MSG’s newest member, Cindy Swan-Eagan has always been an artistic person, but metalsmithing has brought her a new form of artistic expression. “I was a high school band director for 36 years, so metalsmithing is something creative that I get to continue to do, where I can actually touch what I made - way different than creating music!! I started metalsmithing before I retired, and I loved being able to go to my studio and use hammers and torches, especially after stressful days!!
I got into metalsmithing through the back door, for sure. I am also a mixed media artist, having started with rubber stamps, and morphing into mixed media. I had attended the Art Unraveled retreat for several years, and one year I had an open spot in my schedule. I took a class from Susan Lenart Kazmer, and well, the rest is history.... LOL!! I am not really sure how long it has been, but I am figuring that about now I have been working with metalsmithing for about 15 years.
I have received my metalsmithing education through workshops including Art Unraveled workshops with Susan, Richard Salley, Diane Cook, Deryn Mentock, Jessica Cote and many more, at other art retreats, at Julie Sanford’s Studio JSD in Grand Haven, at Armstrong Tool & Supply in Livonia, and as of late, online with Jessica Cote, Richard Salley, Susan Lenart Kazmer and Lucy Walker. I just love learning!
I found out about MSG through taking a class at Armstrong Tool & Supply from Mary Kernahan - she mentioned MSG in class, and so naturally, I looked it up when I went home. It took a little while, but, here I am. I am excited and thrilled to be a part of a community of makers.
My favorite piece that I ever made is a small pair of earrings that I have hanging on my bench - it's the first pair of earrings I ever put together. They are a green dichroic glass, and I loved putting them together - not as a part of any class, just me. I think that was a leap into that place that said ‘you can do this all on your own, without any teacher or instruction’, and after that, I was hooked. Oh, who am I kidding - I was hooked after my first class!
My work is on sale at the Oliver Art Museum in Frankfort, MI, at Redeemed in Manistee, MI and in EB2 in Traverse City, MI. I also have my own website www.artsygoods.com where I sell my pieces.
I am still involved with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and have been so (as a band conductor) since 1988. Now, as well as conducting, I help recruit students to the camp, along with my husband, and have been to the Michigan Art Education Association fall conference several times. I love working with both art and music students and helping to bring out their potential!”