Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Want to give soldering a go? This ones for you! #B170742

Sign-ups begin today for classes at the 2017 Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee in June. 
Have you always wanted to give metal work a try? My co-teacher Gail and I are offering several classes this year to help you do just that. We will have classes featuring soldering, fabrication, forging and metal clay. Whether you're a beginner or further a long please give our classes a look. Check them out here. We'd love to see you in June! www.beadandbuttonshow.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


 Buttercup Earrings in Silver and Bronze (B170742) 

 Dangling Bead Earrings (B170751)

 PMC Fine Silver Bracelet (B170678)

 Fine-Silver Shadow Box Pendant (B170704)

 PMC Fine Silver Earrings with Scratch Foam (B170688)

 Twisted Bronze Bracelets (B170850)

Boho-Chic Disc Earrings ( B170927)

It's that time again! Today online browsing for the 2017 Bead &Button Show opens. This means that you can see the photos and class descriptions online, where more complete information than what's in the catalog is located.  My teaching partner and friend, Gail Lannum and I are back this year with some brand new classes and a couple of past favorites. Online registration opens January 3rd at noon central time. You'll have until then to peruse the catalog or delve more deeply into the class descriptions online. If you have any questions regarding our classes, please feel free to contact me for more information. We hope to see you in Milwaukee!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I haven't been here in a long while but got a nice surprise that I thought I'd share. I was away last weekend and when I checked my Facebook feed I found that the Society of North American Goldsmiths chose me for their maker profile of the week. When you work alone, as so many of us do, it's easy to think that no one appreciates your work or even sees it.  This was a nice way to start a week that's focus is being thankful. 

See my profile here: Cristina Leonard SNAG Maker Profile 
See the latest SNAG Newsletter here: Riveting News

Sunday, January 3, 2016


It's that time again. Although June seems so far away, it will be here before we know it. Tuesday, January 5th at noon central sign-ups for the 2016 Bead & Button Show begin. I'm so pleased to be teaching again with my teaching partner and friend, Gail Lannum. This year we're teaching four classes that we're really excited about. Please have a look and feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. I can be reached here at the blog comments or at jewelry@cristinaleonard.com.

Monday, June 6th-Treasure Necklace
This class combines metal clay techniques such as carving, scratch foam, molding, etc. with design and assembly. Students will have a great opportunity to work with PMC 960 (a high karat silver that is a combination of PMC3 and PMC Sterling),beads, wire and chain and leave with a finished necklace.  
To learn more about this class click here.

Tuesday, June 7th-Shadow Box Pendant
This is one of my favorite metal clay projects. Again we'll be using 960 for its superior strength and beauty. Students will have 50 grams of silver to work with and will leave with at least one completed pendant. 
For more information on this class click here

Wednesday, June 8th-Twisted Bronze Bow Tie Bangle
This is a new take on one of my all-time favorite pieces of jewelry to make and wear. Students will have ample time to make multiple bracelets, which is great because they are so much fun to wear. In this class we'll learn to make the hot twisted wire for the bracelets and well as forming, fabricating, and riveting. This is one not to be missed!
For information on this class click here.

Thursday, June 9th-Scratch Foam Charms
Scratch Foam is a type of sheet Styrofoam often used for print-making and other art applications. It's cheap and easy to use as a mold making medium for metal clay charms. Students will have 25 grams of PMC 3 which will make many, many charms, pendants and earring or bracelet components. There will be plenty of time to assemble our charms into finished pieces.
For more information click here.


Thursday, April 16, 2015


Springtime. I have a lot to do and I can't seem to focus. I need to get new work done for upcoming shows and my shop. I need to get out into the yard and clean up the beds. II need to spring clean my house. I did at least get my heirloom tomatoes planted last week, all 72 of them. If anyone needs plants in a few weeks let me know :-)
I've been working on new ideas that I'm excited about and revisiting and reworking older ideas, like the bracelets above. The bracelets are a mix of brass, sterling (a lot of it!), and argentium silver. I'm quite fond of them as they are very comfortable to wear and I love the imagery of the dragonfly. I'm making matching earrings and pendants and all of it will be in my shop soon.
Photos of more new work soon.

