Update (Published 12/3): Jeffrey Levin will be bringing his exquisite jewelry collection to the Zobha store in Mill Valley this weekend! If you’re in the area but sure to stop by and meet the artist himself. He’ll be showcasing a broader selection of his designs and will be taking orders for custom, one-of-a-kind pieces.
Jeffrey Levin Trunk Show @ Zobha, 30 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA
Friday, December 7: 12 – 6PM
Saturday, December 8: 10 – 2PM
Original Post (Published 9/17)
It takes courage for an artist to enter the creative space of another artist. And even more so to attempt a collaboration. But when the endeavor is inspired and the motive sincere, the result is art and the artists’ gift to one another is respect and admiration. I know this to be true, because it happened when I met Jeffrey Levin: jeweler, kindred spirit and creator of the new Jeffrey Levin jewelry collection for Zobha.
This past Spring, Jeffrey Levin (pronounced Le-veen) invited me to his home in Santa Monica to begin work on a small gift to myself: a bespoke set of stack rings. After admiring his lovely home, we compared sketches and exchanged ideas. The real work began, however, when Jeffrey brought out an exquisite antique chest of drawers. When opened, it revealed rows of small compartments that held his jewelry making tools, as well as the precious metals and stones that he uses in his designs. It was a joy to touch and work with materials so very different from the ones that I use at Zobha. As we worked, Jeffrey shared his personal story and how it has influenced his artistic journey.
He was born in Cape Town, South Africa to parents of Lithuanian and Egyptian-French ancestry. His father and uncle were both jewelers and he spent much of his childhood in and around his uncle’s workroom. Even now the “distinct sounds and smells of hammering,” are his favorite part of jewelry making. Outside of the workshop and his family home, Jeffrey observed and was inspired by the Ndebele people of South Africa-particularly their vibrant, celebratory “coming-of-age art.”
Jeffrey takes pride in his classical training. He apprenticed formally for four years in his nativeSouth Africa. The systematic, disciplined program focused upon technical mastery and skill building, but Jeffrey also had to tackle courses in gemology, design and theory. After completing his apprenticeship he worked for some of the finest jewelers in South Africa before the political strife of the times led him to New York City. Success followed, and so too a longing for our warm California sun. His pieces are fresh, modern, elegant but with an edge. Jeffrey’s designs mix metals, precious stones and organic materials in a way that complement our Zobha aesthetic beautifully.
Almost all of us wear at least a single piece of jewelry. Whether a ring or a string bracelet, these small treasures might represent a life created, a friendship forged or a cherished memory-one that we can relive each time we glance down at a finger or wrist. I gave my daughter Julia one of the necklaces in the new collection.
It’s made up of our initials, which are cast in silver and nestle against a tiny rose gold heart. When I see it, I am reminded of the jeweler and how carefully he set those letters into the metal and how close the wearer is to my own heart. Zobha’s new jewelry collection is available now at www.zobha.com. I know you will love it.