Loretta Lam grew up in upstate New York, in a tiny village surrounded by horse, dairy and apply farms. Her family spent each summer at the Connecticut shore.
“I love the northeast; from Cape Cod and the Berkshires to the Hudson River Valley. The inviting, gentle beauty of this area had greatly influenced me. I was born with a strong aesthetic sense and the hands of a maker. As a child, I could always be found drawing. I taught myself to paint, bake bread and refinish furniture. I’ve done just about every craft and of course, jewelry.”
When it came time for college, art school was the obvious choice. Lam’s mom always said that she had sand in her shoes, so it took awhile for her to finish her BFA. However, this was a good thing, because it was during her last year at school that she met her husband. A few years later that had a son and moved to a small town where they could put down roots and build their future.
As she raised her boy, she felt resurgence of her creativity and in 2000 found polymer clay. Within a few short years, she was exhibiting in major fine craft shows and building a following for her work.
Lam’s current work explores shapes and forms found in nature – pods, cones and berries. These forms are inherently balanced and harmonious. We understand them and relate to them. She strives to create a sense of quiet beauty, elegance and timelessness. The beads are created one at a time, with a delicious, natural color palette.
The patterns in her work are made with the millefiori process. Well-known in glasswork, millefiori is easily adapted to polymer clay. Sheets and snakes of different colors of clay are stacked, wrapped and combined to make logs or loaves of pattern, from which slices are taken and applied to a base bead. Carefully chosen accents, cords and embellishments are used to complete the work. And in the end, Lam hopes to achieve sophisticated simplicity with a dash of feminine playfulness.