Pam Leas will be one of the artists in our Boutique section of the Fall Into Fine Craft show coming up THIS WEEKEND! You still don’t have your discount coupon? Go here now!
How did you get into making your craft? ie, when did you start, how did you learn the process?
I have always created hand crafted items from an early age and studied weaving and non-loom fabric structures in college. It wasn’t until I was working third shift in desktop publishing that I started teaching myself beadweaving, following illustrations found in a trade magazine that came in the mail one day. That was in 1996, I started Pleaseable Designs in 2000 and I’ve been perfecting my craft ever since.
As a natural progression of beadwork, I took several classes in lampworking over a three year period so that I could make some of the glass beads used in my creations. I set up my studio in the garage and work on crafting the beads during the spring and fall and make jewelry with the beads during the summer and winter.
Tell us a little bit about your creative process, how do you make your work, where do you get your ideas ?
Tough one…creative process…I start with a bead or a stone or whatever I want my focal to be and then I choose the colors that I will use to highlight that item. From there I decide how I want the focal to be positioned on the body and that determines what kind of beading process and stitches I will use. From there I let the beadwork determine what will happen next until the creation is completed. It’s a very spiritual and meditative process that happens spontaneously as I work.
The tools of my trade are simple. A needle, some FireLine (super strong, abrasion resistant, fused thermal filament fishing line), some soldered closed jumprings and lots of tiny glass and/or stone beads in various shapes and finishes stitched together to form a one of a kind woven creation of wearable art, not just jewelry. Although, I do create some simpler designs that may be seen as only jewelry but there is always a lot of thought that goes into the colors that are chosen and the combinations of bead shapes, sizes and finishes.
Some of my creations use wire and findings within them and for those pieces the tools are more complex. I usually work with two sets of needle nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters, crimping tools of different sizes, wire jigs, a hammer and anvil.
What makes your work special, why should people want to come and see your work?
Color is what energizes me and fills me with joy. As you can guess, Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons because of the colors nature bestows on us. I have an amazing eye for color and everyone remarks about the way the colors work together within my pieces, combinations that pull the viewer in and speak to them. This ability translates into the lampworked beads I create as well.
Craftmanship is another strong suit; I’m a perfectionist and dedicated to the longevity of my pieces so that generations will be able to enjoy my work not just the original owner.
I utilize magnetic clasps on most of my bracelets and always include a safety chain that attaches to soldered closed jumprings. Necklaces usually close with a hook and extender chain for versatility. Earrings that are not lever back findings but French earwires include clear plastic ear nuts for security.
Pam’s website is: Pleaseable Designs