Alaia Leighland

Alaia Leighland

Crown Jewels Pendant

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010

featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain


Alaia Leighland

Honu-Amakua Bracelet

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010

featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Describe your artistic style.
Eclectic freeform using precious and semi-precious stones and metals to create a wearable story art form.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
The shape of the stone, the color and the story the piece can tell. Also the enhancement of the eventual wearer.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Gold-filled, natural crystals and bright faceted natural stone beads.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Crown Jewels Pendant

What inspired this design?
The shape and color of the stone reminded me of royalty.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
All of my pieces create themselves. I am as surprised as anyone at the finished product. No two pieces are alike.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I am self taught. I began in the late 70's and began professionally making and selling jewelry in the mid 80's.

Who introduced you to beading?
I was introduced to the healing properties of gemstones by my mother--in an attempt to create wearable talisman, I began experimenting with beads.

Do you have an artistic background?
My major is theatre arts. I of course studied costuming as a part of the curriculum.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
A catalog that someone left behind.

What other hobbies do you have?
Storytelling, teaching, coaching, broadcasting, business success strategy.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It is my full-time work along with teaching others to create businesses from their hobby and create enjoyable livelihood.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I own a small retail space. I am a featured guest artist and I have two gallery outlets. Over the years I have done all of the listed.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
I teach a class called Craft to Cash which teaches crafters and artists how to create, market, package and distribute their product in order to have it support them.

View all of Alaia's designs in the Gallery of Designs.