Hi, my name is Pamela Duffy from Liverpool and I own Amitola Workshop. The name of my business came from fabulous memories of my late parents. The name Amitola is primarily a female name of Native American origin that means Rainbow. Growing up we lived above a wool shop that my mum owned, she took great pride in her shop displaying all the wool like the colours of a rainbow. Workshop represents my dad, a time served joiner who always shared his skills with my three brothers and me.
I studied design at college and had considered a Graphic Design course at university but my path changed direction. My design and creativity went on hold for a number of years and I trained to be a mental health nurse. I have been a community mental health nurse for over 15 years, over the last few years it has been my own mental health I have had to be aware of. In 2020 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I continued to work full time plus additional hours, not fully listening to what my mind and body needed.
In 2021 I woke one morning ready for my normal routine before work, but I physically could not get out of bed, the pain was unbelievable. Over the next several months I struggled with fatigue, pain, low mood, coordination, and poor memory. The hardest thing was when the GP said “rest”, how? I was always used to being on the go, I was becoming anxious and feeling guilty for sitting there doing nothing. I decided to start knitting something that my mum had taught me all those years ago, it helped my anxiety and gave me a task to focus on.
I was ready for my next project, something new and would challenge me. During many sleepless nights, I would scroll through the internet, Instagram, TikTok and came across resin projects. I remembered vaguely as a child my dad mixing two compounds together and that it needed to be equal parts for the epoxy resin to cure. I researched different products, read the reviews etc. Craft resin had amazing reviews, the mix is 1:1 ratio so no complicated calculations and a huge amount of support is available from their social media accounts.
That was it, my next project was to take a memory and to capture it, my idea was to build a coffee table out of Lego, the scene was a family party “Duffyfest”.
After months of blood tests, x-rays, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in January 2022, I now had to listen to what my body and mind needed. I found that art was a great way to express my emotions without words, time to process my feelings and find relief.
This was the beginning of Amitola Workshop.
When my first order of resin arrived, I was so excited, I then started to get a little worried about using it. Different questions kept entering my mind, How much resin will I need? How should I measure it? Do you stir it fast or slow? Can you use it if there are bubbles in it? my mind was racing.
I had bought a couple of small moulds so decided to start with them, then keyrings, feeling a bit braver I moved on to coasters and trays.
Resin art is infectious.
I enjoy working with different mediums and combining resin into those pieces.
Being able to capture a person’s memories is so special, whether it be flowers from their wedding, fur/ashes from the cherished family pet. To be involved with something so special is an absolute honour to be asked.
Amitola Workshop started as my hobby, my therapy and still is to some degree. I do have plans and aspirations to do this full time in the future. With the support of my son I now have my own studio space at home, he is very creative so is able to give me ideas and constructive feedback. This feels like the right time to re-engage with my art and design.
I continue to work full time as a mental health nurse so now it is ensuring that I have the right balance between work, art, family, and my wellbeing.
I have recently become a Brand Ambassador for Craft Resin and I am looking forward to being apart of other people’s resin journey’s.
Creating with resin has given me a new focus and I am looking forward to learning new skills, techniques and experimenting with new ideas. It is exciting to see the growth of Amitola Workshop.
The advice I'd give to anyone starting with resin is just try it, we all have natural anxieties about something new. You won’t be the first person or last person to have something happen to the resin, just don’t let that put you off. We are all still learning, and we all started with something small.
Your biggest achievement with resin is to give it a go and have fun!