TroyFest metal jewelers have strong Troy ties
Published 9:09 pm Monday, April 21, 2014
Dana Lea and Chelsea Lea of Athens, Ga., will be among the featured artists Saturday and Sunday at TroyFest arts and crafts show on the Square in downtown Troy.
If it were said that Dana Lea and her daughter, Chelsea Lea, are metal smithers, that might conjure up images of hammers and anvils. So, perhaps, it would be better said that the Leas are metal jewelers.
And, they are metal jewelers of high acclaim. Lea and Lea come from a long line of artists.
Metal jewelry artist Pat Duke of Troy is the mother and grandmother of the duo. Her mother, the late Alice Thornton, was an art instructor at Troy University and a master multi-media artist.
However, Dana Lea and Chelsea Lea didn’t just inherit their artistic abilities, they honed them as university art students and through studies with some of the most renowned metal smiths at home and abroad.
Dana Lea was an apprentice at Penland Craft School in North Carolina for a year, studied in Europe and completed a degree in silversmithing at the University of Georgia.
“Dana has been in business as a jeweler for 23 years,” Duke said. “Over the years, she has continued to take courses at every opportunity.
“She goes all over the place to take classes and attend workshops that will be beneficial. Dana is also a diamond setter and works at different venues setting loose stones, often as the owners sit and watch.”
Chelsea is also a graduate of UGA and has studied metal smithing in Cortona, Italy. Like her mother, she takes advantage of courses and workshops that introduce her to new methods, materials and techniques.
Their line of metal jewelry is called Love Lea Jewelry and is based on telling stories by using clichés, idioms and memories of childhood as told by grandma with visions of fantasy and wonderment, Dana Lea said.
“We make jewelry with folkloric elaborate adventures, expressed in metal with a tongue in cheek sense of humor, amusement, adoration and, of course, allure,” she said. “We make unique wearable art that embodies the mysteries of how far our imaginations can go.”
Lea and Lea work in gold and silver and with various stones — even pebbles –and many natural items. Sometimes they theme their jewelry, such as “Sticks and Stones” and “Hidden Messages” in which they hide little messages.
“It’s very interesting and unusual jewelry,” Duke said. “People have been asking for Dana and Chelsea to come to TroyFest and, for them to come together, is exciting for me. I know Dana and Chelsea are looking forward to being here. TroyFest is going to be an outstanding two-day arts and crafts festival with nearly 100 vendors. Everyone is encouraged to make plans to attend.”