Pamela Olson

Pamela Olson

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Jewelry-Making Contest Crystal Category
Bronze Medal Prize Winner - Tie

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Guttenberg, Iowa

Describe your artistic style.
Unlike most people, I do not feel that I have one artistic style but many. I guess my favorite is glitz. I always love things that sparkle. But, I also like antique Victorian, nautical themes, natural things, and ethnic looks.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I find inspiration from many things--and I never know where it will be from next. I am inspired by nature, manmade designs, other decorative objects, and sometimes other jewelry.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
My favorite is crystal but I also love pearls, shells, glass, metals, and natural stones.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?

What inspired this design?
I wanted to make a bridal necklace with a big ''WOW'' factor.

How did it come together?
First, I was looking for some metal pieces to make a substantial necklace. When I found the right pieces, I put them together and hung crystal AB beads from them. Then, I decided it needed more pizzazz--so I added the baroque-cut pendants.

Share Your Background:

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
My first experience with making jewelry was by casting jewelry in high school. In 1990, I started hand-painting jewelry for a small company and did that for a couple of years. In 1992, I started making jewelry on my own.

Who introduced you to beading?
In 1992, I met a friend whose family owned a jewelry store in New York City. She also worked for a jewelry wholesaler. She taught me how to make loops with headpins and how to string beads including stringing pearls.

Do you have an artistic background?
I knew when I was in first grade and learned how to draw animals that I wanted to be an artist. Since then, I was in many specialized art classes though grade school, high school and into college. Art is just something that is ''in'' me and I have to create. I have done many other types of art including painting, flower arranging, ceramics, and stained-glass.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
I believe I found Fire Mountain on the back of a jewelry magazine in the 1990s. I've been ordering from Fire Mountain Gems since their whole catalog was the size of their monthly supplemental.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?

What other hobbies do you have?
I currently do some painting and flower arranging. I am always making something!

Beading Success!

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Since I have fibromyalgia, I have taken up jewelry-making as a part-time career. I find it good therapy because it makes me so happy. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I finish a piece of jewelry and feel delight when I see someone wearing one of my pieces of art. Knowing that I can bring beauty to others' lives is so enriching.

If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are your selling yourself and your jewelry?
I sell my jewelry locally and also have an Etsy store:

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have in my local area.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
If you do what you love, it doesn't really feel like work.

View all of Pamela's designs in the Gallery of Designs.