Jeffrey Levin (pronounced ‘lehveen’) is the eponymous jewelry collection created and crafted by the artist, an accomplished jeweler and designer of over 30 years and Poet and the Bench proprietor. Born in Cape Town, South Africa to parents of Egyptian-French and Lithuanian provenance, Jeffrey discovered jewelry early in life. At age 12, his father became a partner in the family jewelry business. Jeffrey grew up in the workshops, observing and increasingly enamored with the art of custom jewelry making, especially lost-wax casting and collecting objects of appreciation—an influence he attributes to his mother, Rosette.
Along with the Jeffrey Levin collection, Jeffrey crafts custom handmade jewelry by special order. Design engagement rings and wedding bands, revive an old heirloom or realize a symbolic design. Read more here and visit Jeffrey's jewelry website to see more of his work: jeffreylevin.com
Adele Crawford thinks of herself as a reconstructive caretaker with her practice focusing on re-imaging the neglected and the forgotten.
Most of her material comes from investigating and recycling people’s discarded images and objects. She manipulates these materials and weaves them into new imaginary stories. A few of the works at Poet and the Bench include BunnyDoggy, a larger than life representation of old childhood toys and Stringing Words Together, a cluster of gold leaf boxes from 100-year-old dictionary pages, hung on bookbinders thread.
Bob Dinetz is an accomplished graphic designer and a member of The Berkeley Potter’s Studio.
Years of collecting Japanese and American pottery inspired him to explore making pottery of his own and we were thrilled when we saw Bob's stunning ceramic work. His wheel-thrown pottery happily lack the industrial precision of machine-made ceramics—sensual shapes, naked clay and glazes. Each piece is numbered to indicate the pounds of clay used and the type of clay—from mix, mix with grog, recycled and soldate 60 to black mountain and porcelain.
Christine Trac is the designer of Abacus Row. She has an aesthetic for rich materials and simple composition, and a strong appreciation for detail in design and craftsmanship.
A background in ethnographic research and environmental conservation shapes Christine's direction on design and process. She is focused on designing jewelry that emphasizes the beauty of small details and timeless styles, and is inspired by a process of production that celebrates craft and community.
Whitney Sharpe is an Oakland-based artist with a handcrafted ceramic studio where she makes all of her stunning wall hangings, jewelry and home decor under The Latch Key brand.
Whitney first started working with clay as a child. She received formal training in the fine arts at Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in ceramics, textiles, sculpture, and painting. From this multi-medium education, Whitney was able to explore traditional and craft based mediums while converging intention, concept and quality.
While living in Italy and France, Danielle Welmond become obsessed with lace-making and was determined to discover how to bring that to jewelry.
She is inspired by her love of the delicacy and feminine form of lace, the mesmerizing power of beautifully combined gems, and the inert nature of fine metal. Danielle merges the three elements to create a style of jewelry that has become her signature design: weaving gems with fine threads and precious metals. Her stunning jewelry has a regal flare with a modern aesthetic.
Melissa Holden is a Bay Area printmaker whose emphasis is block printing. She uses shape, color, line, space and pattern to create the balance and counter point in her abstract limited edition prints.
The graphic prints are produced using a relief block printing method that she developed, mixing her own colors for full control over the result. The technique highlights crisp lines and shapes as well as the natural texture left from a hand pulled block print. Everything is printed by hand on handmade Japanese papers with safe wash oil-based inks.
Betsy & Iya is the jewelry line by husband and wife team, Betsy Cross and Will Cervarich, out of Portland, Or. Betsy designs and runs the creative team and Bill handles operations. We were introduced to their collection when a client of Poet and/the Bench was wearing a cuff bracelet we admired. Soon after, we were heading to Oregon on a road trip and we visited the Betsy & Iya studio.
We love their varied influences, their approachable and fun culture, and their celebration of beauty in details big and small.
Jeffrey was a judge last year for the annual Mill Valley Arts Festival where Judith Lemmens was exhibiting her handmade ceramics. All three judges on the panel unanimously honored Judith a Best in Show. It was only natural we would then visit her studio—and get to know more about the Julems collection, her strong sense of object and her decorative approach.
Judith's design and illustration background is evident in her work and we're excited to carry a full range for your enjoyment!