Leia grew up in a small suburb north of St. Louis, Missouri in a house backing up to a creek. With her two sisters, the creek and the woods along it were their constant play place to imagine, make and explore. In high school she was introduced to metalsmithing via the local community craft center and became infatuated. Metalsmithing was a perfect blend of play and making things by hand. She continued her studies in college and eventually received a MFA.
"The presence of formulaic growth patterns in the botanical landscape inspire and intrigue me. Using these seminal patterns as a starting point, I create forms that strive to pique curiosity and familiarity from the observer. All of my jewelry is handmade using traditional jewelers techniques. Sterling silver and gold are hand sawn, drilled, hammered, and formed. A torch is used to fuse the metals."