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Biography: Cynthia Toops

Cynthia Toops

Cynthia Toops is a full-time artist and jeweler who has been working with polymer clay since the 1980s. She is currently working with glass micromosaics, especially with glass threads which she pulls herself. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the United States, and is widely published in books and magazines. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Drake University and a BFA in printmaking from the University of Washington, and was a winner of the Artist Trust Fellowship for Craft in 2007. She co-authored a book, beads & more (2008), with her husband, Dan Adams.

Toops’ process is meticulous and laborious. Even among jewelry artists using polymer, her work is distinctive; it is technically simple, but very labor intensive. Most of her pieces are figurative and may be inspired by events, or the title of a show, or color combinations, or an inspiring museum exhibition. Recent work is inspired by ethnic jewelry and ancient beads which she and her husband collect.