Cindy Mulhollen grew up in a very small town in
western Pennsylvania with an excellent art program and teachers
that recognized her talents and nurtured them. " I can't
remember a time in my childhood when I wasn't working on some type
of artist project. From paintings and drawings to embroidery,
crocheting, needlepoint, sewing or knitting, I was always busy
In high school, Cindy had her first formal training in jewelry
making, albeit at a very rudimentary level. She did manage to create an interesting ring in silver and a brooch
out of nails that became quite the conversation piece at school. In
college, she discovered her passion for creating sculpture. Jewelry
making satisfied this passion for three-dimensional structures, with a
scale that was more manageable. Her professor recognized this passion,
as well, bestowing an A++ for a final grade.
Graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania
with a major in art education, she "stumbled" into the
printing field and worked there for the next 8 years as a paste-up
artist and production manager for a small printing firm. The
printing field with its precision and deadlines was instrumental in training Cindy to listen carefully to client's
directives. This skill proved very helpful in the future, when she would
be working with clients on custom jewelry projects. It also made her
quite sensitive to a client's deadline. However she was frustrated with the lack of creativity in the printing
field, so she decided to pursue another craft field where she suspected
she could do creative things with her hands and build a career - a
jewelry repair person. Cindy enrolled in Bowman's Technical School in
Lancaster, PA in 1979 and graduated in 1980 with a diploma in jewelry
repair and stone setting. For the next four years, she worked for a
variety of retail jewelry stores, wholesale manufacturing and repair
shops as a bench jeweler.
|In 1984, she opened her own retail jewelry store and
repair business, called Mulhollen-Smith Designs in Lancaster, PA.
The business specialized in repairing the impossible and creating
custom designs. At last, Cindy's artistic vision began to emerge.
However, managing a retail store with employees, demanded a
commitment that left little time to be creative.
|In 1992, Cindy closed her business in Pennsylvania, and moved
to California to start her jewelry design business. During the first few years in California, Cindy was developing her
design studio and exploring a variety of directions for marketing her newly created work. Since 1995, she has
been focusing on creating one-of-a-kind jewelry designs that she markets
at upscale craft shows across the country.
Technically speaking, Cindy's work combines the practiced bench
jeweler's touch with an artistic flair. Sculptural shapes, various
textures, and colors found in the different metals and gemstones that
Cindy likes to use, all combine to create jewelry pieces that are
unique. Most designs begin as a two-dimensional drawing, where the basic
lines and shapes are developed into a pleasing artist concept. Then,
with study, the design will take a three dimensional form in Cindy's
mind, before she begins to cut metal sheet, bend wire, or carve a wax.
While she is constructing the piece of jewelry, she is constantly
looking at it from all directions (as a sculptor would ) and making
changes where necessary so that the final piece of jewelry looks well
thought out from any direction. It is not unusual for a jewelry piece to
take over 20 hours to complete, with all the time Cindy spends studying
the design evolution as well as actually constructing the piece. She is
especially careful setting stones and doing the final polishing.
|Cindy's goal is to create an interesting piece of jewelry that
exhibits a balanced sense of design in its composition. A design that
will stand the test of time and yet be unique. In addition, the jewelry
must be comfortable to wear, have an appropriate scale and weight, as
well as exceptional craftsmanship. There is no limit to the design
possibilities and challenges, so for now, Cindy will continue to focus
on creating new one-of-a-kind art jewelry pieces.
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