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.
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.
|Cream Porcelain Spiral Pendant|
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.
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.
|Turquoise and Cream Cup Fungi Pendant|
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.
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.
|Visit Brooke and Will's Etsy Shop!|
And the winner is.....
Thanks so much to everyone who entered!