Pam Franklin Schuster
One hundred years ago, Pam’s maternal grandfather, Sam Bethea began building a cabin in Eagle Creek where he shared his love of the mountains with his wife and daughters. Mr. Bethea went on to build another cabin in the upper canyon where Pam spent summers as a child and followed in the family tradition of falling in love with the Ruidoso area and the spectacular Old Baldy (that’s Sierra Blanca to the new commers) just like her mother and grandparents had.
Following college at UTEP in El Paso, Pam moved to Ruidoso in 1976 where she lived and raised her daughter until they moved to Midland, Texas in 1992. Now living in El Paso, she and her husband retain a family home in Alto where she spends as much time as possible.
Pam started creating art in 2008, going back to UTEP to study Metals and learning silversmithing. At the same time, she was experimenting with glass, making small fused glass pendants and setting them in silver. Then in 2015, she began creating larger fused glass mosaic wall pieces while at the same time continuing to work in metals. These mosaics are unique and take anywhere from 15 to 50 hours to assemble and another 24-48 hours in the kiln. The beauty and intricacy of these mosaics have gotten Pam into art shows as well as The Adobe Fine Art Gallery in Ruidoso, Authentic Traditions Gallery in Santa Fe and juried exhibitions in El Paso.
The intricacy of the glass pieces requires hours of preparation prior to beginning a piece. Pam will prepare glass by cutting and breaking pieces to the sizes and shapes she desires. Once the base layer of glass is chosen, she will begin to design and place the glass with tweezers for accuracy. Once ready, Pam will place the glass in the kiln and set the temperature to approximately 1,525˚ and set a complicated schedule for kiln to go up to temperature and then come back down. This first firing is the highest temperature that the piece will go and subsequent firings will be to as low as 1,275˚ in order to create the desired textures.