Sisters have designs on artistic livelihoodOn a lark...


March 12, 1995|By Sandra Crockett

Sisters have designs on artistic livelihood

On a lark, Cynthia Fardan drew a map of Africa on ceramic bowls she was making for family presents.

"My sister took one look at that design and said, 'that's it!' " says Ms. Fardan, who works in a photo lab.

And so it was. The two artistic Baltimore sisters, who had only dabbled in ceramics as a hobby, had hit upon a business idea. Ms. Fardan, 43, and her sister Angela Smith, 41, now create custom-made dinnerware picturing stunning Afrocentric designs.

Terra Treasures began in 1991 and operates from both sisters' homes in Baltimore's Windsor Hills neighborhood. The designs on the dinnerware include a majestic Masai warrior, a Nigerian princess, antelopes and giraffes.

Or the sisters will create a design of the customer's choice. The dinnerware is crafted from nontoxic, lead-free paints and glazes on earthenware clay. Prices range from $6 for one 6-ounce cup or saucer to $120 for four place-settings.

"We were already selling jewelry but everyone sells jewelry. We were looking for something unique," says Ms. Smith, who also works in a photo lab.

In the beginning, the sisters placed photographs of their work in an album and showed it to prospective customers. Now their work is sold in Baltimore-area stores and they sponsor home shows as well.

Currently, it's a family business with everyone pitching in. However, the sisters have ambitious goals for Terra Treasures.

"Where would I like this business to go? First I would like everyone in Baltimore to have some of our things. Then everyone Maryland. Then everyone in the U.S. and finally the world," Ms. Fardan says.

Terra Treasures can be found at Shades of Beauty in Security Square mall and Amani's, 3406 Belair Road. Or call (410) 542-9620.

@ After making theater together for almost 20 years, Marlyn Robinson and Marc Horwitz have joined forces to create a drama company in South Baltimore. Performance Workshop Theatre Company will combine performing with theatrical workshops and educational outreach.

The company's first production, "The Puppetmaster of Lodz" by Gilles Segal, grapples with the issues of survivorship as told through the life of a Holocaust survivor in Berlin in 1950. The play, which uses puppets as well as actors, runs at Catonsville Community College through March 26. It is the Baltimore premiere.

Mrs. Robinson will direct this production in which Mr. Horwitz plays the lead role. Since teaming up in the mid-1970s in Lehigh Valley, Pa., they have produced plays ranging from the classics of Shakespeare to premieres of international works. In addition, they have written and produced one-person shows, run theater workshops and brought dramatic presentations into schools.

Both artistic directors have worked in theater throughout their careers. A native of Selbyville, Del., Mrs. Robinson recently left her job teaching at the University of Maryland Baltimore County to devote all of her energies to the new company. She and her husband live in Federal Hill.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Horwitz teaches voice and speech for the theater as well as fencing at Villa Julie College and is a visiting professor of theater at the University of Maryland College Park. He and his wife live in Fells Point.

The theater company will hold free scholarly workshops and panel discussions after the matinee today and March 26. In addition, 10 area high schools will attend Wednesday morning performances of the play. For information, call (410) 659-7830.

Linell Smith

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