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Meet local independent jewelry artisan John Leeds

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Modern art is an art form that has enjoyed a rich heritage throughout the past two centuries...many modern art enthusiasts consider artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne pioneers of the many forms of modern art we enjoy today. The modern art genre began with paintings in the 1860s in an effort to put aside past artistic traditions to experiment with the world around us.

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Since the times of van Gogh and Cezanne, modern art has transcended from the realm of two dimensional paintings to three dimensional art forms such as sculpture, architecture, and even the fashion and jewelry design platforms. Independent jewelry artisans have long embraced the "modern art" form of jewelry design. Central Kentucky is home to countless independent artisans who work with many unique forms of jewelry mediums.

One of those artists is John Leeds, owner and operator of Leeds Jewelry. Leeds hails from Richmond, Kentucky, and has an extensive resume in the field of jewelry design. The artist can trace his love of jewelry design as far back as 1992, when he first opened his brick and mortar location in the heart of Richmond. Leeds graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Art, and has studied jewelry design abroad in Florence, Italy.

Leeds is a fine art connoisseur who specializes in agate gemstones and acid metal etchings. Leeds also does repairs on heirloom jewelry for his customers, and creates custom designs upon customer request. All of Leed's designs are original work, and can be distinguished from works by other independent artisans- all of Leed's one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces are signed and numbered by the artist himself.

The designs created by Leeds imbue spiritual exploration and experimentation that is the basis of the modern art form. Leeds' work is known for evoking emotion of anyone who encounters his designs.

“I enjoy working with rock that has usual markings and color combination; these gems add unique flare to my hand crafted jewelry. At the end of the day, I have just one goal in mind and that is to create some form of art that makes a person want to stop, look, touch and even try it on and create wearable art that is true object of desire," states Leeds.

Leeds' specialty is agate gemstones, and many of his metalworking contains a touch of Celtic influence, which Leeds attributes to his Irish heritage. Many of his Celtic inspired rings and pendants feature Celtic knotwork, gold antiquing, and gemstones reminiscent of the Emerald Isle.

Currently, Leeds is a member of an array of Kentucky jewelry artisan guilds and has attended craft shows and fairs throughout the state to showcase his original artwork. To view Leeds' impressive gemstones and metalwork, visit his website and view the online gallery.

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