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HERE'S A YARN ABOUT THE ART OF SHAWLS

You can't resist touching the exquisite shawls found in Pamela M. Palma's studio. And no wonder. The textile designer uses luxurious yarns to create her wearable works of art.

Ms. Palma, who opened a local company called Illusions in 1987 after receiving a degree in design from Buffalo State College, creates hand-woven and hand-painted clothing, accessories and wall hangings.

Much of her hand-woven clothing is transseasonal, said Ms. Palma. On display currently in her studio/showroom are mohair and cotton chenille shawls (perfect for an evening at Artpark, she said); hand-painted tunics with pants dyed to match; hand-painted leather purses (she uses pearlescent and metallic paints); brightly patterned ski bands and tote bags, and a hand-woven, cutaway-style jacket worn with matching sarong skirt.

Describing her works as "entirely and assuredly one-of-a-kind," Ms. Palma adds that her designs are not cheap. Shawls, for example, retail for $95 to $175.

Illusions -- which is housed in an industrial complex at 601 Amherst St. -- is as unique as the goods produced there. The studio is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call for an appointment.

Her designs also are sold at boutiques in Western New York, Lake Placid, the New York City area and New England.

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