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New Salem artist fired up about work

Blending her artistic creativeness with the beauty of classic porcelain, Cynthia Grant will have many of her lovely hand-painted items on display as she will be featured as April's Artist of the Month at the Fayette County Courthouse Law Library.

Grant of New Salem has led a very creative life, and for the past 20 years created wonderful overglaze designs on porcelain giftware from her home, where she both designs and fires her art.

“Everything that I do is fired at least three times,” said Grant of her items that range from small giftware items to bathrooms sets, mirrors and desk sets.

Working for years as a staff artist with the now closed Houze Glass of Point Marion, Grant became involved in working with porcelain and painting when she was asked to make a kitchen mural by a relative.

“I hand-painted 13 different murals for her kitchen,” Grant said. “I made different patterns with baskets and flowers.”

Grant said that after that first big project, which took several months, she began to look into painting other objects to be fired.

“I have a small kiln at home that I work with so I can't do many objects at a time,” Grant said, adding that each firing takes at least eight hours so the process can be time-consuming. “Depending on the colors, some of the items have to be fired at least five times to build up the saturation of colors.”

Grant said when she first became interested in the art, she was fortunate to find a good teacher who taught her the process.

Now talented in the area of overglaze, Grant can be seen at many area indoor craft shows and exhibits and recently, her giftware received the “Best in Show” at the 2011 Holiday Spectacular in Monroeville.

“I was awarded the “Best in Show” for my entire booth, and I was really thrilled with that,” Grant said.

Grant has mastered several Limoges patterns that she recreates on her lovely hand-painted items and said that, in addition to the classic patterns, other designs that are popular are birds, butterflies and flowers.

Many of Grant's one-of-a-kind painted items are on sale at the library just in time for Mother's Day.

“This is something that I enjoy, it's a passion,” Grant said. “It's very relaxing, and it's something that simply can't be hurried. I just like making them, and they're so pretty.”

Grant hopes to soon launch her new line of artist items, which will be handmade beaded bracelets and watches.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.


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