EarthWind Bells Story
Bruce Fraser, Founder & Artist
My ceramics journey began in 2013, at the age of 51, when I started working with clay to make a living. Despite having no experience in retail or wholesale, I transitioned to ceramics from video production, which was rapidly changing. In the small town of Sedona, AZ, with a population of 12,000, finding work in the technology sector was challenging. However, my varied work experience gave me the confidence to try ceramics.
I juggled multiple careers for a time. It was fulfilling for me since I'm naturally curious and like to try new things. However, after years of struggling, everything just came together, and ceramics became my passion. I found that everything I tried just worked, and I enjoyed the process of iterating, embellishing, and editing with small incremental changes.
Although I never thought of myself as an artist, I love the creative problem-solving aspect of ceramics. Figuring out how something works or how to improve it through the iterative process gives me great satisfaction.
Photographer Garry Winogrand once said, "The problem of the artist is to stay in the problem." I apply this quote to my work and embrace the anxiety of uncertainty, knowing that design answers will eventually come. Sometimes it takes me six months to figure out how to tie a design together. That's why I focus on making bells only, allowing me to delve deeper into the creative process.
When I started my Etsy shop in 2013, I decided to do it my way, without relying on social media or extended hours. I integrated my work with my life, taking my time and making fewer mistakes. I learned the fundamentals of ceramics, kept it simple, and focused on making bells to develop my clay skills. Although I made other products for wholesale, bells gradually took up more of my time. I never got bored and still enjoy the work today.
In 2016, I learned how to market my Etsy shop and tripled my online sales within a few months. Since then, I've been a full-time seller. Personally, I prefer the limited customer contact of online sales, without social media distractions, phone calls, or in-person interactions. Selling products online is much more suitable for me than selling services. I love working in my studio, listening to music, podcasts, and books. I hope to continue for many years to come.
In 2019, I purchased a laser etching machine to combine technology with the second oldest profession in the world. I noticed other sellers on Etsy buying traditional metal wind chimes from China and adding personalized laser-etched memorial wind sails. This frustrated me, as I believed Etsy was for handmade products. If I couldn't beat them, I could at least compete with them using my skills in Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, and Illustrator. Today, my handmade bereavement chimes account for 80% of my business.
EarthWind Bells are high quality, handmade ceramic wind chimes and garden bells. Each one-of-a-kind wind chime is unique with a handcrafted sculptured bird on top. Glass and ceramic beads are mixed into each wind chime design. I work in different styles that reveal my varied interests. My wind bells take on different forms that reflect my tastes and the tastes of my customers.
I produce each garden bell with quality and attention to detail. It’s truly a meditative experience when I am shaping the clay. I want these bells to last, to bring peace and joy to their owners. If you are not satisfied with any product, for any reason, please let me know and I will do everything I can to make it right. Learn more about my return policy.