When Elaine Griveas graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of
Fine Arts, with a specialty in fiber art, little did she realize that she would
discover a new passion – creating handmade fun-to-wear jewelry. Thus, Leeleeko
“All of my life, I have been fascinated
by the wearable arts – Beautiful fabrics and fashions, fine jewelry, the works.
It's why I went into fiber art in the first place. I wanted to fashion bold
fabrics that would change the way we envision clothes” Ms. Griveas said. “As
the years passed, I started to realize that my need was to create art on a smaller,
more personal level and I started creating jewelry to reflect an individuals
personality and interests.”
After a detour from fine
arts for a number of years – first as a full time wife and mother to husband
Bill and son Jason, and then as a CAD designer and technical illustrator, Ms.
Griveas felt the need to return to her artistic roots. She never completely
abandoned her art though - she worked with a partner in a small enterprise called
Hazelaine creating one-of-a- kind designer clothes. Their work was showcased
at a textile show at the Cleveland Museum of Art and several other venues around
the country. Ms. Griveas also won awards for combining wood and textiles in
some unique woodworking projects.
When asked how she started
making and designing jewelry, Ms. Griveas said. “I was feeling sort of at a
loose end, creatively. I tried painting, resetting my loom and looking for projects.
Then I took a jewelry course and I was hooked. Here was something that I could
work on in my spare time and there were limitless possibilities – necklaces,
bracelets, earrings, rings – and so many different types of textures –
gemstones, pearls, silver, gold, polymer clay – that I could design and create
and never repeat myself! After giving gifts to all my family and friends and
hearing them tell me how much they liked the jewelry, I decided to sell some
of the pieces to others and that’s how Leeleeko got started.
Why choose the name Leeleeko?
“It was my nickname as a child and I just love the sound of it. I hope it becomes
synonymous with fine handcrafted jewelry – and other wearable art.
was featured along
with three other artists who work with jade in Colored Stone Magazine
to see our portion of the article.
Over thirty years experience as an artist and craftsman. Bachelor of Fine Arts from
Kent State University with a specialty in fiber art, experience in studio art, design and a variety of other crafts including woodworking, sculpture, enameling and jewelry. Taught various arts and crafts to adults and children. Exhibited and won awards for textile works in local and national shows. Created fabrics for haute couture women’s fashions. Worked as a technical illustrator and mechanical designer using various CAD programs. Leeleeko Jewelry began in the year 2000 in Ohio. Elaine and her family currently reside in
San Marcos, California. In the last few years Elaine has renewed her
interest in painting and is currently working in watercolors and pastels along
with jewelry and lapidary.