Leon Popov’s breath-taking and imaginative jewelled creations are more than just elegant jewellery -- they are wondrous works of art. To Leon, who is a sculptor at heart, jewellery is the closest thing to art that people can carry. “For me – jewellery is sculpture. And I love to sculpt, especially when I see hidden beauty, waiting to be discovered,” says Leon.
Leon’s deeply ingrained appreciation of art began in childhood. He comes from a family of art lovers, and from a young age, he was constantly surrounded by paintings, drawings, sculpture and poetry. Since early age Leon became enamoured by Amber, which he found on the sea shore. He started collecting the best of them and experimenting in soft, wearable sculpture. Even from the age of 7, he was intent on crafting perfection from natural stones, which still inspires him today. His grandmother, who ran a jewellery store, encouraged Leon to pursue his artistic talents.
From the age of 15, Leon studied art history and then sculpture. At 16, he was first introduced to jewellery-making upon encountering a French street artist living in Latvia who was making bracelets from whalebone and other natural materials. From this fellow, Leon learned casting, a craft that continues to fascinate him today.
Leon went on to study painting and drawing at the Academy of the Arts. At the same time, he learned about jewellery manufacturing in a nearby factory, under the personal mentorship of Gustav Grundman, a world-renowned jeweller and winner of the De Beers’ Diamonds International Award. At 22, Leon left Soviet Union and continued to perfect his jewellery manufacturing skills opening his own factory at the age of 29.
Today, Leon finds it rewarding to create jewellery with a specific client in mind – and to see their personal reaction to his finished products. He takes pride in customizing each piece to match the client’s body, mood and desires.
Leon is not influenced by a particular time period or style – what drives him is achieving flawless jewellery. He strives for precision and perfection in the simplicity of life. Nowhere is this more evident than in his approach to the craft and his dedication to enhancing inner beauty.
Leon uses his jewellery to express and evoke emotion. For instance, his signature Strawberry collection was created with fond memories of childhood, specifically the strawberry garden at his summer home in Latvia. Sentiment is just one of many emotions that his jewellery captures.
Following the transition of the Leon Popov brand from Geneva to London, Leon is planning to only create a limited number of exclusive pieces per year for a handful of select clients. He is looking specifically for connoisseurs who understand and appreciate art and who similarly find beauty and perfection in simplicity.
Leon approaches each new design with fresh eyes, as if from a boy’s perspective. When beginning the creative process, Leon the man, the experienced artist and skilled jewelry manufacturer temporarily steps aside so he can get an innocent, playful and clean angle of how to proceed. This is how he turns ideas into art. “I create with the client in mind, but I let my imagination take over,” says Leon.
By appointment only:
Tel. +44 7937 974099