"Jewelry designer Lisa Ben-Zeev is among the featured artists. She is an Illinois native who will be participating in the fine art show for the first time with her Judaica themed jewelry. "My jewelry pushes the boundaries on adornment by using materials that aren't typically found in Jewelry. My customerstend to like a more eclectic look. I used everything from fossilized alligator teeth to Bison teeth mixed with opals and pearls for my jewelry," said Ben-Zeev.
Ben-Zeev elaborated on her line of Judaica. "I make Jewish stars and they are organic and very different from what is normally seen in Judaica jewelry. The stars are very abstract and original; the majority of them are made using heat treated sterling silver. The process of heat treating melts the silver so the edges will be crinkled up, and the heat changes the colors of the metal to the surprise of most of my customers. My work is more art than jewelry. The majority of people who purchase my work say that it is the most unusual pieces they have ever seen."
"When it comes to my Judaica stars I am a firm believer that the star picks the owner. I feel that there is a certain spiritual event occurring when my customers select their jewelry," Ben-Zeev added. "I have two lines of jewelry. The gallery line and a line I call my heat treated sterling. My Judaic line begins at $32 and goes to $200, and my gallery line which utilizes gold, minerals, fossilized teeth, opals and pearls begins at $200 and go up to $3,000."
From the Detroit Jewish News (click to enlarge):
"No Two Alike" by T.J. Howard, Chicago Tribune, July 15, 1992:
Opposites attract. That goes for earrings as well as relationships, as far as Lisa Bernfield Ben-Zeev is concerned.
The Highland Park-based jewelry designer likes to juxtapose unusual materials-rusted nails next to faux pearls or quartz crystals paired with computer chips. She also encourages her customers to wear different earrings. At the same time.
Appropriately, Bernfield Ben-Zeev has christened her 2-year-old accessories line Asymetrics.
"My designs are confrontational," explains the 29-year-old designer, whose work is on display in the American pavilion at the World`s Fair in Sevilla, Spain. "By using non-traditional materials for adornment, I'm trying to encourage people not to follow the norm, not to look like everyone else on the block."
Asymetrics earrings range from $30 to $64 a pair with pins selling from $15 to $32. The line is available at the Museum of Contemporary Art gift shop, 237 E. Ontario Ave., Babette's, 2229 N. Clybourn Ave., and Citywoods, 659 Central Ave., Highland Park.
"All In The Family" by Lisa Pollak, Chicago Tribune, November 10, 1991:
This weekend isn`t the first time Lisa Bernfield Ben-Zeev and her mother, Sondra Bernfield, have collaborated on an art project.
"She started me painting when I was 5," recalled Ben-Zeev, now a Chicago jewelry maker. "She was the one who gave me an interest in art."
Twenty-three years later, Ben-Zeev hasn't forgotten her roots. That's why her third annual studio show is a family affair, complete with her mother's weavings, her father-in-law`s watercolors and the paintings and photography of several family friends.
The show, which concludes today at Bluegill Studios, 6424 N. Western Ave., is an opportunity to check out Ben-Zeev's latest collections. They include her one-of-a-kind single earrings-to be worn in mismatched pairs or as pins-made from a mixture of precious materials and ordinary objects. She often juxtaposes pearls, opals and gold with rusty nails, weathered copper and radio parts.
"I want to challenge people`s ideas about what they use to adorn themselves," Ben-Zeev said. "There are many lovely things that aren't usually used in jewelry."
Her work has been chosen for an exhibit at the 1992 World's Fair in Seville, Spain. Closer to home, it can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Contemporary Art shops, Nonpareil and Impulse. Mom's weavings are at the Illinois Artisans Shop at the State of Illinois Center.