Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Etsy Newbie

Our very first Etsy Newbie interview is with Sandra Raby of Sandra June Sculptures

Please introduce yourself and your business
My name is Sandra I am a mother of two and grandma of three. I am a Lancashire lassie, well no longer a lassie rather a young pensioner!
I live in South Ribble with my hubby who tells everyone he never sees me because I’m always up in my den, sculpting.
My shop is called Sandra June Sculptures and there you will find a range of hard fabric sculptures for the garden and home. They are made from natural fibres, wool, silk and cotton
I have discovered that t-shirt cotton is best for the figures and I use wool or cotton yarns for the hair.
The whole thing is then soaked in a colour tinted resin-like hardening paste which makes the fabric waterproof and very hard, almost like metal.
As I really like clean sculptural forms, the curvy flow of the female form is what I tend to concentrate on so most are of my sculptures are of curvy tall ladies.

When did you establish your business?
I suppose I established my business in June 2010 when I started selling online with a Folksy shop
My Etsy shop was opened in November 2010

What prompted you to start your own business?
I started fabric sculpture for myself as a hobby, as I had always wanted to sculpt but never had enough free time or money to learn to work with stone, metal or clay
So I came across a type of sculpture which was aimed at beginners and allowed me to create a model very quickly.
Finding the concept intriguing, I ordered my first materials and began my trial and error period.  I refined my work and my sculptures were being to become very much admired. So I decided to branch out and offer them to a wider audience who I hoped would like and appreciate them too.  
I had many sculptures already made and more ideas in my mind just bursting to get out, so starting to sell them was the obvious thing to do.

IWhen did you start working on your sculpture?
I started working on my first model about May 2009 - before that I was just playing with the ‘paste’, trying it on different fabrics to test it but not doing a full sculpture.  My very first sculpture sits outside my home she is a small lady sitting on brick, lifting her skirt to tan her legs. She still looks great but her dress has faded from a bright pink to cream because I used a dye printed textile.  She is there as a reminder, a test for durability and for sentimental reasons because she was my first project.

What inspires you?
I see inspiration for sculptures in everyday things like people and animals. I have a squirrel that visits my garden and I am currently designing a model of him.
I have one problem: how does a squirrel eat? Does it pick up nuts with its mouth or fingers? I am working on a sculpture of a lady feeding a squirrel out of her hands and need to connect them. Is it by mouth or hands? I am waiting for his/her next visit to find out and until then I cannot continue with that sculpture. 
I also use the internet to research my ideas and I study costume books to help with the vintage fashions.

How did you hear about Etsy?
I found out about Etsy through a friend of my daughter.
Mkfolio sells her paintings on Etsy and she recommended I give it a try

How did you feel when you made your first sale on Etsy?
My first sale is something I am still looking forward to.

What do you like about being part of Etsy
Etsy seems to be very dynamic with lots going on. I just wish I had more time available to fully find my way about.

What advice would you offer other Etsy sellers out there?
My advice to sellers would be to take the best photographs you can. I have Photoshop and if you have the other connected program ‘Bridge’ – use it. It is fantastic while winter is here. If you take a photo and the light is so poor that it looks greyish blue where it should be white – two clicks in Bridge corrects it and warms up the colours.
Also do read the excellent marketing advice that Etsy provides, I have found it very helpful

Where can we find you online?


Silvia said...

Great Interview and I absolutely have fallen in love with the sculptures....my Birthday is in July.....I know what I am going to ask for:)

Musings Of A Gem said...

Great interview! Such creative items : )

I'd love to do an interview on here if possible!

E-mail me on musingsofagem@hotmail.com


Gemma x

Gaina said...

What a beautiful shop! I've added it to my favourites :).

If you'd like to check out mine, it's http://www.etsy.com/shop/webwych

nuvonova said...

Wow, absolutely amazing!

Mr Frank L. Fettle said...

Wow, really fabulous sculptures Sandra! I don't think it'll be long before that first sale comes along :) Great interview, looking forward to more.