Thursday, May 3, 2012

~*Cynthia Thornton*~ GreenGirlStudios A charming interview :)

I've been an admirer of the Thornton/Ogden family, for several years now.
My familiarity with them has grown year by year while reading through blog posts, enjoying photos of life and work they've created, listening to friends speak highly of and praising them, corresponding with Andrew via email & FB and most recently, interviewing Cynthia.
They are smart, talented, hard working and well spoken.
These are just some of the reasons of why I chose to highlight GreenGirlStudios as part of this years festivities!

It's so charming getting to know you...
What would you say is the coolest part about designing your own line of charms?

The best thing about designing your own charms is the instant gratification of having an idea and transforming that thought into something tangible. It's very satisfying to make a pendant or clasp when the need strikes.

What is the most rewarding aspect of creating and running your own art charm business?

Running a business is a wonderful, challenging, exciting and occasionally tiresome thing. There are parts that are lots of fun, like making new designs and coming up with ideas to try....but there are aspects that are really boring, like keeping tax forms for each state, ordering materials and grinding off sprues. So, it's definitely a balance. The fact that we are our own boss is pretty much the best part! Chocolate break at 2? Why not?

How would you describe your design style, for those who've not yet seen your work?

I would say our style is a blend of organic shapes, bohemian flavor, with a healthy dash of whimsy.

Do you feel a strong connection between your love of nature and your style of design?

Natural elements play a huge role in my work. I find that strong design often imitates forms in nature, like the graceful spiral in a fiddlehead fern, or the type-like shapes in pine needles. I find these simple things to be my biggest source of inspiration. 

Where can your work be found?

Green Girl Studios pieces can be found  the world over, in bead galleries in Japan, Europe, Australia and even Iceland! Our beads can also be ordered through our friends sites or They can be found at our site or my etsy shop cynthiathornton.

What are your top 5 'must have' mediums to work with?

Jewelers wax, micron pens, Daniel Smith gemstone watercolors, Premo polymer clay and Hand Book brand journals.

Top 5 current favorite books?

This is tough, I listen to audiobooks continuously, but here are some of my favorites right now:  'The Hunger Games' series by Susan Collins, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, The Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlane Harris, The Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters and I'm really enjoying Cassadra Clare's Clockwork Series. 

Top 3 favorite songs that always strike a chord?

This is a fun question and a little hard, too. I love so many songs, here are the one's that popped to front of my mind: 'Crash' by Dave Matthews Band, 'On top of the World Tonight' by Tom Petty and Pat Benatar's 'We Belong'.

Do you have a collection of favorite charms?

Yes! I love the gorgeous work of Anne Choi (, whose work I've been collecting for a long time. I also have some of my brother Andrew Thornton's (
bronze pendants and his amazing skeleton keys. 

What are your most prized designs?- The ones that you've been most pleased/proud of?

I have a few designs that I find pretty good. My heart in hand piece reminds me of vintage designs. I also like my little blessings series; they have a nice pebble-like shape and simple design that makes them appealing. I took my time carving the text on the back and I'm pleased with how they turned out.

What is the history- how did the idea, to make art charms, start in the first place.

The first time I got the idea to make charms, was after I checked out the book 'Ojime-Jewels of Japan' and was completely blown away. I studied sculpture in art school and wanted to pursue that as a career, but was unsure how. I found that gorgeous book and knew I could make beautiful, tiny things as well. With a goal in mind, it was a matter of designing and carving and then learning the techniques to make my own. It took a while, but its such an interesting field with so many things to learn, I still feel excited about it.

What are some of your other creative passions?

I love dolls and have been making and collecting them for years. I'm working on a 13" ball jointed doll and one that is 5 1/2" for 1/12th scale dollhouses. Its a lot of fun designing their little joints and carving their faces. I hope to make the dolls and use them in picture book. 

Thank you Cynthia, for sharing so much of your heart, time and energy with the crafting community. 
I hope that you'll go and visit GreenGirlStudios!
Help support her family business! Make a purchase! :) They've got BEAUTIFUL toggles! and LOTS of other goodies to choose from!

etsy shop cynthiathornton

FaceBook Cynthia Thornton

BTW- If you do not know who Andrew Thornton is yet, take a moment to browse through his blog and visit him from time to time. He posts from the heart with a thoughtful look at life, people, nature and art.

1 comment:

  1. This was a great interview Amber...I love cynthia's book and her ideas and her work. ...very inspiring.....


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