Tag Archives: Cynthia Toops


Fall Schedule Sneak Peek

Happy Fall! It’s finally cooler and the rain is coming back…which is a perfect time to take a class. Here’s a sample of what is in store for fall but visit www.danacadesign.com for our complete schedule, expanded class descriptions, and materials list.

To register stop by our studio at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle or call us at 206-524-0916

Guest Instructor: Jeff Georantes

Start with scrap metal and end up with a ring…how cool

Fire, Forge, and Flush-Stonesetting

December 1-3, $395|$35 materials fee paid to instructor

Jeff Georantes is coming from Hanover, New Hampshire to explore a variety of core metalsmithing skills that culminate in a finished silver ring set with faceted stones. Class will begin with casting and end with polishing and in between you will roll, hammer, and set stones. This class will be filled with tips and tricks and is open to all skill levels. No experience necessary!

Featured Classes

We don’t have this classes very often…so best to get them while you can!

Cloisonne Enameling

with Linnie Kendrick

October 21-22, $295|Basic materials included

The vivid color and unique beauty of enamel has been prized for centuries. The beauty of Cloisonne, with it’s fine lines of precious metal combined with the rich color of enamel to create patterns and images. This is a beginner level class, no experience necessary however basic enameling helpful

Jewelry Making Basics with Wire

with Jennifer Stenhouse

November 4-5, |Basic materials included

Learn the essentials of soldering and making jewelry with wire – a perfect class to create gifts for family and friends, or even start a little business. The techniques covered in class can be continued at home with a simple setup. No experience necessary

Needle Felting Forms for Jewelry

with Cynthia Toops

December 16-17, $285|$30 materials fee paid to instructor

Spend a relaxing and inspiring weekend learning to shape a ball of soft wool into amazing 3-dimensional objects. You might poke your finger a few times but you will have lots of fun discovering this new medium. No experience necessary

Fall Quickies

Can’t commit to a whole weekend? These one day “quickies” pack a lot into one class

Soldering Essential

with Dana Cassara

October 27, $95|Basic materials included

Whether you’ve already started soldering or never even tried, if you are looking to learn how to silver solder, or just get better, this class is for you. Expect lots of hands on time at the soldering table and practice with different torches. No experience necessary

Riveting Basics

with Dana Cassara

November 17, $95|Basic material included

Don’t have a torch at home? Don’t worry you can still make jewelry! Riveting is a fun and simple way to connect metal to metal or metal to non-metal. A new world opens up once you take away the heat. This is a fast paced class focused on designing, problem solving, practicing, and producing work without soldering. No experience necessary

Using the Smith Little Torch

with Micki Lippe

December 9, $95| Materials list

There are several torch options on the market but a popular choice among jewelers is the Smith “little torch”. Micki Lippe, a seasoned professional, will show you why as she demonstrates the versatility and precision of this well loved tool. Basic soldering experience required

 

 

Classes for Newbies

New to metalsmithing and don’t know where to start? These classes are great for those with no experience or those who want to sharpen their skills.

Beginning Jewelry Series: Introduction

with Dana Cassara

October 7-8, $295|Basic materials included

This workshop is an introduction to the fundamental aspects of silversmithing. Explore jewelry design wile learning all the valuable basics: to saw, file, texture, form, and solder nonferrous metals like copper, brass, and silver. No experience necessary

Beginning Jewelry Series: Rings

with Dana Cassara

November 11-12, $295|Basic materials included

Another class in our Beginning Workshop series focuses on the basic construction of fabricated rings, with and without stones. Each student will construct a simple, textured band ring as well as a ring with a bezel set stone. No experience necessary

Basic Bead and Wire Jewelry

with Dana Cassara

December 15, $75|Basic materials included

Learn the simple tricks to cold working wire to create linkage systems for earrings, necklaces, ear wires, and clasps. This class will give you the basic skills to start making jewelry for yourself or even as gifts. No experience necessary

New Year…New Classes!

Happy New Year!

As the new year unfolds we start looking ahead to see what we want to accomplish and what the year has to offer. Which is also an excellent time to see what new classes we have to offer at Danaca Design. Our winter schedule is out and we have a wide variety of classes this quarter from a week long intensive to one day “quickie” classes.

