PAMELA PALMA BIO
I have been working with textiles since I was four years old, knitting and sewing by hand. I started sewing with commercial patterns and machines at 13 in Home Ec and then I was off and running, modifying patterns and using my own ideas for fabrics. Even as a small child I designed things from my own imagination, beginning with a pair of pants for my Betsy Wetsy doll (remember her?). Ok so I didn’t quite get the curves of the belly/hips but — I still have them, saved for posterity. In high school I got into knitting tennis sewaters – without a pattern. I could see it all inmy head and just did it. My favorite was burgundy wool with cables and contrasting white stripes at the V nexk, the opposite of the popular white ones. Between childhood and teen years I did a lot of embroidery and paint by numbers during the long cold Buffalo winters. I can still smell the oil paint.
Weaving came later and accidentally. I really, really tried not to be a weaver. I had several opportunities in my early adult life but I had a pottery studio then, plus I always have sewing projects going (soft sculpture was popular then, and I like to make clothes and home accessoroes). I did NOT want to weave.
Then the Fates tricked me. I enrolled in a fiber design curriculum at Buffalo State College to learn about printing fabric and couture fashion styling. A required course called Design in Fibers is a trick name for weaving. My first assignment was a tapestry woven on a frame loom. I was smitten! I never loved doing anything artsy as much as that. I leared to weave on complex looms and my admiration and skills advanced. Weaving is not easy but I took to it like a duck to water. I have not stopped since then, dragging my enormous floor loom 1500 miles, up and down stairs, in and out of studios.
I love the endless possibilities offered by fiber. In my studio I alternate between designing and sewing apparel, embroideriing art works, occassionally knitting, and always weaving. Sometimes combining techniques like making finished products from my woven fabrics.
My repertoire includes many facets of textile design: weaving, dyeing, printing, painting, knitting, embroidery, and mied media artist. I teach, these skills and design clothing.
With more than 30 years of professional expertise in fibers and a Bachelor’s degree in Design, occassionally I am called upon for textile restoration. My work in Development for arts organizations led me to a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, very useful for consulting for non profit arts orgainzations and fundraising. I was born in Buffalo, New York, to a large extended family but my love of sunshine led me to New Mexico, and later, the lure of exquisite turquoise water and lush, vibrant foliage drew me to Miami Beach, my home for 26 years. Shortly after moving to the Beach I was introduced to Reiki energy healing. I studied and practiced to become a Reiki Master. Hands and heart – my work is both.
Last but not least, most recently, in 2016, I started a fiber arts guild, Fantastic Fibers Miami, to provide opportunities for textile artists and fiber enthusiasts to gather, share, and grow a community of positive thinking, like minded people. We meet monthly; everyone is welcome. More information about the guild is available on our Facebook page and here
Please see my CV for a complete list of affiliations, exhibitions, publications.