Monday, June 23, 2008

Featured Etsy Artist - Cyndie Smith Designs

Hi all - today I want to feature one of my very favorite Etsy jewelry artists, Cyndie Smith, of cyndiesmithdesigns. I am a proud owner of two of her organic pieces - an amazing belt buckle with turquoise stones, and one of her life cuff bracelets. Aren't they incredible? Her tag line is, "Handcrafted, unique metal art jewelry designed for the adventurous woman".

Custom belt buckle by Cyndiesmithdesigns

Custom life cuff in copper by Cyndiesmithdesigns.

Cyndie grew up outside the US in europe, middle east and far east. While she has always been into the arts (she holds a Fine Arts degree from Ohio State University, and has always had some kind of artistic hobby), her formal career has been in the health care industry. After many years of traveling too much in an executive position with a national healthcare corporation, she decided to leave that life behind and take a pottery course. On a whim she signed up for metalsmithing instead, and the first time her torch hit the metal, she was hooked.

Cyndie is one with her element, and likes to let the metal tell her what it wants to do - this is very evident in her organic designs. She starts by sketching out a design...but if the metal doesn't cooperate, she lets it do what it wants. The results are always surprising and thrilling. Cyndie has studied under a couple of great metalsmiths, and still take courses now and then - there's just too much out there to learn!

Inspiration hangs on the walls of her studio in prints by artist Wassily Kandinsky, loosely described as an expressionist, whose bold, colorful paintings often represent the metaphysical. Cyndie's intention is to eventually add color to her pieces in ways other than by using gemstones. She's playing with various ways of doing this, and I'm confident we'll see some incredible results soon.

While Cyndie has loads of inspired work in her Etsy shop, she is also open to custom orders. She has customized the two pieces above for me, and I can testify that she is a pleasure to work with. Check out her shop on Etsy!

If you're in New Port Richey, Florida, you can catch her work at the Progress Energy Art Gallery through July 20. She is also a member of Etsy's Art Jewelry Collective, a mega-talented group of over 40 Etsy art jewelry makers.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Life, Interrupted

I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post. This past week I lost a good friend to brain cancer after a very courageous 1 1/2 year fight. Too many good people are dying of this horrible disease, and we need to figure out why. A mutual friend is participating in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund walk for this cause in the fall, and I encourage you to donate to her campaign.

Suegene, I know you're there, girl, and connecting with the cosmos as you already were on earth.You were an amazing woman, and will continue to be in my thoughts for a very long time to come. I miss you, and will have very fond memories of our time together. I made this heart for Andrea, so she can think of you each time she sees it - I remember last year how much you loved the blue beads I made for you.

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