In scale and utility, beads as objects of personal adornment, are perfect for the body. Their use in ethnic jewelry and folk art are the inspiration of the majority of our work. The humble materials they use and the ingenuity in which disparate elements are assembled together are intriguing and often surprising. Learning from this rich tradition, we try to reinterpret their aesthetic with these untraditional, contemporary materials. After twenty years of making jewelry we continue to collaborate although many pieces are individual as well. But we both still seek to reinterpret the past, hoping to create new artifacts that will also inspire as we have been inspired.

Cynthia Toops

Cynthia Toops

Cynthia has been working with polymer clay since the 1980s. While she is known for her figurative micromosaic pieces, in the last few years she has been concentrating on thin sheet work, creating the cone and claw necklaces and the rolodex series. Most of her work is inspired by ethnic jewelry and ancient beads which she and her husband collect. Cynthia has a BFA in printmaking from the University of Washington and a BA in Biology from Drake University. She spends long hours researching and planning work with Dan Adams, her husband and collaborator. Besides her jewelry work and teaching, she enjoys sushi.

  • BA. Biology, Drake University, Des Moines, IA.,Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1979
  • The Factory of Visual Arts, Seattle WA., 1980-1981
  • BFA. Printmaking, University of Washington, Seattle, WA., 1983
  • Pratt Fine Arts, Seattle WA., 1989-1990
  • 2007 Artist Trust fellowship award
Dan Adams

Dan Adams

Dan works full time at a laboratory, making glass beads and jewelry at night and weekends. Originally trained in Anthropology, he is intrigued with the history of glass and the use of beads in the world’s various cultures. Warring States beads were his initial inspiration but tribal design, contemporary design and natural history all have translated into beads. We have both also worked in various collaborative pieces with ourfriends, Seattle metalsmiths Chuck Domitrovich and Juan Reyes.

  • B.A. Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. 1988
  • Pratt Fine Arts, Seattle, WA., 1990
  • A.A.A.S. Histotechnology, Shoreline Community College, Seattle, WA. 1994