Back in 2007, the Girls of Vintaj came back from Tucson with lots of goodies and new friendships, including one with Cynthia Thornton and the crew of Green Girl Studios. Click HERE to see a necklace designed by Jess after coming back from that show! We thought Cynthia’s work was a great fit for our Radiant Raven theme. We’re big fans of her book Enchanted Adornments.
Here is a video of Cynthia explaining where she got inspiration for the book!
How long have you been designing (selling) beads?
I started designing beads long before I actually began producing and selling them, so, I’ve been in business for 13 years.
What is your background and how did you get started?
My background is in fine art and illustration, with an emphasis on sculpture and Renaissance painting techniques. I discovered beads while in art school, pouring over a book called Ojime: Jewels of Japan. I was amazed at the level of detail in such a tiny object. It was then that I decided to make miniature sculpture. The decision to make them into beads and pendants was a simple one, since it was the best way to display my creations – as personal adornment.
Where do you find inspiration for your lines and how often to you introduce new ones?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. For me, it must be coaxed out of everyday things, like the view out of our dining room window, which opens on mountains, trees and so many birds! Or, I’ll see my cat propped against the door and think how fun it would be to carve him in that pose. Its important to allow oneself the freedom to find beautiful things in their surroundings, rather than waiting for the perfect place for a source.
Do you have a similar design process for each line?
My process always begins with my sketchbook. I sketch images, watercolor washes and draw with colored inks, attempting to capture the essence of the inspiration. Then I draw it a few more times, refining as I go. Then, after I am happy with my work, I begin carving (or painting, stringing, sculpting….the process always begins the same).
What kind of space do you design & create in?
I have two areas that I work in, one is a little corner in the living/dining room and the other is in my upstairs studio space. The smaller space is where I draw and carve little things. Its a good place to be with my family while I work. My studio is about 400 sq. ft. with a painting area, a sewing station, a beading section, a photography corner and of course loads of books and supplies. Its my magical haven.
How often do you get to design jewelry?
I design pieces about every other day, some days more than others. Its the actual creating is the hard part to make time for!
What are your favorite Vintaj products to use with your beads?
I love the Vintaj pieces that are designed to be layered, like the flat filigree pieces. I think they look great wire wrapped with mixed materials.
Is there anything you can add about our theme, Radiant Raven…how your beads and Vintaj work together?
This theme is perfect for Green Girl Studios and Vintaj! Both companies feature pieces with a clear botanical element, which perfectly complements the raven motif.
See the designs we made with Green Girl elements in our Facebook album
and on the Idea Gallery!