THE SHIELD star CCH Pounder makes ornate beaded jewellery in her spare time - to fund an art museum she has set up in remote West Africa.

The art-loving actress, who stages exhibitions at her home in Los Angeles, used cash she made from her hobby to fund the making of Senegal's first museum of contemporary art.

And now she sells her jewellery at California markets to pay for the upkeep of her "gorgeous little gem in a sea of all that is Africa."

She says, "We built this place in BURRIBANA, which means the last place, and it's the truth - it's the last place you'd have a museum.

"I'm a freaky beader. My husband spends a lot of time in Africa and I'm trying to be good - keeping my hands occupied. I use this (jewellery) to raise money for the museum.

"My husband would say, 'OK, that's another brick,' or, 'That's another walkway...'

"I use beads from Africa, Tibet and Europe. I mix African stones with European gems. It has saved us a lot of times when the museum was at death's door."

04/05/2004 13:48