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Katherine Wallach (Eli's daughter) launches a pop-up for her jewelry collection

March 1, 2011 | 10:18 am

Spider When Melissa Leo accepted the supporting actress award for "The Fighter" at Sunday's Oscars, she was wearing a delicate gold spider necklace festooned with diamonds and rubies.

The piece was designed by her friend Katherine Wallach, who happened to be in the audience cheering on her father, legendary actor Eli Wallach, as he accepted a lifetime achievement award from the academy.

The younger Wallach may not be a household name, but she's been crafting charming, unusual jewelry for decades. And Tuesday she's opening the first in a series of pop-up shops to showcase her distinctive designs — on Venice's main shopping drag, Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

The shop, which will be open through March 31, is part of Wallach's longstanding dream to display her jewelry in a gallery-like setting. "There is installation involved in the display of my jewelry," she explained. "I want to start doing these ... monthlong experiences where I sell jewelry." 

A pair of fly earrings, for example, will be displayed on a fly swatter. "The installations are kind of great for people who are not even interested in jewelry," she added.

Wallach's collections, boasting pieces ranging from $100 to $22,000, are so varied, her style is difficult to pin down. But the use of rosaries, vintage charms and found objects run throughout each capsule collection, which typically consists of numerous one-of-a-kind pieces.

The former actress, who appeared in "Goodfellas" and "Gang of New York," among other films, has pop-ups planned for New Orleans, Paris, East Hampton and Amsterdam later this year.

1625 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (323) 683-8277. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: Diamond and ruby spider necklace by Katherine Wallach. Credit: Katherine Wallach