For you long range planners we also have two guest artists coming to teach in 2017 – Victoria Landsford and Deb Karash!

Here are some of the highlights but our whole schedule and more information can be found on our website www.danacadesign.com:

Student ring from this summer's Beginning Immersion class

Student ring from this summer’s Beginning Immersion class

Total Immersion: Beginning Jewelry Making
January 16-20, Monday – Friday, 10am-5pm
Class Fee: $595|Basic Materials Included

Spend a week getting totally immersed in learning to make jewelry! This week long class is all three of our Beginners Jewelry Workshops rolled into one class. Each night you’ll go home dreaming of what you’ll create the next day, designing in your sleep! Absolutely no experience needed.

With cold connections you can add kinetic elements to your jewelry

With cold connections you can add kinetic elements to your jewelry

Cold Connections Beyond Rivets with Kirk Lang
January 28-29, Sat-Sun, 10:30am-5:00pm
Class Fee: $295|Basic Materials Included

Learn some new ways to join two pieces of metal together without soldering. This workshop will teach you how to create an exciting variety of rivets, use micro tap and dies to create custom nuts and bolts, and utilize small tabs to fold over and attach one piece of metal to another. Learn to marry form and function while designing a piece of jewelry or other articulated object with these techniques. Basic jewelry making skills helpful, soldering not necessary.

Micro mosaic by Cynthia Toops

Micro mosaic by Cynthia Toops

Polymer Micro Mosaics for Jewelry with Cynthia Toops
February 25-26, Sat-Sun, 10:00am-5:00pm
Class Fee: $285|Some materials included

Cynthia Toops is widely recognized for her remarkable artistry in polymer clay, most especially for her polymer clay mosaics. In this workshop students will learn her tricks and create incredible micro-mosaics of their own to use like gems in pendants, brooches, and/or rings. No previous polymer clay or metal working experiance is necessary for this exciting workshop.

Winter Class “Quickies”!

enamel bracelet

enamel bracelet

Low Tech Enameling with Allan Thorne
February 13, Monday, 6pm-9pm
Class Fee: $85|Basic Materials Included

Using a torch and a few simple tools, students will learn the basics of enameling in this exciting three-hour workshop. This is a great opportunity to learn how to add vibrant color to your copper and fine silver jewelry. Moderate comfort level with a jeweler’s torch is helpful.

This reticulated silver is ready to be made into jewelry!

This reticulated silver is ready to be made into jewelry!

Silver Reticulation with Juan Reyes
February 19, Sunday, 10:30 – 3:30
Class Fee: $95 | $25 Materials fee payable to instructor

First developed in Russia by Czarist jewelers such as Fabergé, reticulated silver will add exciting and unique 3-dimensional texture to your work. By carefully preparing the surface of the metal and heating with a focused yet delicate torch, this specialized technique reveals a mysterious lunar-like landscape within every piece of silver!

Keum-boo being added to the silver surface.

Keum-boo being added to the silver surface

Keum-Boo: Surface Treatment with Gold with Suz O’Dell
March 19, Sunday, 10:30 – 1:30
Class Fee: $75 | Materials Fee: $35 Payable to instructor, Materials list
In this workshop students will learn to add the luster of gold to their jewelry by applying 24K gold foil to fine silver. The result is dramatic, creating rich color and beautiful textural possibilities with minimal expense. All levels

But that’s just a sample of what we have going on for the next three months. Go check out our website at www.danacadesign.com for our full schedule!

To register for classes call us at 206-524-0916
or
stop by our location at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA

Extraordinary Effects with Polymer Striped Canes

Poly stripe bracelet by Cynthia Toops

Poly stripe bracelet by Cynthia Toops

 

What do you think of when you hear polymer clay? Well if you are Cynthia Toops you think it is a wonderful material with unlimited potential in jewelry making. September 26 & 27 Cynthia will be teaching Extraordinary Effects with Polymer Striped Canes at Danaca Design. Cynthia’s own work takes polymer clay to the next level making the mundane magical. 

 

Pendant made using polymer clay canes by Georgia P Designs (https://georgiapdesigns.wordpress.com)

Pendant made using polymer clay canes by Georgia P Designs (https://georgiapdesigns.wordpress.com)

Glass millefiori pendant

Glass millefiori pendant

But what are polymer striped canes?

