Featured Artist Laurie Leonard

Artist Laurie Leonard’s  jewelry collection features delightful miniature paintings. Visit her website to see more of her nature-inspired art.

 

“Robin and Nest Pendant” Pewter, Art and Resin, 2" x 1.75" by artist Laurie Leonard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Robin and Nest Pendant” Pewter, Art and Resin, 2″ x 1.75″

 

After twenty plus years of selling my watercolors at art fairs around Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Maryland and Virginia, I decided to try my hand at jewelry making in 2008. It was a very easy decision for a number of reasons. First, I had been a lifelong avid collector of art deco and Victorian jewelry and second, my paintings were not selling as well as they had been.

 

“Tree Robin and Nest Necklace” Pewter, Art and Resin, Large, the hanging bird and egg are 2” L - photo by Larry Sanders. See Laurie Leonard's portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Tree Robin and Nest Necklace” Pewter, Art and Resin. The hanging bird and egg are 2” long. Photo credit: Larry Sanders

 

I began to experiment with miniature reproductions of some of my existing paintings (the winter tree, flowers, etc) “set” in a bezel setting that I purchased and covered with resin.

 

“Birdhouse Bracelet” Pewter, Art and Resin, 7" x 1 5/8" by artist Laurie Leonard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Birdhouse Bracelet” Pewter, Art and Resin, 7″ x 1 5/8″ Photo Credit: Larry Sanders

 

After introducing my jewelry and getting positive feedback, I began to focus on painting the jewelry (faces, bugs, birds) and eventually phased out the framed work.

 

“Winter Tree Set” Pewter, Art and Resin, Earrings 2" x .5", Bangle 1.25" x 6", Pendant 2.75" x 1 3/16" by artist Laurie Leonard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Winter Tree Set” Pewter, Art and Resin, Earrings 2″ x .5″, Bangle 1.25″ x 6″, Pendant 2.75″ x 1 3/16″

 

I started sculpting my settings with a two-part epoxy clay that dries hard enough to withstand the casting process. With much trial and error and guidance from the casting company I use in Rhode Island, I began using my own settings exclusively.

 

“Winter Tree Dome Setting” Pewter, Art and Resin, 3.5" by artist Laurie Leonard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Winter Tree Dome Setting” Pewter, Art and Resin, 3.5″ Photo Credit: Larry Sanders

 

I am inspired by nature, such as the flowers and weeds in my yard and woods. I use leaves to make a texture plate to press the design into the clay for the bangle bracelet and the backs of some of the pendants. I also paint them and use the image in the bezel.

 

“Moon and Star Bracelet” Pewter, Art and Resin, 7" x 1.75" by artist Laurie Leonard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Moon and Star Bracelet” Pewter, Art and Resin, 7″ x 1.75″

 

All of the charms that I use in my jewelry are tiny sculptures that I create and cast in pewter. Some of them start with a mold of objects that I have collected or just parts of that object.

 

“Large Face Necklace” Pewter, Art and Resin, Center birdhouse piece measures 2" long alone - Photo by Larry Sanders. See artist Laurie Leonard's portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Large Face Necklace” Pewter, Art and Resin, Center birdhouse piece measures 2″ long. Photo credit: Larry Sanders

 

This “reinvention” of my art has been a very rewarding experience. Being completely self taught, the creative process for me is playing with an idea and learning from my mistakes. This can be very satisfying and very frustrating at the same time.

 

“Dandelion Set” Pewter, Art and Resin, Pendant 4" x 2", Earrings 1 1/8 x .5", Bangle 6" x 1.25" by artist Laurie Leonard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dandelion Set” Pewter, Art and Resin, Pendant 4″ x 2″, Earrings 1 1/8 x .5″, Bangle 6″ x 1.25″

 

My newest work includes a dandelion (a weed) that children pick and blow the seeds into the wind as they make a wish. This is such a sweet sentiment and we should never stop wishing. Even a lowly weed can be made into something that will be treasured by somebody.

 

“Angel Heart Face Earrings” Pewter, Art and Resin, 2 .25" by artist Laurie Leonard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Angel Heart Face Earrings” Pewter, Art and Resin, 2 .25″

 

Although the sculpting and casting is getting the results that I want, I would like to take some metal working classes to expand my abilities. The goal would be to make some sterling silver one-of-a-kind pieces.

 

Artist Laurie Leonard invites you to follow her on Facebook.

 

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Comments

  1. I love your work! It is so unique and beautiful!

  2. This is some of the most unique and interesting jewelry I have seen, Laurie. How great that you were able to see a way to move in a new direction, and to repurpose your painted images in the process. This is very inspiring!

  3. Thanks so much Paula!

  4. I really enjoyed reading about your artistic process and how you started from painting and then incorporated it into jewelry! So wonderful and unique!

  5. How awesome, to take your paintings and reinvent them into new creations…you are a creative and determined soul!!!

  6. Love your jewelry! I alway get compliments on your pieces when I wear them!

  7. Thanks Kathryn, Kathryn and Margaret!

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