Green Girl Studios

Meet Green GirlSome of my all-time favorite bead artists are the fabulous family at Green Girl Studios. Cynthia Thornton and Greg Ogden are the husband-and-wife team behind the magical creations cast of fine pewter, sterling silver, shibuichi and bronze. They live in Asheville, North Carolina, with their two amazing children, Azalea and Max. Their wonderful brother, Andrew, also helps out with running their booth at shows around the country.Green Girl Family

Their beads and pendants are intricately carved out of wax and then cast in metal. The designs range from hearts, birds and animals to unicorns, sea monkeys and other mythical creatures. I love the tiny words and sayings carved into the backs of most of the pieces. They also have a line of beautiful clasps that really add a special touch to jewelry. Some of my favorites are their newer pieces, like the Bird and Nest clasp and the delicate heal drop pendant.

Green Girl Studios

Cynthia lives in a world full of wonder and imparts that into each and every one of her creations. We are constantly fascinated by her creativity and vision. Here’s an inside look into Cynthia’s magical world: Where do you find your inspiration?

Cynthia: I find inspiration from the world around me, which is to say I don’t have to search far to find beautiful things. I carry a mini microscope and a monocular so I can see things really closely. It changes your perspective to see miniscule details of a feather or the surface of a stone. I keep a sketchbook with me wherever I go, to record ideas, tape in ephemera and paint swatches of color combinations I like for jewelry. I go to botanical gardens to look at plants, because nowhere else can one find so many interesting color palettes! How did you start making beads?

Cynthia: I started making beads in my third year at art school. I was studying sculpture and painting and spent a lot of time in the library, looking at books about my favorite artists (then it was Bosch and Andrew Wyeth). I came across a book called Ojime – Jewels of Japan, and I was instantly obsessed. I began carving miniature animals and flowery beads, casting them in ivory-colored resin. Of course, this passion of mine was viewed with a good deal of skepticism! My instructors were charmed by them, but warned that I was heading toward craft. I continued making them when I wasn’t working on my egg tempera paintings and doll sculpture. After graduation, I worked several jobs as a freelance artist, all the while carving my mini sculptures. It took several years to figure out how to get them cast in metal and then how to run a small business. When you aren’t creating beads, what do you work on?

Cynthia:  Mostly my time is spent with my daughter Azalea (almost six) and her baby brother Max (about eight months). We work on projects like making mini food from polymer clay, drawing clothes patterns for dolls and lately making fairy houses out in the yard. Azalea is a very good helper with Max, and he is such a sweet and good-natured baby, always watching the activities with interest. The time left at the end of the day is my time, when I can sew, or draw in my sketchbook. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Cynthia! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Enchanted AdornmentsCheck out more of Cynthia’s creations on and delve deeper into her creativity with her new book, Enchanted Adornments!

Happy Beading!  – Katie

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