Polymer canes are when long strips of polymer clay are layered, usually to create a design, and then cut apart. They are based off of the millefiori glasswork technique that is used to apply decoration to glass objects. Canes patterns can very simple to very complex and how the canes are laid out together adds to the beauty and complexity.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These canes can then be used to cover beads and cabochons to create unique decorative elements for your jewelry. Techniques like combing, carving and mokume gane will be covered expanding and enlivening your repertoire.

Finally students will explore “thin sheet work” to make simple pins, bracelets and other alternative polymer clay forms.

This class is open to all levels, from the beginner curious about the many possibilities of polymer clay to the advanced student interested in focusing on a particular aspect of the medium. 

To register for class call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by Mon-Fri 11am-6pm or Sat 10am-6pm at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA, 98105

Don’t forget to check out our complete fall schedule at www.danacadesign.com

An Insight Into Cynthia Toops and Her Amazing Work

Cynthia has been working with polymer clay since the 1980s. While she is known for her figurative micromosaic pieces, in the last few years she has been concentrating on thin sheet work, creating the cone and claw necklaces and the rolodex series. Most of her work is inspired by ethnic jewelry and ancient beads which she and her husband collect. Cynthia has a BFA in printmaking from the University of Washington and a BA in Biology from Drake University. She spends long hours researching and planning work with Dan Adams, her husband and collaborator. Besides her jewelry work and teaching, she enjoys sushi.

tubeNecklace1

What’s your background? Is it in art, or something else?  I have a BA in Biology from Drake University and a BFA in Art (Printmaking) from the University of Washington.

You often use unusual materials in your work, when did you start making experimental jewelry? What do you like about it?  I work primarily with polymer clay.  I started making beads in 1986 and then made small brooches and necklaces.  My first necklace included glass and stone beads and found objects combined with my polymer beads.  This was inspired by African jewelry where they use disparate material.  Glass is another medium I have worked with – micromosaics and enameled glass pieces.  I also enjoy dry felting but developed frozen shoulder and trigger finger which necessitated a temporary haitus.

boeingSurplusCogged

What attracted you to polymer clay?  I cam across polymer clay during a visit to Hong Kong.  It is a very accessible material and requires very little equipment or outlay that was a big attraction to a beginning artist.

untitledEarrings_1.2013anew_WorksHero

Your works exhibit huge attention to detail, have you always worked this way?  I like to work small, especially on micromosaics because I hate conditioning clay!

What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or, can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work?  Lot’s of times the image is dictated by the theme of the gallery show.  When left to my own devices, I often use folk stories or animal imagery.  Sometimes I incorporate simple everyday life (e.g. knitting, hiking, enjoying a cup of coffee, etc…) into my pieces.  In my necklaces they are often about color, textures or playing with different shapes and materials.

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You regularly collaborate with your husband, Dan Adams.  How is working as a team different from working on your individual work?  The first thing we have to decide on is a piece that is exciting to both of us.  It could be a color theme or story line.  Then we work separately on the beads and then discuss whether they work together or if its back to the drawing board.  It is more difficult that working on your own, but sometimes the piece is richer because of the additional challenge.

untitled1_2012

Have you had any one teacher who have shaped you most as an artist?  I think Glen Alps, my advisor at the University of Washington Printmaking program, is my biggest inspiration in regards to work ethic.  Even into his 80’s he still spent time in the studio every day.  I believe in hard work and commitment which often means long hours.

 

 Cynthia Toops thin work 1Cynthia Toops Flora II, closeup

 

If you like what you see and would like to learn more from such a great artist sign up for her class at Danaca Design Today. Cynthia’s Class “Polymer Micro Mosaics” will be on January 10th and 11th 2015, come visit or give us a call before all the spots fill up! Check out our website for more details, http://www.danacadesign.com/index.php?p=index

Try Polymer Clay this Summer!

Cynthia Toops Polymer Clay Necklace

Cynthia Toops Polymer Clay Necklace

I love seeing the new photos for Cynthia’s classes! She’s definitely expanded my idea of what you can do with polymer clay.

