Design Series, Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Gallery Events, jewelry

Q&Eve: Undercurrents

A new series of fine art jewelry opening on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 1:00p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, with guests enjoying festive refreshments, live music, and Evanston-made art jewelry.

Q: What first sparked your interest in life beneath the sea?

A: All of my childhood summers were spent near the North Seas…a roiling, vigorous stretch with frequent storms that others thought scary but I found beautiful, even to the flotsam on the beach after the storm. Calm days were spent collecting shells, seaweed, and observing small crustaceans burrowing at water’s edge.

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Copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo Credit: Matt Arden.

Q: What was your thinking process behind the creation of “Undercurrents” and its underlying themes?

A: When you gaze at the ocean, the horizon seems limitless, so of course, you are going to feel that it is an infinitely expandable resource that needs no stewardship. Most of us that are not fishermen experience the animals that dwell therein as “Nemo” cartoon characters, or ingredients in their sushi.

Q: Is “Undercurrents” at all a reaction to climate change?

A: …Not specifically climate change, but anthropocene-induced deterioration, and the now-permanent gyre of plastic debris in the Pacific.

Q: Marine Biologist & past Pearl Society speaker Michelle Hoffman described Earth as a closed system…Does this have implications in your work?

A: More and more, we come to accept this.

Q: Several pieces in your new series feature long, rectangular compositions of undersea life that appear to have a very contained sense of space. What was your creative thinking behind these works?

A: So we can imagine ourselves as attendees at a future museum exhibit presenting bas reliefs of a vanished undersea world…The series of 10 gold bas reliefs will be mounted on bronze bases, straddling the world of sculpture and jewelry.

Q: In what ways might “Undercurrents” be an evolution of some undersea symbols you’ve explored in past series, like “Les Animaliers” and “Sea of Sargasso?”

A: “Les Animaliers” dealt, not with animals, but with how we represent them, anthropomorphize them, and reduce them into near-abstractions. “Sea of Sargasso” was a moody meditation on the allure and mystery that the “unknowable,” the seven seas, have held for humankind. With “Undercurrents,” I think we have to admit that the ocean’s resource is not finite…there are not really “many fish in the sea,” and we can no longer plead ignorance.

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Copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo Credit: Matt Arden.

Q: What materials, styles, or motifs might we see in your new series?

A: Obviously, pearls, many, all kinds- even freshwater, since all waters are ultimately connected. Oceanic hues, green seaweed, corals, bright gems adorning rock fish, moonstone-bearing jellies, diamond trails of bubbles, and opals in all their shades…

Q: Just for fun: do you have a favorite sea creature, and if so, then why?

A: A quick, thoughtless answer would be: shells, based on my childhood summers by the sea. But the paradox is that, while collecting shells used to bring delight, seeing some actual living animals in their shell brought only fear and revulsion! Another marker of our human self-centeredness!

Design Series, Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Gallery Events, jewelry

Undercurrents: Opening Celebration

The new series will be inaugurated on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 1:00p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, with guests enjoying festive refreshments, live music, and Evanston-made art jewelry.

Never before have the depths of the sea seemed so close that you could take the purple line! That’s what local artist Eve Alfille’s newest series of fine art jewelry, “Undercurrents,” aims to do…Eve has taken creatures from the world beneath the waves, and has replaced their shimmering scales and colorful fronds with new bodies of gold, silver, and gems, only to release them anew at her gallery in Downtown Evanston.

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“Ghost Fish” Necklace. Copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo Credit: Matt Arden.

These precious works of wearable art cover an expanse of ideas as diverse as the ocean itself…in one necklace, happy golden seahorses dangle beneath a suspiciously fish-shaped South Seas blister pearl, evoking the joy and life of living on a reef. Other pieces, however, tackle the issues which have formed between the ocean and us. “When you gaze at the ocean, the horizon seems limitless,” says Eve, “so of course you are going to feel that it is an infinitely expandable resource that needs no stewardship…with ‘Undercurrents,’ I think we have to admit that the ocean’s resource is not finite…there are not really ‘many fish in the sea,’ and we can no longer plead ignorance.”

