CYNTHIA SANDENO HAS taken her artistic talent from the shelter to the gallery. She began making nature-inspired jewelry as a way to raise money for a local animal shelter when she was living in Tell City, Indiana. Her work is now shown and for sale at the 4th Avenue Gallery in the railroad depot in Marlinton. L. D. Bennett

Laura Dean Bennett
Contributing Writer

Some people wear more than one hat – take Cynthia Sandeno, for example.

Or maybe I should say, “Cindy Sandeno,” as she tells me that once she gets to know someone, she likes for them to call her Cindy.

And although I’ve only met Cynthia twice, I feel confident that she would now want me to call her Cindy, because I just know we’re going to be friends.

For one thing, she loves animals and nature. 

I guess she should, she’s the Ranger for the Marlinton/White Sulphur District of the Monongahela National Forest.
And for another thing, she creates nature-inspired artwork in the form of beautiful jewelry made with stone beads and copper.

“I really like to use natural stones and earthtones – like green, blue and brown,” Sandeno said.

“I started fiddling around with jewelry-making when I was living in Tell City, Indiana.

“I got involved with the local animal shelter and was looking for a way to raise money for it. 

“That’s how I found out that I was good at making jewelry and that people would buy it.

“Tell City was a small town, and there wasn’t much to do, so I kept busy making jewelry and helping at the shelter.

“And here I am, seventeen years later, with my jewelry on display in the 4th Avenue Gallery!”

Cindy says that she enjoys creating intricate patterns with the beads and really likes using copper.

“Copper is such a ‘warm’ metal,” she said. “It’s also versatile. I can do anything with it. It’s pliable and the color goes well with so many different colors of stones. I can even add to the patina to change its color.”

“And I like that some people tell me that copper has healing properties.”

Cindy said the best thing about her art is that it frees her mind when she needs to think through a problem or ponder one of life’s deep issues.

“I can just get lost in the intricate patterns,” she said.

And when she needs to work out something in a, let’s say, more aggressive way, Cindy gets out the blowtorch – or a hammer.

Because, in addition to delicate beadwork, sometimes Cindy’s art calls for some “heavy metal” work.

That will really help alleviate the stress. 

“So when someone buys a piece of my jewelry, they’re actually supporting my therapy!” she laughed.

Stop by the 4th Avenue Gallery in Marlinton and browse all the artists’ work there, and take home a piece of Sandeno’s beautiful artwork inspired by nature. 

You’ll be contributing to the wellbeing of one of Pocahontas County’s many multi-faceted artists.