In September Cynthia Toops will be teaching Beyond the Polymer Cane here at Danaca Design. If you want to learn how to create interesting and unexpected shapes and patterns with this material, now is a great time!

Poly Beyond 2

Cynthia Toops Polymer Clay Necklace

I found this little bit about polymer clay on Wikipedia. I never knew that’s where FIMO came from:

“Bakelite, an early plastic, was popular with designers and was an early form of polymer clay, but the phenol base of uncured Bakelite was flammable and was eventually discontinued. Polymer clays were first formulated as a possible replacement for Bakelite. One of these formulations was brought to the attention of German doll maker Käthe Kruse in 1939. While it was not suitable for use in her factory, Kruse gave some to her daughter Sophie, who was known in the family as “Fifi,” who successfully used it as modeling clay. The formulation was later sold to Eberhardt Faber and marketed under the name “FIMO” (FIfi’s MOdeling compound).”

Poly Beyond 1

Cynthia Toops Polymer Clay Bracelet

Beyond the Polymer Cane
Instructor:  Cynthia Toops
September 13 and 14, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30-5:00
Class Fee: $265|Basic materials included

Cane work is the most common polymer technique to decorate beads.  Learn to transform this basic technique into something extraordinary.  In this two-part class we will first take basic canes and transform them into complex designs to use for surface decoration.  Then we will explore alternative bead shapes and create other objects: leaves, cones, claws, tab tiles, as well as hollow sculptural forms for bigger pieces.  Cynthia will forever alter your perception of polymer clay!  All skill levels are welcome.

Cynthia Toops

Cynthia Toops

Seattle artist Cynthia Toops has always been fascinated with beads. An ivory cicada bead carved by her father is one of her most cherished possessions. However, it was a copy of Lois Sherr Dublin’s “The History of Beads”, which catapulted this fascination into a passion and career. Falling in love with the Roman face beads on the cover, Cynthia was inspired to make her own versions. During a visit to her native Hong Kong, Cynthia discovered polymer clay and fell in love with the medium. Cynthia is inspired by 18th Century Italian micro mosaics, as well as the elaborate works of Mexico’s Huichol Indians, who embed seed beads in hot wax. Adapting these styles to polymer clay, Cynthia developed techniques that work for her and are ‘simple and very low-tech’. Using this technique of mosaic in her work, Cynthia is able to create tremendous richness, texture and subtle color variation on a single piece. Cynthia is widely published and exhibits and teaches throughout the United States.

 

Cynthia also has some work up at Facèré right now. You can see some of it on their website: http://www.facerejewelryart.com/artist.php?id=39

 

To register for Cynthia’s class call the studio at 206-524-0916, we’re here Tuesday-Friday 11-6, and Saturday 10-6.

 

 

The summer class schedule is here!

Our summer class schedule is ready! We’ve got a bunch of great stuff coming up this quarter. In addition to our regular beginning series classes (offered every quarter) we’ve got a nice selection of featured classes as well. More details can be found on our website: http://www.danacadesign.com/index.php?p=classes&c=summer2014

We’re excited to be offering Kids Summer Jewelry Camp for Ages 8-12 with Tegan Wallace. This is a brand new class! It runs July 14-18, Monday-Friday 9:30-2:30.

Young students learning about the studio tools

Young students learning about the studio tools

Keith Lewis will be here to teach Enameling Oddities.

Keith Lewis enamel

Keith Lewis enamel

Learn casting methods you can use at home in Low Tech Gravity Casting with Juan Reyes.

Sand casting

Sand casting

In Etching without Acid with Nanz Aalund students will learn a non toxic way to etch copper, brass, bronze, and nickel silver.

Etched brass sheet

Etched brass sheet

Andy Cooperman will be back for Creative Surface Development.

Andy Cooperman

Andy Cooperman brooch

Explore polymer clay with Cynthia Toops in Beyond the Polymer Cane.

Polymer bead necklace by Cynthia Toops

Polymer bead necklace by Cynthia Toops

 

To learn more about these classes and see what else we have to offer please visit our website: www.danacadesign.com

 

You can register for classes by calling us at 206-524-0916, Tue-Fri 11-6, Saturday 10-6.