I'm Dave, the proprietor of Benton Clay. Benton Clay is a small family-owned shaving goods business in the Caledon Hills region of Ontario, Canada. I am a full time web self-employed web developer and marketer, so I get to run the shaving goods business on the side as time permits. Part of the business consists of pottery, and part, consumables. The pottery angle developed as my wife Martha and I began looking to expand her repertoire into pottery gift items that would be of interest to men. Out of that came shaving mugs, shaving bowls and even shaving brush handles - all handmade out of porcelain on Martha Lynn's potter's wheel. Porcelain is a difficult material and Martha makes the items as time permits.
On the consumables side, strangely enough, I'm the one who formulates and manufactures the soap. We started as many crafters do using an olive/castor oil based soap recipe widely available on the internet - and just as widely taken to task here on B&B. We found it provided fairly good shaves but the men who tried it could not get past the fact that it lathered poorly and dried too fast. So Martha said, "You formulate a recipe and then I'll make the soap"! Since then, developing a ready-for-primetime tallow based shaving soap has become one of my hobbies. In the meantime I've focused on producing a glycerin-based soap that has enjoyed some complimentary write-ups here at B&B. The soap's size and weight are geared perfectly Canadian shipping but are a tiny bit too heavy for the U.S. Consequently I must make a special mold for the US orders before I can provide reasonable shipping rates there.
Also in the works - shaving brushes and a pre-shave oil. And a few pens and cufflinks too... I'll keep you posted. Many thanks to those who have supported the business to date! It's good to be back.
About Benton Clay, the person (a.k.a. Dave Lawson):