Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Vic Reynaud born in Grosse Point, Michigan, now retired and living in Pittsburgh Pa. I am single and 62 years old. My life story would be to much to tell in this place but for the part that relates to Etsy I can say that my biggest passion regarding my creative side has always been metal smithing. I have been privileged to own two metal fabricating companies and built every thing from complex machinery to all kinds of architectural detail (buildings, stairways, restaurant interiors, private sculptural pieces etc). I have traveled pretty much the world over so I have seen very high quality metal work and have been fortunate to be mentored by some great craftsmen. Craft is the word for me. I like high skill levels and honoring the past tradition. I build mostly small decorative and jewelry objects now and do my best to be a good metal smith. I see myself more as a metal smith than an artist but I am sure I am both.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I have been going up to Big Basswood lake camp in Ontario Canada for a long time. We have always had a tradition up there of making something by hand that was in the Indian tradition. I suppose that is what got me started, we did traditional seed bead work through totem poles. I did make some industrial looking belt buckles early on.
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Nature and found objects, especially old and unusual cabochons.
What are your favorite materials?
Fossil material, Artifax, old and unusual cabochons, sterling silver.
Any tips for selling handmade stuff?
If you stay with it, craft shows and flea markets are a good start. Join a group that practices your discipline. (Later galleries or museums.) Etsy is a great site as it works for selling as well as a place to direct anyone to see your work. Two big things: you can’t have and maintain your own web sight at the price Etsy charges and if you do have a site what would drive customers there? Etsy has a vested interest in bringing customers to the site. I think it is a great bet for people making handmade objects.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
My life is full. I am an published photographer, pretty good sailor and still try to travel in and out of the country every year, but mainly I work in my studio and have a small retail outlet a local mall.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
Well at my age I will leave that to the young experts but spell check would be nice.
What is your favorite color?
Blue as in turquoise, green as in machalite, red as in high quality fossil dinosaur bone.