11/10/2014

Interview with the artist - Pamela from Willow Walker Designs

I have always been fascinated by glass and admire artists who work with it. One of them is Pamela from Willow Walker Designs who will tell us about what she does today. Be prepared for some serious beauty.

Starfire, teal and purple wire wrapped dichroic glass pendant
 
Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

I am an Oregon girl, born and raised. I have spent my life in the central part of Oregon, west of the Cascade Mountain range where it is mainly ranches, forest, desert and open land.  We are fairly dry here and boast of “260 days of sunshine a year”.  I have been here in Bend since 1983.

What's your craft and how did you get to do it in the first place?

I love glass and I love jewelry. 
Wire wrapped jewelry is my passion. My involvement in stained glass led me to glass fusing with dichroic glass which led me to wire wrapping as a way to set my glass cabochons without a torch.  Although I have learned to do that too since then and enjoy combining with wire wrapping.

Silver stars etched dichroic fused glass earrings

I created my first stained glass sun catcher at the ripe old age of eight and have been involved with glass ever since. When I was 14, my parents moved back to their home town and opened a retail-custom stained glass business. One of the things we tried was glass fusing.  After graduating high school I left the nest and didn’t get to play with fusing until my mother became ill and passed away. At this time my father’s favorite glass manufacturer was launching their own line of fusing glass. I fell in love with dichroic fused glass jewelry that was in the shop. I scrounged through mom’s glass, found a few pieces of fusible and dichroic glass. I made a few pendants and showed my dad. The next thing I knew he bought me an early Christmas gift in 2006 of a pound of dichroic scrap glass. About three days later it was gone and I had a beautiful collection of pendants, earrings and bracelets. I loved creating it and have never stopped.

Is there a story behind your business name? 

I used to do black powder re-enactments or as we call them “Rondezvous”. Everyone gets a nickname sooner or later. Mine is Willow Walker and I love it and chose to use it for my business name.

Blue, gold and pink dichroic art glass wire wrapped pendant

I think this is one of the most asked questions – what inspires you? 
 
Sometimes it is the beauty that surrounds us, other times the glass itself, a color combination, a new technique and of course the beautiful pieces made by my fellow wire wrappers.

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.
 
I was born on April first, so I am a “fool”!

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what? 

I am a stained glass professional. I also enjoy flower gardening and sewing. I try not to let myself go much further for the sake of my sanity and my wallet.

Art Deco etched dichroic fused glass pendant

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?
 
I have no absolute favorites. I love each and every piece, some more than others, but I am unable to pick just one. I did a woven frame necklace that I fought getting the base wires to weave as tight as I wanted. I was working with rose 14k gold filled wire and needed to be using a finer gauge of wire that I still don’t have. One of these days I will, though.
 
Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you? 

Many, many talented wire wrappers! I admire and am inspired by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong, Iza Malzyck, Debbie Fang, Magdalena Borjenko, Bobbi Maw, Perri Jackson, Lisa Lynn Barth and many, many more.
 
If you had free choice of just one supply you can use for your craft/art, what would you be dreaming of, no matter how expensive?
 
Hard question, but I believe I would have to answer Dichroic Glass.

Pewter grey dichroic glass post earrings

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

 
Famous last words ;-) Is there anything else you want to tell the world out there?

Over the years I have tried a variety of dichroic fused glass jewelry styles, from simple wire wrapped cabochons, different effects created during the fusing process and more. It has only been the last four years that I knew where I wanted to go with it. The variety one will find in my Etsy store definitely reflects that. I am working my way through adding all the older items I still have before I get the newer, fancier stuff listed, so please keep on checking back!

I consider this necklace to be the fanciest, prettiest piece I have created so far, that and its matching earrings. I sold the set to a local jewelry store and they sold it within a week!



I am not surprised, it's a beautiful set! Thank you for sharing a little more about the artist behind your lovely pieces, Pam!

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