Warmer days here in the north are coming. We have had a few unseasonably warm days and patches o ground are showing more and more. Granted I live further out than most around here but spring is definitely making her appearance known. I saw buds swelling on the trees, the ground turning dark and fertile, and irises poking their little heads up above the thawing earth.
Thinking of those blossom I am filled with anticipation. I love to grow flowers just for bringing into the house. I love to fill jars, canisters, cans and just about anything else I can get my hands on with shocks of spring color. It seems however when I set about making an arrangement they never turn out just as I pictured them. Usually lopsided and top heavy. I think that is why I was so excited when I saw the items in the shop fireNart on Artfire.
Cynthia James has found her niche, a rather muddy one, and I have found my new “wish I had it” favorite! Cynthia has come up with a clever idea for a vase. Her vases are not only stunning, but clever as well. And you know how we like clever here on the Bumpkin Blog. She has been involved with art for over 30 years but once she discovered ceramics” there was no turning back” she says.
Most of the work she does now was self taught. She did study for some time at Lill Street Gallry in Chicago. After all the years painting it was her Eureka moment when she found the ceramics. “Working in 3 D is so creative. With clay, things evolve to anything my imagination can dream up.” she says. The work she is turning out is nothing short of amazing. Like I have told you guys I comb site after site and great talent is not easy to find, and after finding it, it is even harder to get to the blog. I think that is why was so excited to bring her to you all! Her form and colors are a symphony of beauty and function. Her work whispers volumes. It is breathtaking in its simplicity, unassuming and show stopping- somehow all at the same time.
Of course I had to ask her “Where all do you sell?” Her reply “I am an artist with the Illinois Artisans Program and sell some of my work in the downtown Chicago Artisans Gift Shop. I have done the art fair scene and sold some of my work in galleries and gift shops in the city. I have since switched from art fairs to French Markets which are a combination Farmers Market and art fair. They are one day a weekend and the promoter puts up the tent. Less work, less cost, and better profits.” Less cost, better profits, doing what we love, that is something I could live with!
Cynthia is doing just that. Living out her dream of early retirement, tucked up close to the Chigago River. Heralding from the Chicago suburbs Cynthia grew up a country girl, but now wants to be close enough to the city to grab art supplies and other items while still having some room to sprawl. She lives there with her husband and son. Her garage houses her kiln and makes up her studio. I have to smile here, I know all about garage turned art studio!
I related much to Cynthia. Garage studio, doing what she loves, living the dream. I think hr quote of “Always make things that you love” hit home the most. Since this Bumpkin discovered her barn wood, house paint and got the courage to let the world see her folk art, I haven’t been happier. I love bringing you guys all this wonderful talent. Please check out more of Cynthia’s work over at fireNart. I promise you will not be disappointed!