet-porcelain

    the weeping cherry pendant.. so elegant and delicate and soft

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  16. I really love Whimsy, its a beautiful little vessel

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  17. Fantastic interview! It's really great to get to know both of you a little better. I love both of the pictures of you two in your studio :)
    If I had to choose a favorite from your shop it would be this one:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/50729903/petals-ceramic-bowl

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  18. Facebooked (is that a word yet?)
    http://www.facebook.com/OliviaJewelry

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  19. Tweeted as well @MyOliviaJewelry

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  20. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Resolute Pendant. So pretty!!!

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  21. I think the "Family of Three" pendant is my favorite, but it's hard to choose, because everything is wonderful.

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  22. Facebooked! http://www.facebook.com/tuckooandmoocow?ref=ts

    Love the pics of the both of you :D

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  23. The Warm breeze ceramic bowl is my absolutely favourite! I love the green and pink, and the organic shape!

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  24. I love the warm breeze ceramic bowl- beautiful

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  25. Charming!!! you made such a lovely couple and I admire your beautiful work so much :) I'm glad to know a bit more about you :D

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  26. Currently, my favourite piece is Pod but I love all of the work I've seen in the shop!!! So talented!

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  27. http://pinterest.com/pin/39350619/
    and
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carla-Dycks-Photography/155664767796324

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  28. I like the Pod serving bowl from the picture!

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  29. This is my favorite~
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/50729903/petals-ceramic-bowl
    So lovely!

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  30. Love the Blue Accented White Porcelain Fungus Pendant...texture, color, beautiful!

    Anna
    annasplaceofholding@gmail.com
    www.annasplaceofholding.blogspot.com
    @FELTit on Twitter

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  31. Tweeted as @FELTit

    Anna
    annasplaceofholding@gmail.com
    www.annasplaceofholding.blogspot.com
    @FELTit on Twitter

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  32. I featured one of my favorite Peiffer Studio items in this treasury on Etsy:

    http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MTMwMDc4NzZ8MzI3NTM1NTMy/pine-for-cones

    Love your work!
    ~Allison

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  33. Sorry, I changed the name of the treasury. This is not an entry, just a clarification.

    http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MTMwMDc4NzZ8MzI3NTM1NTMy/pining-for-cones

    Thanks!

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  34. Wait - A rustic porcelain and copper necklace is my favorite! I love how unique this stuff is! So awesome!!!

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  35. I'm late to the party!
    Great getting to know you guys! I love the pod bowl and the photo is breathtaking!
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/75666854/pod-a-simple-serving-bowl-with-a
    Beautiful shop!

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