Pamela Robinson presents: wearable art


Pamela Robinson shows how to burn color onto jewelry. Photo credit: Caitlyn Young

In downtown Chico, there are numerous galleries waiting to be explored. Chico Paper Company, located in the heart of downtown shares artists’ talent with the rest of world by hosting an “Artist Demo.”

On Saturday, artist Pamela Robinson did a demonstration using enamel to make jewelry. Robinson has been making jewelry for about seven years and has been working with enamel for about two years.

Robinson decided that she wanted to make lampwork beads, which requires the use of a flame torch. However, once she had the beads on a string, she realized that the beads were too big and clunky to be worn all together on a necklace.

“It was not that appealing to me as a jewelry to wear,” Robinson said.

Knowing this, she wanted to combine elements of metal with the beads. Soon, Robinson came up with an efficient system to use metal and work with enamel.

Robinson’s Process:

  1. Start with flat sheets of metal and pick shapes to make components for either earrings or necklaces.
  2. Cut out pieces and texture some of them.
  3. Make holes using a drill with the idea that they are going to be hanging in a certain direction and make either small or big holes.
  4. Do a layer of back enameling with black color.
  5. Choose a different color and do the same on the front of the metal.
  6. Sit down with the beads and metals and start to design a piece around the center, focal bead.
Torching Enamel
Robinson prepares two blue triangles to create a pair of earrings. Photo credit: Caitlyn Young

Robinson’s work is sold at Chico Paper Company, where her customized earrings and necklaces are always on display.

Her favorite kind of jewelry to make are earrings because she enjoys wearing them. She can often be seen wearing a pair of beautiful, dangly earrings. However, while she enjoys the earrings, customers seem to love her bracelets. She has sold every single bracelet she has made.

“My friend said that when you get older, bracelets are good because they distract from your neck,” Robinson said.

Some advice that Robinson would give to anyone who is trying to learn how to make their own jewelry would be to take classes. She suggests going to String Bead in Chico to learn more about the craft.

“Take classes, figure out what you like to do, what you’re good at, and then learn how to do it, and then practice it for like a million hours,” Robinson said.

Robinson wants people to know that she puts a lot of work into handcrafting her jewelry.

“With everything I make, the components are handmade, they are all cut out with a jeweler sod, textured by hand, every part is like a craftsmen piece of jewelry,” Robinson said. “It’s wearable art.”

Follow Robinson on Instagram @chicopam11 to see more of her work.

Caitlyn Young can be reached at [email protected] or @Orion_CaitlynY on Twitter.