Leslie Maya-CharlEs


Leslie Maya-Charles Jewelry  © 2024 | Privacy Policy

I had the privilege of growing up near my grandmother who was a multi-talented artist. I was free to play and encouraged to try whatever she was doing in her studio. Since I learn by doing, we were a perfect pair. I learned to sew, work with ceramics, do needlework, and in her later years, to make silver jewelry with her.

Grandmother was completely self taught, as am I. Mostly, I see myself as one who designs and creates things that have never been done before, in essence, an engineer: How can I put these two pieces of metal together? How would it look if….

Fortunately, over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with some very talented and generous teachers who have helped craft my experiments into jewelry that is both functional and beautiful.

My studio is in my home in bucolic Colorado, just east of Boulder, which gives me the chance to run down to my studio for a few minutes, to check on something in the tumbler, drill a little hole here or there, to dream ... or to work for hours on something that just calls to me to create it.

Much of my inspiration is from natural things: how light comes through trees; how negative spaces show on patio furniture after a heavy snow; how two fall-colored leaves lie near a patch of lichen; or just how three random pieces of stone and metal arrange themselves on my work table while I’m not looking!

I am filled with gratitude to have the life, time, and spousal support to pursue my art. It is such an honor to have people choose a piece of my jewelry to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or just a day in the park. And I love to meet people who tell me that the jewelry that I've created has become their "go-to" every day wear! 
Though I’ve created in ceramics, clothing, stained glass, quilts and handmade books since the age of 10, I am hopelessly captured and completely impassioned by the world of copper, brass, and silver jewelry. I am drawn to work that looks old, worked, and handed down through generations. And it's so important that the artist's ‘hand’ shows in my work.