In 1972, 25-year-old Lee Angelo Marraccini accompanied his wife Pam to the art studio in Washington, DC, where she was taking pottery classes. On a whim, he enrolled in a jewelry-making workshop. Within a year he and Pam had left their jobs as high school teachers, outfitted their GMC van with a bed and camp stove, and set out on a road trip through the United States and Mexico, during which Lee met jewelers around the country and refined his technique. In the summer of 1973 the pair landed at the Belles Artes San Miguel de Allende School of Art where, for $32 a month, they enrolled in a bohemian course of study that included drawing, ballet, guitar, and jewelry design.
Armed with new creations, Lee hit the craft shows more frequently over the next several years. Business grew. So did his relationships with other jewelers. Gabriel Ofiesh and a group from Charlottesville, Virginia, were especially encouraging. At the same time, Wild, Wonderful West Virginia was becoming a little too wild. When floods, isolation, and harsh weather sent Lee and Pam searching for a new place to settle, Pam suggested Charlottesville. They moved in 1984.
Lee continued to develop new designs. He studied intermediate and advanced stone setting at the Revere Academy in 1986. His pieces became stronger, yet retained a sense of playfulness. They reflected his theory that jewelry should be "serious fun" for the wearer. In 1998 he opened Angelo, a jewelry store in the Old Michie Building off Charlottesville's Downtown Mall.