Teacher Profile - Cynthia Quesenberry

Cynthia Quesenberry recently started offering classes at the Bay School.  Her next class, Jewelry Techniques with Art Clay Silver, will be Saturday, Dec. 9, 10am - 4pm.  This introductory class is an adventure in working with precious metal clay.  The students will create a variety of silver jewelry and / or other decorative objects for functional use in other projects.


Artist Statement:  The one word I have used to describe myself as an artist is “inspired”.  I have been inspired to make artwork from a very young age.  As a wonderful teacher, I have had says: “I learned early on that art happiness lies in the learning.”  My mind is constantly in idea mode. Possibilities intrigue me and I find everything interesting. This quality has helped me develop new skills and enhance my creativity. I find great peace in playing as a means of artistic development, regardless of the medium. How long have I been an artist? "All my life”.  (Fouts) This quote from one of my favorite teachers is most meaningful to me. The artwork I create can be ceramic sculpture, oil painting, printmaking, book arts, copper, silver, glass fusion, or a mixture of these media.  Usually the subject matter is inspired by nature especially the brilliant colors, shades of natural light, organic shapes, and textures.  Titles of my work can relate to the materials used, memories, places, or nature influenced. 

A few questions to Cynthia:

What made you start teaching? 

I am an Art Teacher and worked in the public schools for several years.  I continue to teach art part-time at the Renaissance School of the Arts and teach a variety of classes in fine art, fine contemporary crafts (glass, metalwork, and mixed media), early childhood art, and hand built ceramics.  I have been excited and inspired by precious metal clay since I first heard about it about 10 years ago.  My first inclination to use it in my work was to make glass fusions with the addition of silver clay.  As I learned more about the endless creative options for this medium, I decided to take a class.  I took a certification class from Rio Grande taught by Terry Kolvolcik.  Shortly after, I started teaching basic metal clay classes in 2011, and exhibiting my work in local galleries.  I later became interested in Art Clay Silver, and took the level one certification class offered by Pam East, in 2014. 

 In working with precious metal clay, I often will make a combination of drawings and cut a variety of shapes from graph paper to use as a template.  I love to use the wide variety of templates and texture plates that are available to metal clay artists too.  I routinely start a work with simple shapes, creating / adding textures, to create depth and interest.  I am attracted to strong line quality carved or syringed and the use of a variety of texture plates and hand carved wooden stamps reflects my interest in early woodcut designs used in illustrations and decorative works of art.

My work is usually a response to an idea derived from a personal memory, or places visited.  I will often work in a series utilizing one subject or one idea in a collection of media.  I enjoy working in abstract and realistic styles and with bright colors. I enjoy taking realistic subject matter and abstracting slightly to increase interest and to help to communicate my thoughts in creating the work.  I love working from nature, and am often inspired by leaves, insects, mosses and shells. 

My goals in creating works of art can be associated with assignment requirements, exhibition guidelines, or commission timelines; many of the works I create have open ended goals that often last for long periods of time.   I always have consistent goals to satisfy the intent of the piece being created in the finest craftsmanship possible.  I would like to continue to teach metal clay classes as often as I can and to pass the knowledge to others. I would like to continue to learn new techniques, and further my skills as much as possible. 

What do you get out of teaching?  

I never get tired of seeing a student’s expression of joy when their finished silver pendant comes out of the kiln ready for polishing.

Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

 I am not exactly a “spring Chicken”, but I always wanted to learn how to play the violin.  I started taking lessons a year ago.  I’ve enjoyed the process so far.



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1 comment

I am interested in your April class in art clay copper, how soon should I register for this class?
Also, do you have other classes scheduled in the area as I am located in Kilmarnock.

I have taken classes in PMC fine silver and now I am interested in learning about the copper,

Thank you,

Linda Enders-Bailey

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