At Averilpam, polymer clay artist Pam mixes her handmade beads with jewelry techniques for truly one of a kind designs.
Inspirational Beading: How did you first get into bead making?
Pam: I've been making jewellery for a couple of years and started to notice polymer clay jewellery in other shops, blogs etc. I really liked the look of it and started to look at books, then decided to jump in the deep end.
I bought a couple of books and researched some online tutorials, then bought myself a pasta machine and lots of clay and started to play! My main motivation was to make jewellery that was more original and not just with the same beads that lots of other makers could buy.
Inspirational Beading: Do you remember your first project? Where is it today?
Pam: I started off with a very simple jellyroll cane in turquoise and yellow which I reduced and sliced up into little beads. My first blog post was about making them: New Ideas. I sent the beads to my granddaughter in the USA. She loved them, but I don't think she made anything with them!
Inspirational Beading: Where do you like to look for new inspiration?
Pam: I'm not sure how to answer this as I don't use anything obvious for inspiration, taking it mostly from the materials I use. I do get inspired when I look through books and see other artists' work. I never copy but may get ideas for colour combinations, techniques etc.
I make a lot of canes from the techniques I learn, then see where they take me! I do have quite a few beads I've made but when I came to make something up with them the idea I had doesn't look as good as I'd hoped, so they are bagged up and sit waiting for inspiration to hit - or I may decide to just sell the beads.
Pam: No not really. I've more discovered what I don't like working with.
If clay is too hard I have trouble conditioning it even with a pasta machine - you have to get the clay softened up a bit before you can put it through the machine. My hands are pretty weak and I had to discard some Kato clay as it was crumbling up as I cut it.
I do really like Cernit's nature range, it is a lovely stone effect in several colours including a beautiful terracotta.
Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite color or color combo?
Pam: My favourites keep changing! I love black and white, and love metallics, especially copper. Colours I love at the moment are pinks and purples.
Inspirational Beading: Who would you like to inspire with your work?
Pam: I am very proud and pleased to have inspired my granddaughter (she's now 10).
Both my grandchildren took to playing with the polymer clay on my last visit and Emily showed wonderful ability to make mini sculptures. She created a range of little aliens - all shapes and colours, very inventive. I'd like to hope she'll continue with it.
Other than that I'd be delighted if I could inspire anyone to try something new and get pleasure from it.
More About Pam:
I have always been creative and loved to make things. I worked full or part time until 5 years ago when I retired, and since then have been able to concentrate on my creative efforts.
My given names are Averil Pamela though I've always been called Pam. I chose Averilpam for a username when I first went online and this seemed the ideal business name when I set up shop.
To begin with I sold handwoven scarves I made from my homespun wool and alpaca. I still sell some now and spinning remains one of my passions. I also make bags but since I discovered polymer clay it has become something of an obsession and scarves and bags have fallen by the wayside for now.
I live in Lancaster in the north west of England. As I now have chronic health problems I spend a lot of time at home so selling online is ideal for me. I enjoy my garden and feed the birds, and am fortunate there is a canal in close walking distance where I go to feed the ducks and take photos.
To see more unique creations, visit Averilpam on ArtFire and Folksy. You can also catch up with Pam’s latest inspirations on her blog, Averilpam, and on Facebook, or browse a gallery of her designs on Flickr.
Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Averilpam Design
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