“Undercurrents” will include an array of gems and motifs meant to give due credit to the many creatures therein who often resemble jewels themselves. According to Eve, this will mean: “obviously pearls, many, all kinds, even freshwater since all waters are ultimately connected. Oceanic hues, green seaweed, corals, bright gems adorning rockfish, moonstone-bearing jellies, diamond trails of bubbles, and opals in all their shades.”

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Copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo Credit: Matt Arden.

The opening celebration will feature a specially-created jewelry raffle prize, Champagne and other libations, delicious treats, and live music provided by classical guitarist Sean McMahon. Join us when the series surfaces on May 6, 2017 from 1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio. Please send RSVPs to either 847-869-7920 or contact@evejewelry.com. To learn more about Eve Alfillé and see more of her works, visit www.evejewelry.com.

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Multi-faceted and Multi-talented

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It’s not hard to think of reasons why diamonds are so valuable…they’re beautiful, they’re rare, they’re the hardest known substance on Earth…it’s pretty hard to beat a diamond (both literally and metaphorically!). But did you know that they might also allow you to type in a destination and simply let your car drive you there, protect you on your way, or even keep the car lights on?
 
 

An enterprising team in Oxfordshire, England called Element Six and known as “the world’s leading supplier of synthetic diamonds for cutting, grinding, drilling, mining…” (the list goes on), has been experimenting on the multifaceted potentialities still untapped and awaiting within the diamond. Red diamonds, specifically; not just a pretty face, these rosy gems hold within their atomic lattice a “nitrogen vacancy defect.” This, astonishingly, is the characteristic which also allows them to sense the presence of a moving car from up to 300 meters away.


Fortunately for scientists and gem enthusiasts alike, this “defect” creates a great sensitivity to magnetic waves which could potentially even be programmed to determine each diamond’s own location based on the magnetic waves generated by the sun…“If you have a device that is capable of sensing the surrounding magnetic fields, it also knows where it is” says Richard Bodkin, principal research scientist on the project.

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With a fleet of tiny diamonds programmed to work like the world’s most accurate GPS, driverless cars could come into being even more quickly than anticipated, and could even feature their own bedazzled and bediamonded engines…Talk about a luxury vehicle!

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Lights, Camera, Action!

Thank you to WGN Channel 9 for this beautiful piece all about Eve and her work in anticipation of the gallery’s 30th anniversary this fall!

 

If you missed it live, you can still watch her excellent interview on the WGNTV website…Learn all about Eve’s history, why her family left Europe, how her savvy math skills saved her, the moment when archaeology finally led her to decide on jewelry, and more!

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Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Gold Diggers

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Treasure hunters rejoice! A couple of enterprising detectorists (those who seek buried treasure with metal detectors) have once again proved that it can be a fruitful hobby indeed…the enterprising duo, Joe Kania and Mark Hambleton, unearthed the find of a lifetime in a field just south of Manchester. Their “hoard,” a bracelet and three neck torcs estimated to be at least 80% gold each, were either lost or buried 2,500 years ago, making them possibly the oldest known Iron Age discovery to date!
 
 
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“The torcs were probably worn by wealthy and powerful women, perhaps people from the continent who had married into the local community,” said Dr. Julia Farley, a curator for the British Museum. “Piecing together how these objects came to be carefully buried in a Staffordshire field will give us an invaluable insight into life in Iron Age Britain.”
 
 
Not far from another famous find, the “Staffordshire Hoard,” this locale seems ripe for the detecting. This bounty was uncovered by ‘local boy’ Terry Herbert in 2009, and has already garnered a generous bounty for the finder (it’s the law in Great Britain that all found artifacts must be turned in to the government, but also that they get reimbursed the full value!), and the objects themselves have already been touring museums for some time! It will be exciting to see what happens to this 2017 discovery once its worth has been calculated by the British Museum, where it is currently being kept on display.
 
 
 To get an eyeful of the famous 2009 find attributed to ‘local boy’ Terry Herbert and the garnet-encrusted goodies he unearthed, check out the hoard’s official website (…or, for a closer look, just check out some gold and garnets at the Eve Alfille Gallery & Studio!).
 
 
Garnet and gold pommel cap from the Staffordshire Hoard.