It all started with a misguided walk down Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, the trendy Los Angeles neighborhood that’s home to artisans, wonderful restaurants, vintage shops, and primo examples of California-Cape Cod and mid-century architecture. I was looking for Gjelina, an of-the-moment Mediterranean restaurant, and instead happened upon an exquisite jewellery shop by the name of LFrank. Two stacking rings (from $450, first picture) later – and no squash blossom and thyme pizza ever found – and I’m a huge fan of artist Liseanne Frankfurt’s utterly unique, sculptural creations – all of which are inspired by her far-flung travels, as well as the art, fashion, and natural light that surrounds her.
LFrank designs were, for me, a whole new world of organic, understated adornments: rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets that are handcrafted using 18ct gold, moghul-cut diamonds in white, black and cognac hues, as well as pieces that incorporate a profusion of sapphires, tourmalines and moonstones. Each is one-of-a-kind, and many include subtle irregularities, which makes them even more special.
The simple stacking rings – in white, yellow, or rose gold – were what originally caught my eye, but upon further exploration, I’ve fallen in love with LFrank’s bolder collections. From a Diamond Pavé Greek Ring ($5,500) in white gold to a colourful Casbah Ring ($8,300) made of turquoise cabochons ($8,300), Frankfurt’s pieces successfully synthesise playfulness and elegance. The Diamond Medallion Loop Chain ($4,800) – a feminine, floral take on the traditional ID bracelet – can be customised using a variety of stones and shades of gold. The Open Loop Cuff ($9,500, third picture) – a bracelet comprised of numerous fine circles – can be specially ordered and makes a delicate statement. Frankfurt shines at necklace design too, and her offerings run the gamut from casual glass beads ($230-$4,500) to an adjustable Arc Fringe lariat ($8,950, second picture) with a fan of arcs that rests beautifully below the collarbone.
Bespoke commissions are a favourite for Frankfurt; her customers often bring stones, shells or other souvenirs back from their travels, and have her create an original design. Currently she’s working on an incredible branch coral necklace for a client who just returned from Morocco.
All of Frankfurt’s work – whether parts of her existing collections, or pieces made to order – is exquisitely crafted and above all, original. It is beyond merely pretty: these are pieces that elevate the art of everyday jewellery.