Lesley Tinnaro creates unique and beautiful hand-forged sterling silver jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones. She has been a full time artist since 1994 with a few breaks between 2002 and 2007 to raise her children.
While she was lucky to go to a high school that had a very strong art program, when she went to college her father advised her that art was not a good major, so she chose history. She continued to take art classes including ceramics, gesture drawing, theater makeup, pretty much anything that she could fit into her schedule around her major. After college "history jobs" were hard to find and she found herself in restaurant management where she was miserable! With her sister-in-law she started messing around with jewelry components and she really enjoyed it. It wasn't long before they discovered a local jewelry supplier that carried sterling silver and they would buy 1 oz at a time and experiment. They learned in a very hands-on fashion, while making lots of mistakes along the way (there was ONE book at the library and no youtube to learn from). That first year Lesley destroyed about 2 lbs of silver! Her silversmithing education was furthered when she met Eve White who had a graduate degree in Fine Art jewelry from New York. Eve White took Lesley under her wing and taught her more techniques as well as introducing her to art shows and small markets.
Lesley finds inspiration from a number of different places. She really enjoys looking at ancient jewelry and metalwork. East Asian metal work has some beautifully clean lines that she admires.
Lesley grew up in South Florida and moved to the St Petersburg area in 1994 to be with her now-husband.
This area has been wonderful for her as an artist. Because of the various outlets for arts from small markets to large shows, she was able to learn the business side almost at the same time she was learning her craft.
She joined the Warehouse Arts District Association because it fosters multiple levels of art creation. She believes it is extremely important to have that community to inspire and guide the next generation creators. She hopes to meet other folks that enjoy metalworking as much as she does. Belonging to a group of artists can create an atmosphere where you inspire and push each other to the next level.
Visit Lesley's website: http://lesleytinnaro.com
Written by Mirella Cimato