My process is dictated by the limits that I place on myself: the source of inspiration, my process of design and creating, my use of materials, colors and mechanisms. My work is also drawn from the need to create volume out of flatness. By using almost exclusively steel sheet, I aim to manipulate the material to have a dimension it did not previously have. The forms are inspired by botanical elements, abstracted and simplified to their most basic shape. I design much of my work on a 3-D rendering computer program called Rhinoceros, and then I either send my work to be laser-cut, or I cut it myself. I use silicone cord, steel tubing, and wire to create the finished piece of work. I restrict my color choices to the black, white, and the terracotta color of the industrial silicone. I am interested in scale, volume, movement and repetition and how the computer can help me explore these ideas.
The resulting work is an exploration of the intersection between the botanical and the industrial. Having the work be wearable is a primary goal, but I also want to push that idea and play on the balance between overwhelming and attracting the viewer. I do not want the wearer to look at the jewelry and immediately see a specific plant or flower, but to get the feeling that one gets when seeing or being surrounded by botanicals.
Maia graduated from Tufts University in 2008 with a degree in Biology and Community Health. She received training in jewelry and metals from various craft schools, including Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Pocosin Arts, Penland School of Crafts and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. She received her Masters of Fine Art from SUNY New Paltz.
View Artwork by Maia Leppo in Person
Come see these pieces first hand. We are just a short walk from the ferry and an excellent destination for your visit to San Juan Island.