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A Diamondiferous Discovery

November 23, 2015
Even Kim Kardashain and Elizabeth Taylor would have a hard time wearing this new find around! The world’s second-largest gem-quality diamond ever found was unearthed in Botswana last week, weighing in at a seemingly perfect 1,111 carats. The value of the stone remains unknown, as it was too large to fit into the onsite scanner, and will have to be flown to Antwerp for proper measurement.



“Dawn Over Vesuvius” by Eve Alfillé features 196 tantalizing diamonds and elements of  20 and 22 karat gold. Photo credit: Matt Arden. 

Just unearthed last week by the relatively minor diamond company, the Lucara Diamond firm, this unnamed stone has already been shattering records! It now comes in second only to the Cullinan diamonds of British crown jewel fame. In fact, Lucara may not remain minor for long: with this discovery, followed a mere 24 hours later by the discovery of two more strikingly sizeable diamonds in the same area, the company’s stock immediately inflated by 37 percent upon public revelation of the find.

The stone, though still un-scanned to verify its exact color and clarity, had been judged to be a Type II diamond, meaning that its brilliance is of a near-perfect quality which makes this stone look as if it was carved from the very heart of a glacier. No wonder diamonds are called “ice!”

“Matisse:” A New Jewelry Collection to be Unveiled by Evanston Artist Eve J. Alfillé on November 14

November 9, 2015

The new series will be released and celebrated on November 14, 2015 from 1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio, and will allow guests to indulge in Champagne, food, live music, and of course, phenomenal jewelry.

November 7, 2015, Evanston, IL – In the sunny south of France, famed twentieth-century artist Henri Matisse produced a body of work that took the art world by surprise. Unlike most abstract art at the time, his works were friendly, not harsh; fanciful, not alienating…they had absorbed the warmth and color of their sunny surroundings, while maintaining the complexity of all things birthed by a genius mind. Today, Eve Alfillé takes up the torch with the creation of her latest series, ‘Matisse:’ a homage to his works through the lens of her own medium of choice: art jewelry.

1c59c057-e826-45c7-a73b-586c97446e27“It is not easy to capture that feeling and create it in a different medium,” says Eve, “especially working in the medium of jewelry where the metals are not inherently colorful…but my interest, while I admire the color, is in the line, the form, and the way that the abstraction was created…I am particularly interested in his collage.” Throughout, but especially later in his career, Matisse experimented in paper cut-out collages of many fantastical shapes and colors. They spoke volumes in their simplicity, and could sometimes result in entire rooms transformed by assemblages of color and movement.

To pay tribute to this vision, Eve plans to draw from a variety of precious materials. These will include large, lush pearls in voluptuous shapes, as well as large and intensely colored stones such as amethysts, citrines, sapphires and more. According to Eve, she is “especially interested in the interstices, the spaces– in what is not on the paper, in what is not colored, but in the form that has literally been abstracted.” And so, special importance will be given to such elements as “small, sharply-colored rubies and other bright colors to mark the spaces in between the sections.”

More than anything, this brand-new series will be paying homage to the playfulness in Matisse. In the spirit of that playfulness, the Eve Alfillé Gallery & Studio will be throwing a party to celebrate the opening of this new series on November 14, which will include festive Champagne, drinks and treats, and a live musical performance. Come and play!9a820245-d05b-4640-9e0e-9f0139011b51

The new series will be released and celebrated on November 14, 2015 from 1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio. To join the celebration, call to reserve your space at 847-869-7920 or send an email to To learn more about Eve Alfillé and her inspiration, go to

About Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio

French-born, artist, archeologist and gem expert, Eve Alfillé opened her Evanston, IL-based gallery and studio in 1987. The Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio creates one-of-a-kind, art-inspired jewelry hand-crafted at the Gallery. Eve is also the founder of The Pearl Society and an officer of the International Pearl Association. Visit the website at or Eve’s blog at

Matisse Q&A

November 4, 2015


Q: Tell me a little bit about your new series, ‘Matisse’

A: About twenty years ago, I created a single piece that I called ‘Homage to Matisse.’ It was a neckpiece composed of four different elements: some were solid, some pavé diamonds, one was a pearl with three lobes, and each of the parts were connected, in an almost ephemeral way, by platinum wire. It was a sumptuous piece, and quite large, but its character lay mostly in its playfulness.

