Art by Terra

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
| 472 Sales | 5 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars

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Announcement    I take pride on delivering high-quality, hand-crafted goods that my customers truly love. Perfect gifts for the person that has "everything".


Last updated on Apr 9, 2022

I take pride on delivering high-quality, hand-crafted goods that my customers truly love. Perfect gifts for the person that has "everything".


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Art By Terra

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Art By Terra


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
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About artbyterra

Sales 472
On Etsy since 2010
Video summary: A quick glimpse of the writing I do on the pieces from my shop.


I get asked all the time about how I started creating these bowls. Well, simply put it was because I was out of gift ideas for family members who seemed to have everything. As I was trying to figure out creative gift ideas I scoured through my art studio looking for clues when I came across a stack of 3 wooden bowls that I picked up at a rummage sale years ago.

The light went on and I decided that I would paint the bowls and include meaningful words and messages on them. It all started out with the word “family” so I decided to write down all the words related to family. After I painted the bowl and it was dry I wrote “family” on the inside bottom of the bowl in a stylized font. This all seemed relatively easy until I decided that these words should spiral from the inside to the outside edge of the bowl. There was some trial and error as mistakes were made and I did my best to fix them so I could then start the next process of sealing the bowl. To give the bowl more character I wrote a personal message on the bottom.

I was pretty happy with the results so I posted a couple pictures of the bowl on social media and it got the attention of many of my friends. Quickly I ran out of inventory and it being November rummage sale season had ended. In an effort to keep costs down I thought I would try my luck at the Goodwill that had just opened up in my town. Jackpot. While some of the bowls needed some TLC that was nothing that sand paper, wood filler and stain couldn’t handle. With the help of my mother and other family and friends I built up a rather large inventory of wood bowls over the next couple years. My inventory of bowls and trays are 100% meticulously hand selected from area thrift stores and rummages. Some pieces need more TLC for their second life but each piece is re-purposed with care to be functional again.

Unfortunately during this time as my inventory went up, my orders went down. It turns out that I needed to branch out beyond social media to enhance my customer base. After talking to some of my neighbors it was suggested that I start an Etsy shop. Admittedly, I was apprehensive as I tried this in 2005 with little success and I also was not sure this was the best avenue to take to sell my up-cycled art.

After some more thought and research I decided to take the leap and start my own Etsy shop. I spent countless hours putting the shop together whether it was photographing, pricing or uploading my pieces. What I learned through feedback was that the shop I had created was not the easiest to shop in so I had to make some adjustments to make it more user friendly. My initial customers provided me valuable feedback and I used it to make my shop better. While the art came as second nature to me the marketing and shipping aspects of running my own Etsy shop was a huge learning curve to me. With a dedication to recycling and up-cycling I have also been able to reuse others boxes, air bags and bubble wraps that they had acquired. With the exception of shipping I have been able to avoid most packaging costs. At times I have even made my own boxes out of left over cardboard.

And there you have it. What once was me struggling to find a gift for a family member has turned out to be me running a relatively successful Etsy shop using almost all recycled and up-cycled materials.

Shop members

  • Art By Terra


    Our dreams are pushed aside with our everyday adult responsibilities.Terra has been fortunate through the youthful and uninhibited wisdom of her daughter to wipe away the dust from her imagination and to dream without our society deeming it unworthy.

Shop policies

Last updated on Jul 1, 2020


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Cancellations: accepted

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More information

Last updated on May 11, 2022

Frequently asked questions

Custom and personalized orders

Custom bowls and trays take approximately 2 weeks + shipping duration.

Care instructions

For Wood Bowls, Trays and Pedestals:
Decorative use only; Not recommended for food or direct sunlight; Not dishwasher or microwave safe.

Gift Card Enclosures

Available upon request.