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Behind The Scenes

Kathryn Bentley Busts a Move

“I lived in New York for 10 years, and I just had to go,” explains Kathryn Bentley of her decision to head west to Los Angeles three years ago. “I lived in this amazing apartment on Fifth Avenue and 10th Street, and I thought I had arrived—and then I realized, ‘I’m claustrophobic here.’” The move bore some pretty stellar developments: airy surroundings (pictured here), a new, everyday jewelry line called Dream Collective (to live alongside her luxe one), and friends/creative partners who also call Silverlake home.“I moved out here and didn’t know anybody, which was awesome because I had done enough socializing in 10 years in New York to hold me over for a while. And I kept thinking I’d move back to New York for the first two years, but I’m so glad I stayed. I’ve met the best people.”“I found this place through Craigslist. The girl who was renting it—we have a lot of friends in common, and she ended up writing my bio on my website. It’s a weird, small world.”“It’s a Craftsman-style apartment, and the guy that owns it also owns this restaurant here called Little Dom’s. He totally refurbished the apartment back to its early 1900s form. He redid the tile and made sure that all the door knobs and fixtures were like the originals.”“Clare Vivier [Ed: an amazing handbag designer who we featured on this very site] lives across the street from me. When I moved in, she just came by and introduced herself, and now she’s my partner at the store Vivier and Bentley where I also do pretty much all of the assembly work for Dream Collective.”“Roman Alonso of Commune [Ed: a really tremendous lifestyle brand] lives in the apartment directly above me. His company opened up a shop at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs called Community Shop, which was one of the first places to carry Dream Collective. So was Mohawk General Store, which is  just down the street from me. In the beginning, it was all in the neighborhood.”Images courtesy of Juan Enriquez. Something tells us Kathryn Bentley has won you over by now. If that’s the case, get the awesome cuff she made just for us—just 20!
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Kathryn Busies her Brushes

Before she got into jewelry design, Kathryn Bentley was all about painting, a medium she studied in art school. And while it’s easy to let those things slip as soon as your career picks up, Kathryn keeps filling canvases as her namesake line and the diffusion one, Dream Collective, takes off. “It’s something I still enjoy doing, and I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself when I do it,” she says. Here, a look at some of her recent creations. “I’m really into sculpture. Henry Moore’s pieces are a big influence in my jewelry, and I really love his shapes. These paintings are not taken from any of his sculptures exactly, but abstractly, Henry Moore sculptures were the idea behind them.” “The colors, I think, are ones I would be attracted to in my daily life—colors I would want to wear, have in my home. There isn’t necessarily a vintage reference or anything like that. It’s just a palette that I hope to find in my surroundings.” Don’t miss out on the wearable piece Kathryn made for us: a beautiful brass-and-enamel cuff.
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Kathryn Bentley Carves Out Our Bracelet

Like what you see? Score the amazing cuff here. When Kathryn Bentley started making jewelry under her own name (and eventually launched her second line Dream Collective), she insisted on starting from scratch. While she might pull inspiration from, say, books like The Navajo Blanket (as she did when dreaming up our cuff), every single component she employs is a K.B. original. “The best thing I learned from working with designers like Philip Crangi is to make everything yourself, even though it costs a lot more money—just to really have your name on it,” she explains. “That’s why wax carving became really important to me. These days, a lot of people use CAD, which would be a lot more efficient, but I just insist upon doing things by hand.” The wax form—which is then cast to create a silver model that’s used to make a rubber mold (yah, it’s complicated)—looks pretty awesome on its own, and even more so when it’s translated to the brass-and-enamel finished product. “It starts with a cylinder of wax that’s the diameter of the bracelet. The basic shape is cut with a little band saw, and then I use tools like hand files to create the pattern,” says Kathryn, who makes the process sound about a million times easier than it is.
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