Pamela Couillard Freese – Couillard Cloisonne Metalsmithing
A little over a decade ago, Pam Freese stopped in Monnda Welch’s shop on the Chatham Studio Tour. She purchased a piece of jewelry and asked whether Monnda gave metal smithing instruction. She was still working as a pharmaceutical project manager, so she was not ready to begin her metalsmithing journey then. Now however, Pam is making and displaying her own beautiful and unique jewelry.
“I took a jewelry making course in college in the 70s,” She recalls “I really like the craft.” After graduate school, Pam worked for Batavia Community College, part of the SUNY college system. She ran the college administration’s Art and Photography Department, doing photography for faculty and designing and producing public relations projects such as college brochures. In that capacity she supervised student workers, but also did much of the art and photography herself. She was not on the faculty, but did teach a photography night class. At Burroughs Wellcome, Glaxo Wellcome, and GlaxoSmithKline here in North Carolina, she had a 25-year career including roles in marketing communications, product marketing, and research project management.
“As I neared retirement, I realized I wanted to build on my early interest in jewelry-making and began to look for instruction. I have been taking metalsmithing classes from Monnda Welch for more than 10 years.” She also received some metalsmithing training from James Carter in Carrboro. She has also taken three courses from Sandra McEwen on cloisonné and champlevé, and subscribes to her on-line teaching Vimeos.
Pam’s jewelry is highly tactile and involves a great deal of “engineering.” Her process is complex and requires numerous steps of metalworking and enameling. Each enameled piece is heated in the kiln up to a dozen times. “I am drawn to metalsmithing because of its three-dimensionality, textural opportunities, abstract composition and technical challenges. Enameling (cloisonné and champlevé) lets me focus on my love of color, my interest in more realistic depictions and yet another set of technical challenges.”
Pam’s subject matter reflects the natural landscape around her. “My art is inspired by my park-like surroundings. Our home includes forest, meadows, ponds, and streams filled with wildlife, a few horses, donkeys and Mandarin ducks.”
Prices on Pam’s work range from $175 for simple metalsmithed pieces to $1000 for complex enameled/cloisonné/silver pieces.