Artist Profile: Cynthia McGuirl

Each of us sometimes wants to record a special idea or sketch out a sample. We might keep notes about a fiber project or journal about our daily life or a special vacation. Sometimes we just want to remember an inspiring phrase or jot down a couple of lines of prose that might grow into a poem. Whatever we keep needs to be kept in a special, beautiful place. Cynthia McGuirl’s Hardcover Bookbinding class on Saturday afternoon is an opportunity to fully create a journal and start a second one. What would you use your journal for? Let’s meet fiber artist Cynthia McGuirl.

Who are you? Tell us about your fiber journey.
I am Cynthia Motian McGuirl. I started Art School planning to be a painter. Then Sculpture caught my interest. However, I was unhappy with the teacher. I saw a Weaving class. I had always admired weaving but thought it was difficult and something I couldn’t do. But I took the class and pursued Weaving as my main medium for the next 20 years. I started making etchings as a way to express dreams and stories. While teaching children, I discovered that I enjoyed learning new things and tried metal working, painting (again) and book arts. My current works combines many mediums. www.cynthiamotianmcguirl.com

Cynthia's class Hardcover Bookbinding will be offered on Saturday from 9 - 1.

Cynthia’s class Hardcover Bookbinding will be offered on Saturday from 9 – 1.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given a student?
Keep making stuff. Relentlessly.

A sample of Cynthia's bookbinding work.

A sample of Cynthia’s bookbinding work.

What would your Fiber College students be surprised to know about you?
I have a jazz radio show: www.jazzcloset.blogspot.com

Gorgeous marbled paper by Cynthia McGuirl.

Gorgeous marbled paper by Cynthia McGuirl.

How do you manage/balance your work self and your creative self?
If I’m not making things, I get unhappy. So I make it my priority. I try not to be too busy and
over-scheduled so I have time in my studio. Also, housework is low on my list of priorities…

Cynthia creates beautiful paper with the raking technique.

Cynthia creates beautiful paper with the raking technique.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be yourself.

Cynthia's Saturday students will create beautiful books for a wide variety of purposes.

Cynthia’s Saturday students will create beautiful books for a wide variety of purposes.

What inspired you to become a fiber artist?
I just love doing it. I love practicing skills to get good at something. I feel like each thing you learn well becomes a tool in your kit. With your kit, you can make your ideas into a physical object.

It’s not too late to sign up for Cynthia’s Hardcover Bookbinding class. How would you use a beautiful book that you made for yourself? Or would you give it as a precious gift to someone special? Go to www.fibercollege.org to sign up now!

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