Artist John Leeds has been awarded a “Citation of Achievement” from the Kentucky House of Representatives. The award was initiated by Rep. Rita H. Smart.
Leeds creates a wide array of fine jewelry and is both a jeweler and a lapidary artist specializing in Kentucky agates. Leeds has owned and operated Leeds Fine Jewelry on Main Street in Richmond for nearly 25 years.
“I just couldn’t believe it was true,” said Leeds. “What a great surprise and honor!”
Leeds work is regularly featured at the Kentucky Artisan Center. A copy of his award is now on display alongside his unique jewelry.
Leeds slices multi-colored Kentucky agates and uses them as centerpieces for his one-of-a-kind jewelry, building them into bezels of both sterling and 14 K gold. His designs often show influences from his studies in Italy and from his Irish heritage. Leeds studied jewelry under Tim Glotzbach at Eastern Kentucky University where he received a BA in art.
Becoming interested in Kentucky agates over 20 years ago, Leeds regularly hunts them throughout the region. His agate jewelry has been featured twice on the cover of Lapidary Journal.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel and information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits on display include “Have a Seat: Chairs by Kentucky Artisans,” through Feb. 25, 2017; and in the lobby, “Kentucky Clay: A Continuing Tradition.” For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website or visit the center’s Facebook page.
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Photos, left to right John Leeds polishes an agate; a cut red and black agate; an agate pendant in sterling silver by John Leeds