As beaders and jewelry designers, we are blessed with an incredible range of materials to use when channeling our creativity. Though many of us find our niche and stick with it, we can still learn from each of our peers, and admire their own unique style.
Although PMC is taboo for me, I am always amazed by the incredible pieces of art jewelry that can be transformed from a bit of clay. Imagine being able to create your own charms, clasps and beads from the comfort of home!
One of my favorite artists is Paula Atwell. Her designs combine silver, precious stones, and glass with inspiring shapes and images. Paula has been a professional artist for 15 years, and is the owner of Lake Erie Artists Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio.
Inspirational Beading: How did you first discover art jewelry?
Paula: I started as a beader. I was looking for something that I enjoyed doing and found a class on beginning beading. I was hooked from the first class. I loved the beads, designing the jewelry, and creating the pieces. Of course, none of them were symmetrical, and mine were different from anyone else's, but that’s me.
IB: Necklaces or bracelets? Do you have a preference?
Paula: I prefer making necklaces because I don't like to have to deal with sizes but I have learned that jewelry seems to go in and out of style. One year earrings will be super popular, then the next it will be necklaces, and so on. So I make them all.
IB: Where do you find the most inspiration?
Paula: I am primarily into making organic looking designs, and get most of my ideas from the colors and lines of nature all around us. I do a lot of designing in my head and also right while I am working with the materials. I just know when I find something that I like.
IB: What is your favorite resource for ideas or techniques?
Paula: I used to look at magazines a lot and catalogs to get some stylistic ideas, but now I just find the materials that I like, and mix them up until I end up with something that works for me. Most of my designs combine colors and textures. For instance, I love to match pearls with rough stone, and metal.
Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?
Paula: Honestly, I hope to continue to inspire myself and my children to grow as artists, and to allow people to have some freedom to express themselves with their style and look.
Paula is also a watercolor painter, and a freelance author. You can find much of her work around the web, including Squidoo and Zazzle. If you’re interesting in creating your own PMC jewelry, check out her PMC Metal Clay Tips and Tutorials.