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Leonard "Lenny" Winter Billing  

Date of birth:
1920
Profession
Designer
Craftsman
Jeweler

Student
1938-39
1939-40
1940-41
1941fall  (drafted
15 November l941)

Guest Faculty
Woodworking

1951 Summer Session

Faculty
Woodworking and Work Program Director

1951-52
1952 Institute in the Arts


 

Leonard Billing was born in China where his parents were teaching missionaries. In 1936 he came to the United States. He first heard about Black Mountain through Louis Adamic’s article on the college. He recalled that he was interested in a small college and had considered Berea and Antioch but chose to apply to Black Mountain. There he took a general curriculum with a focus on art,  architecture and music. Before leaving the college to join the Civilian Public Service, he passed the Senior Division Exam with a plan to graduate in Designing as it Relates to Housing and Community Planning. 

In New York after the war, Billing worked in the design and construction division of Americraft, which designed and made lamps and sold the work of many craftsmen. 

He returned to Black Mountain with his wife and daughter as Guest Faculty in Woodworking in the summer of 1951. In the fall he was appointed to the faculty to teach woodworking and direct the work program. He remained through the summer of 1952. 

On his return to New York Billing worked in his father-in-law’s metal spinning business, designing and making lamps, enamel-on-copper bowls and other items. In 1957 he moved to New Hampshire with his wife and two children where he designed a line of jewelry that was sold in the League of New Hampshire League Craft Shops and in summer craft fairs. In the 1960's he returned to New York to work with his father-in-law. After the latter’s death he continued to run to run the business, spinning copper bowls for enamelists, as well as other projects. He continued to design and make jewelry, and in 1972 he moved to Connecticut to concentrate on his jewelry making.

He presently lives in Connecticut with his wife.  

JEWELRY BY BILLING

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