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Cynthia Topp

My story

I am a metalsmith and jewelry artist. I am a belly dancer, a writer, and a traveler. I love the culture of the Silk Road lands, from China, Mongolia, and India, through Central Asia, and on to Turkey and North Africa. I've watched Uzbek women weave traditional carpets, tying knot after knot of silk. I've danced with my Turkish friends in their homes to music blaring from their version of MTV. I've been captivated by painted tiles I've seen in mosques. The intricate swirls and paisleys of a bride’s henna-painted hands awaken my imagination.

I never set out to be a metalsmith. When I was a child, I wanted to be a rockhound when I grew up. I picked up pretty rocks and brought them home from everywhere. I bought tumbled rocks out of bins at national park gift stores when we were on vacation. One year I received a rock tumbler, and that thing churned away in the basement for weeks.

I never became a rockhound, but back in 2009 I took a silversmithing class sort of on a whim, actually. I love to learn anything creative. It sounded fun, so I signed up.
But the very first evening, when I used that jeweler's saw for the first time, I had an intense feeling of familiarity and rightness and comfort. Like I had been a jeweler in a past life. Like I was born to be a jewelry maker. Almost like it was what I had wanted to learn my whole life. And as I learned to set those pretty rocks I loved so much, my heart and my imagination opened.

All my pieces are inspired by the patterns and designs of the Silk Road. May they in turn inspire you to dance and live with grace and beauty.