LFrank Glass Bead Necklaces

Beads_Form “I have always loved working with beads, both precious and semi-precious, and have used them from the very start of my career in jewelry design.  African trade beads, and antique beads in general have long captivated me, but it was my friend Billy Steinberg who really opened the floodgates to my deeper appreciation of them. Billy has a truly awe-inspiring collection of beads, and through his network of contacts I was able to start a little collection of my own. I am especially fond of the pieces I have purchased from Joe Loux, who is based in San Francisco, but travels the world with his wife Katie gathering tribal jewelry and artifacts.  In a contemporary sense, there is a lively and very special enduring tradition of bead making in West African countries, where the knowledge and skills are passed down through generations. The particular beads that I use are made using recycled glass, which is all done by hand using age-old techniques of pulverizing the glass, adding color, and then firing them in kilns made of earth. These beads are not only beautiful, but they play an important role in the many different rituals of West African society. I also use many vintage and antique African trade beads in my work, some dating back hundreds of years.” Beads_Still “Some beads are chosen for color, some for age and pattern, but all for how they will look layered together with the 18k gold beads that I mix in. I like asymmetry in these pieces, so I try to find a balance of colored beads to gold that makes sense and lets both the beads and the gold share the spotlight. These are so easy to wear, and everyone looks good in them,  as the length is adjustable. The colors range from muted to vibrant… so, there is something for everyone. I think seasonally, with the lighter and brighter colors making a splash for the spring and summer months, and the darker, more saturated colors predominating in the fall and winter. I offer these classic necklaces on leather cords, with an adjustable 18k gold bead at the back of the neck, so the wearer can find the perfect length.  I also have begun making longer African trade bead necklaces, which I have strung on the LFrank signature violet silk cord.  For these pieces, I mix in not only 18k gold beads, but also stones:  moonstone, labradorite, and Tahitian pearls as well.” Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset “I am inspired by anything that has a history, and a sense of sentiment and purpose, while existing also as a beautiful creation. That basically sums up these beads perfectly. I have always been drawn to the idea of a culture creating beauty, and when I imagine these beads being made, it always makes me smile. I wear an antique African trade bead necklace everyday, and have done for years. Mine has a single 18k gold bead, and also a single dark gray Tahitian pearl. The beads are a dark blue and gray pattern, and are over 100 years old.” Beads_Couch Glass beads adorning the vintage art deco leather sofa in Liseanne’s office.  The indigo cloth is also from Africa, as is the vintage Kuba cloth pillow. As an exclusive to LFrank clients, if you purchase a Glass Bead Necklace online or in-store throughout the month of November, you will receive a Frankincense Beeswax Candle as a gift from us. candle2

Welcome to LFrank

Despite the ever-evolving nature of Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, LFrank remains unique. It is more than just a store, it in an extension of Liseanne's home. interior book “I started sharing our library with the neighborhood after a conversation I had with Sara Van Der Mijnsbrugge. She told me of a storefront that she used to walk by in Europe…she didn’t know what sort of business it was, but they always had an interesting book in the window, and that she would purposely walk by it, even though it was a bit out of the way, so that she could see what book they were displaying that day. It made me consider the idea of having a dialogue with the neighborhood, of sharing some of the images that inspire me. Some recent favorites include ‘Metonymy’ by Cristina Iglesias, ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ by Andrew Bolton and ‘Bulgari: Serpenti Collection’ by Marion Fasel.” shelf “Near the front of the shop, opposite the incredibly high bookshelf, is a lone shelf where a few items from my personal collection live. There is a Kina shell necklace, which I adorned with African trade beads and 18k gold beads on leather, and the Gabon ebony bangle. I used to wear these pieces all the time, but now they live here on this shelf next to one of our custom Frankincense beeswax candles (my favorite, and more about them later). There is also a beautiful horn bowl, given to me by the artist and equestrienne Baby De Selliers upon the occasion of my store opening. She brought it to the party wrapped in a page from the New York Times, and filled with Satsuma tangerines. I immediately put it upon the shelf, where it has lived happily ever since. Someone had given it to her, she told me, so I imagine that one day I shall do the same, passing it along to someone else.” ancestorportrait “The ancestor portrait is a traditional piece of Asian art from the 19th century. My mother-in-law was an incredibly talented decorator, and this piece had passed into my husband’s collection before we met. It depicts a wealthy merchant, and most people of Asian descent who come into the shop claim it as their own. I had been told that it is Mongolian, but these were popular across these cultures, so it’s really hard to say exactly where it comes from. It was in our house for years before I opened the store, so I especially enjoy continuing to live with it every day.”

