Artist Interview: Maia Leppo

Maia Leppo is one of our veteran teachers at One Strange Bird. She has been with us since our original location in Humbolt Park and has always continued to impress us with her jewelry skills. Maia uses a variety of materials, ranging from upcycled soda cans to squirrel fur (check out the images below.) These unique pieces warrant a second and third look and should definitely be tried on. Taking a class with Maia will make you think about how you can transform anything at home into wearable art.

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What is your name?

Maia Leppo

 What’s your favorite color?


 What’s your current studio jam?

Radio lab or some horrible pop Pandora station like Katy Perry

 Who’s art are you digging lately?

Mirjam Hiller- she is a German jeweler that makes all her work from one sheet on metal- she is amazing!

What’s on your summer reading list?

The People of  Paper - it is for my book club.

 What’s your favorite place in Chicago?

Holstein outdoor pool- I swim laps there

 What’s your hidden talent?

I can’t tell you- then it wouldn’t be a hidden talent!

 What’s your favorite YouTube video?

Mitik the baby walrus snuggling with his handlers

 What is your favorite class to teach and/or what class would you like to take?

I love teaching the wine and design classes- people get silly.  I would love to take collage!


 Okay, let’s get serious…

 What’s role at One Strange Bird?

I am a jewelry teacher.

 How would you describe your artwork?

I am interested in textures and layering.  A lot of my work uses different found objects and fabricated elements to create differences in textures.

washer ring

 How does your art relate to your work at One Strange Bird and vice versa?

I like to use recycled tin and aluminum and other interesting materials.  I think a lot  of the artists in OSB also like to experiment and explore this idea.

 What type of art do you want to try?

Furniture making.

 What publication do you see yourself in a few years from now?

Would love to be in Metalsmith magazine- the publication from SNAG.

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To see more of Maia Leppo's amazing jewelry, check out her website here or try it on at the opening reception for "We're All In This Together," this Saturday, August 3rd, from 6:00-9:00.

For more info about the show click here.