Friday, February 27, 2015


It's strange when a celebrity dies. We didn't know them, but we sometimes felt as if we did. This morning when I heard that Leonard Nimoy had passed away, I, like so many others was left mourning someone that I had never met. Leonard Nimoy was a very artistic person who aside from being an actor was a director, a poet, photographer, and a musician among many other things. Of course most of us remember him as Mr. Spock. I remember being very young and sitting with my Dad and my older sister watching Star Trek and then later racing home to watch the reruns with her and also my little sister. I was just a young kid, but I knew, even then that they were trying to send me a larger message with those episodes. The show was a basic good versus evil drama cloaked in the shroud of space travel, but it was so much more. Besides the idea that we could travel out beyond the confines of our own atmosphere looking for new places and lifeforms, there was the notion that it was done not with the idea of conquering worlds but in the name of science and knowledge. There was the idea that everyone was valuable no matter what color they were (green, purple, tentacles, it didn't matter). Women were officers on the ship and their opinions were valuable (even though Mr. Roddenberry preferred them in really short dresses). Star Trek suggested a future where disease, civil war, and money were vestiges of society's troubled past. The people in Star Trek were flawed, brash (think Captain Kirk) and often lead by their emotions (yes, even Mr. Spock). Each crew member had their weaknesses and strengths. Still, they sought to do the right thing and mostly, it worked out in the end.
This afternoon, Paul and I were talking about Nimoy's death. Paul, who grew up loving Star Trek and in particular Mr. Spock, told me about when he was a kid and would practice in his room raising his eyebrow like Mr. Spock until he could do it perfectly (he still can). More importantly, he told me that Star Trek was one of the reasons that he wanted to (and did) become a scientist. I wonder how many other kids were similarly inspired? Many, I'm sure. Not a bad legacy for a short running show and a handful of actors. I hope that knowledge made the years of wearing the funny haircut and pointy ears well worth it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


It's been a busy six months. In that time Paul and I had an amazing trip to Paris and London (I've been meaning to post photos of that trip, but have been daunted by the sheer scope of the amount of photos I must sift through. I will do it soon), then the holidays and then off to Albuquerque for a workshop and then on to Tucson for the gem shows (I will also post pictures of my time in Tucson soon as well).

It's almost March and I don't know where the winter has gone. It's been a pretty brutal season for the eastern U.S. and I hope the worst is over for them. I know a lot of people don't like it, but I've always had a love for winter. I love the snow and though I sometimes dislike the lingering cold I try to embrace it as just part of this wonderful place that I'm lucky to live in (Full disclosure: I haven't as much patience for the hottest days of summer. Just ask my family!). When the weather is nice enough I love to put on my Yak Tracks and get out and walk the trails and take pictures of the beauty that is all around us.

 My sisters and I were lucky enough to have had parents that taught us to appreciate and love the natural world around us. One of the things I love in the winter is the return of the Bald Eagle to much of the Midwest. I had never seen a Bald Eagle until I was in my late 20's. When I was a kid Bald Eagles were on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss and the use of DDT which caused the thinning of bird of prey's eggshells, causing their populations to severely decline. Since the ban on the use of DDT in the 1970's, eagle populations are on the rise to the point that the Bald eagle has been removed from the Endangered Species List. Now, in this one spot there are dozens of them that stay the winter.

Today, I walked to a spot where the eagles congregate along the Iowa River. They seem to like this area, probably because fish are plentiful there near the dam.  They're beautiful and majestic, but actually funny too. They engage with each other and sometimes seem to be playing games of tag in the sky. I never tire of watching them. I could have stayed for hours but the wind finally chased me away.