Friday, March 13, 2009

Interview With An Etsian: BlackSheepDesigns and BlackSheepBeads

Anyone that knows Pam will agree that she is one of the most genuine, friendly sellers on Etsy. I started ordering vintage beads from her a while ago. I also own some of her jewelry. One day I sent her a convo with a picture of a pair of earrings that I made with some of her beads and the rest was history. We've been buds ever since. I do want to give a shout out to her other half ~ Jay. I always imagine him sitting atop a mountain of beads. One look at their sold items in the bead shop and you'll know why!

1. Your name: Pam Laurenzo
Your shops: Black Sheep Designs and BlackSheepBeads

2. How long have you been at your craft(s)?
This is my 13th year - how the time does fly!

3. One thing no one knows about you that influences your craft.
I'm a very tactile person - I look for materials (particularly vintage beads) with interesting textures. I also love to experiment with color mixes. When I was young, I used to spend hours and hours coloring and drawing - and noticing which colors looked harmonious together.

4. Favorite color? Does it affect your work? Why/why not?
Definitely turquoise/teal/aqua. My studio is painted a soft pale aqua - a color that helps me stay calm and focused. I could design endless pieces with aqua as a focal color - sometimes I have to forcefully steer myself toward a different color scheme.

5. Learn anything new lately that's related to your craft? If yes, what is it. If no, what would you like to learn.
I've started adding green and blue metal patinas to the metals in my jewelry - it's given me an excuse to add more of my favorite colors to most of the pieces I make. :) I'm having a great deal of fun mixing different finishes, and experimenting with their effects on different findings and vintage stampings.

6. Best piece of advice that someone gave you that benefited your shop?
My favorite piece of advice was to make what I love instead of following trends. I'm very fortunate to have many creative friends - their influence and encouragement keep my ideas flowing and give me inspiration.

7. Favorite Etsy category to browse and why.
I can't choose just one! I love to browse handmade findings, vintage beads, edibles (particularly cookies) and children's clothing.

8. Ever collaborate with another seller? If yes, what did you learn about yourself?
I collaborated with several other sellers for an Etsy contest. We created a mermaid doll with a cradle (I made the jewelry - a matching set for the doll and her owner). I really enjoyed watching every one's ideas come to fruition. Even though we didn't win the contest, I was very proud of what we created! When I sold children's jewelry on eBay years ago, I often collaborated with clothing designers - an experience that I found challenging and enjoyable. I don't make children's jewelry anymore, but I did enjoy dreaming up wild and funky designs to match particular fabrics. My daughter has quite the jewelry collection!

9. What one thing on Etsy can't you live without?
Time Machine 2 (for sold items). I've found many of my favorite sellers this way!

10. What question would you like to see included in an interview, that you've never seen? You can answer it if you like.
What is your most favorite material? Do you still work with this material?
Vintage sugar beads. I love their texture and the nifty way they catch the light and "sparkle". I still have a few in assorted colors, but they've become increasingly hard to find. Every now and then I make a pair of earrings with them to showcase their beauty!

I want to thank Pam for her friendship, her beautimous vintage beads, her lovely jewelry and for taking the time to let y'all know a little bit about herself. xoxo
Until next time.....


Gypsy Moon Designs said...

Her work is fabulous! Thank you for introducing her to us!

TheGlassOnion said...

Black Sheep Beads is an Etsy legend. I love her vintage finds.

Great interview.

Katie said...

She's a peach alright.

I don't know how I missed those vintage turquoise beads when I placed an order last night!

Lisa B. said...

What a fun interview! I just love Pam's bracelet in that first photo!!


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