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Posted on March 2, 2016 in Featured Artists by Katie Oskin
It’s my pleasure and joy today to introduce you to a polymer clay artist who is after my own heart, Cyndi Small. Her joy, exuberance, and whimsy with polymer clay is just fantastic. I met Cyndi through a FaceBook group, HOP! (Hooked on Polymer). She is so funny and her sense of fun and humor shows in all of her creations. Recently, Cyndi was published in the March/April Polymer Cafe Magazine – congrats Cyndi! Without further ado, I give you … Cyndi Small.
My name is Cyndi, I’m (almost) 52, I reside in Indiana with my love Joe and our two fur babies Jocko (a mild mannered gentleman with a side of naughty on occasion) and Jinx (my hyper totally cuckoo for cocoa puffs pup). I have 4 grown children, two here In Indiana, two in Connecticut where I grew up, and almost 13 grand babies (he’s not due to arrive until March).
I’m fairly new to the clay world, 16 months to be specific; I have, over the years dabbled in many artistic venues, but this is my favorite by far. I’m totally in love with the possibilities that can come from a block of clay and it quickly became my addiction, mix it with pajamas and tea and I am one happy gal!
When I first learned about clay I set out to learn as much as I could about it, I am always researching new techniques and ideas that I want to try or improve upon, and I experiment A LOT!
As an artist I suffer from what I like to call “over active brain”, which prevents me from sleeping, so when the world around me is you’ll usually find me in my Girl Cave/Studio, my happy place.
Taking an idea from my mind and bringing it to fruition with my hands makes me happy, I’d be miserable if I couldn’t create and there’s so many possibilities to explore so, becoming bored just doesn’t seem to be an option.
For me that’s key! I have an eclectic type of taste (which you will see from my little menagerie), the endless possibilities from claying make it more desirable, picking a project seems to be the only dilemma I run in to.
I’ve been asked what my process is, but honestly I just don’t have one. Most of the time what I make “just happens”, my hands seem to take over; more times then not I have started out with one idea that quickly became something else, which in turn usually leads to many other ideas, it’s endless and my desk is usually covered with post it notes, my computer is full of files, graphics, and articles of things that interest me regarding clay, and don’t even get me started about You Tube, and Pinterest. The folks at my local hobby store know me by name, I often joke that they should just rent me my own isle so I never have to leave *laugh*
I’ve joined a few clay groups on facebook, HOP! is my favorite; if you aren’t a member I highly recommend you become one, it’s more like a family then a group. I’m so inspired by the artistic talent that the other members share, it blows me away; they are some of the most friendly, helpful people I have ever encountered, and I’m blessed that I get to call some of them friends.
My daughter in law Cheyenne likes cake decorating, so while I was looking around for ideas to show her I came across all these cute little sculptures that were made from chocolate and fondant, which lead me to find sculptures made out of clay, I was a goner after that! I instantly fell in love with the concept and I had to give it a try, off to the hobby store I went, once I found the clay isle I was like a child in a toy store and the rest as they say is history. I haven’t stopped yet!
I’d say my art is unique because I’m not focused on one set venue, I let my imagination go wild and it produces the final outcome. A few of my artist friends tell me they’d like to spend a day in my head, I always tell them it’s pretty darn busy up there, I really want to try everything! And eventually I plan to do just that.
Joe and I have a small town house, I commandeered the extra bed room that I lovingly call my Girl Cave, it’s where all the magic happens, it’s a small space, but I make it work with a lot of creative organizing as you can see from my photos. I have a pottery wheel in storage and an air brush system I am just itching to play with, I’m saving that for the new studio, once we move.
Easiest question thus far, my answer…. Everything!
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t really have a process, it just sort of happens. If I have an idea I’m not certain how to start, or I see a new technique that interests me I’ll research everything I can find about it, ask questions, purchase what I need (if anything) and get to it. Joe is often my muse, if I am “blocked” he comes up with some wonderful ideas to enhance my art.
I think my most favorite sculptures to make are the ones I have given away, I recently made an elf named Milo for Mindy, a woman I have become friends with through HOP! She told me a story about her beloved elf on a shelf that had been in her family and had been mistaken by her puppy as a toy, it touched me so I made her a new one to continue her tradition, it was a total surprise and I’m a Surprise! Kinda gal *smile*
I’m a giver, I always have been and I think something from your heart is the best gift you can bestow upon anyone, after that I have Sebastian, my One Eye’d, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater! He sits on my desk and keeps me company.
My feature item will be Matilda, she is a giraffe that wants more then anything to be a ballerina when she grows up, she inspires me to one day write a children’s book about making your dreams come true, I have made two other characters so far, Ernie (a hippo), who wants to be a lifeguard like his big brother, and Arthur (an octopus) that dreams of being a famous painter, but Tildie was the one that started it all and she is close to my heart.
This has to be the hardest question of them all! I am inspired by so many that it would be impossible for me to choose just one, there are just to many inspirational and talented artists out there. Teresa is the Queen of canes in my opinion, I love all her beautiful art; Katie has so many whimsical and cute creations; Beverly is a master with Alice; and then there’s Pam, Mindy, Gina, Connie, and the list goes on and on; there truly is no way for me to pick just ONE!
I would gladly take custom orders and do my very best to make you a one of a kind creation, I encourage you to write to me, or visit my web site.
Thanks for joining me today,
Until next time, Happy Claying my friends!