10 Questions for Maia Leppo
*PRODUCTS are at the bottom of this page
What was the impetus for becoming a jewelry artist?
After college I was working full time as a clinical research coordinator and taking organic chemistry at night. I was planning on applying to medical school and needed to finish my prerequisites. Once I finished them I realized I didn’t want to apply to medical school any more and had a lot more free time. I started taking jewelry classes at the Brookline Arts Center and knew I wanted to try to do this full time.
What inspires your forms and surface finishes?
I am inspired by botanical shapes, and abstract them to their most basic form. My finishes are defined by my use of steel. I am interested in exploring the intersection between the industrial and the botanical.
Who are your favorite artists?
Oy- so many! I am loving Emily Rogstad’s work right now. I am really drawn to Raissa Bump’s and Nikki Couppee’s work as well.
How did your current aesthetic style come to be?
Making jewelry definitely helped me define my aesthetic style in all aspect of my life, including clothing, shoes, furniture and even the jewelry that I buy (which is a lot). I am drawn to minimalist but well designed work. Except in jewelry, I like to buy work that is really different from my own.
What is your type of object to make? (i.e. vessel, brooch, necklace, earrings)
Earrings- almost everything I make starts as an idea for an earring.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Say yes to everything: join clubs, volunteer at events or for organizations, etc. I feel like I met so many people by just trying to get involved with as many projects as I could in my field.
Do you have other creative outlets/practices?
I like to cook. I also love to be outside and try to get out as much as possible.
If you weren’t an artist, what would your dream job be?
Maybe a writer. There is something about being able to bring your job anywhere that is exciting to me. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the amount of tools and space I need to do my work.
Any favorite meal/food?
Tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
What has been your most memorable trip/vacation/residency?
I just moved to Pittsburgh from my residency at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. The city is really interesting and there is so much I didn’t know about its history. It has been fun to learn about it and how many connections there are to my own work. I am excited to see how it will influence my work in the upcoming year.