LFrank Loves

Here, Liseanne shares with us the stories behind a few of her favorite pieces, and an insight into her creative process. candle2 “The 100% beeswax candles are a very popular item at LFrank. The Frankincense is my favorite scent, not only for the spice and subtle sweetness, but also for its historical context. Many ancient cultures and religions used frankincense in blessings, initiations, and for marking the transition into new phases of spirituality. I find the scent particularly grounding, and the negative ions that are released by the beeswax actually help to purify the air. Unlike soy or paraffin candles, these are actually good for you.” Pearls “This rope of pearls has always been a favorite of mine. The range of colors is completely radiant, and the way that they quickly warm to body temperature when worn feels incredibly comforting. They always make me feel confident when I wear them, as they are both timeless and rare. This strand is quite long, allowing it to be wrapped up to three times around the neck, or many times around the wrist, which I’ve often done for a dramatic bracelet. Pearls this long, this lustrous, and this size, are actually quite a luxury.” elephant “I have definitely had sapphires on my mind lately, and these earrings make me so happy. The multi-color sapphires look especially bright and sparkly, and the symmetry within the asymmetry of the shapes is something I am particularly pleased with. They look so beautiful at night, picking up the low light really well. I also love the length and delicacy of these earrings, as they are so feminine and playful. The Elephant Ring is the first in a series of pieces where I am exploring fauna as opposed to flora. I am thrilled with the outcome, and am truly obsessed by this charming little creature. I need one for myself, as I truly believe in the power of the elephant to shower us all with good fortune! There are other pieces coming soon, with a fabulous serpent ring up next.” Compass “I’ve been reading a book about the Romanov daughters, and was contemplating the jewels and time period when I came up with the design of the Compass necklace. The tourmalines are so lovely with the black diamonds, and are evocative of scenes from the winter palace in pre-revolutionary Russia… the jewels of the Romanovs were truly extraordinary, and have always held a great interest for me. The scale of this piece feels modern, while the composition feels timeless to me.” chair “The architect Greg Lynn designed the inviting and expressive Ravioli Chair for Vitra in 2005. His office is also in Venice, so when I opened the store I borrowed the actual prototype for it, (as well as one of his blob wall pieces) to adorn the space with a bit of architecture. Passers-by were always inquiring after the chair, wanting to buy it. When Greg finally decided to part with it, I raided my house, taking one of a pair that we have to take its place.”

Venice: Home of LFrank

As an established artistic community, and home to many creative types, Venice is the perfect location for LFrank. vintagevenice

“I went to New York City in the fall of 2007 to show my collection to buyers and editors during fashion week. The biggest revelation to me over the course of those long days, was that I needed to open a store. I wanted a space where my pieces could be presented in full – in an environment that I designed – as opposed to being seen in the selections made by buyers in retail stores. My collection is so personal, so my goal in finding the right space was to be able to create an extension of my house.

I chose the location of the shop as it was my favorite spot on my favorite street. It’s my neighborhood, so I’m particularly attached to Abbot Kinney. I remember when it was known as West Washington Blvd, and the only places to eat were Hal’s, A Votre Sante, and a little Mexican place called Saboroso.

I love the artistic and eclectic nature of Venice. John McCracken once used the space I am in as his studio. The sculptor Fred Eversley still works out of his studio two doors down, and I still see my artist friends wandering around the neighborhood. As Abbot Kinney continues to evolve, my space still feels as good to me as it did when I first moved in.”