It was intended to reflect the way that Matisse made abstraction very friendly! Matisse’s abstraction is never painful, as a lot of the early 20th century abstraction felt it had to be…especially in the aftermath of a war that was cruel. A lot of it is meant Portrait_of_Henri_Matisse_1933_May_20to be harsh and disorienting in order to make the point that realism is no longer where art is ‘at.’ Matisse had quite a long life, and he said a number of things that are of interest–one, of course, that everybody knows: that he would “seek the strongest color effect possible…content is of no importance.” And you can especially see that in the later part of his work on canvas, which was done while he lived in Nice.

Nice is a southern beach town with a lot of color and sunshine, so the pieces Matisse made there are very colorful! But, surprisingly, they were never actually outdoors…Nice paintings always represent very widely colorful interiors of his apartment in different guises, along with some models at times. And people questioned that; especially these great rivals (like Picasso, who was sometimes friends, sometimes rivals with Matisse)! While Picasso left any kind of realism behind, here was Matisse doing these interiors…that’s when he said that it’s all about the color. The content, well, that’s not important. But my interest, while I admire the color, is in the line, the form, and the way that the abstraction was created.

I am particularly interested in his collage. We know that Matisse, later in life, was incapacitated. He spent most of his time in bed, but he was working. He triumphed over frailty. He found a method of working, which was to cut out colored papers (painted beforehand by an assistant) and arranged them in such a way as to present a picture which the mind would have to perform some work to understand. So, at first, what you see are gaily-colored forms on paper, and then an image emerges….and this is a very strong form of abstraction. 



“Henri, the twenty-first century called…” ©Eve Alfillé, Photo Credit: Matt Arden

I am especially interested in the interstices, the spaces: in what is NOT on the paper, in what is NOT colored, but its form and the part of the form that has literally been abstracted. It’s not there. Matisse reverted to collage later in his career, but really, he had started them early in his career. He was able to create this feeling of great movement and the complete picture without everything having to be expressed. The empty spaces are, therefore, a great interest of mine. In some of the work that I’m creating today, I am going to emphasize the interstices and the spaces in between the colored forms. 

So, even in my early piece ‘Matisse,’ I was paying homage to the playfulness. To the ease. The thing that you notice about collage is that they’re almost child-like. But when you delve into them further, you see that they’re actually quite complex. It is not easy to capture that feeling and to create it in a different medium, especially working in the medium of jewelry where the metals are not inherently as colorful. But you are dealing with metals, largely, and so it requires a rethinking of the forms. 

Q: Are there any materials or gems we can expect to see? 

A: I am looking at a large, lush pearls: not rounded pearls, but voluptuous shapes. Matisse’s forms are very voluptuous, and those are the pearls that inspire me. There will be some larger gems of strong, intense colors: amethysts, rubelites, citrines, and sapphires, as well as small, sharply-colored rubies and other bright colors to mark the spaces in between the sections.

8130788144_15483b89c9_bQ: Do you have a favorite piece by Matisse? 

A: There are many! When you travel in the south of France, you of course want to go and see his chapel in Vence, which is remarkable. It was truly modern: it has no extraneous decoration. The decorations are the windows, the glass that he sketched, and it’s an amazing piece. It’s quite striking and very beautiful…but I also very much like his interiors, the Nice series.

Q: As someone who has also worked in many different fields (Matisse started as a lawyer) and has also worked in a variety of artistic media, do you see yourself in Henri Matisse at all? 

A: Well, perhaps in the way that when he was given paint and started doing this, he had this realization that this is what he was meant to do…and afterwards it made him, obviously, happy, and it does to me as well. 

Sapphires of Every Nation

September 30, 2015

Where do sapphires come from? In ancient Hindu texts, they come from the vanquished body of the demon Bali. Ancient Persians believed that they were chipped from the pedestal that supported the Earth, and whose reflection gives the sky its color! While these claims have yet to be validated, there ARE indeed some stones which can be traced back to their origins.


While it may seem like quite a trek from the suburbs to the city during rush hour, odds are that the glittering sapphires in your ring had to travel much, much farther than that to be worn stateside. Here at the Eve Alfillé Gallery & Studio, the sapphires that we use have come from all different corners of the Earth! Often, these lovable gems’ origins can be determined in part by their color. Now, not all sapphires are blue! Even though it is the most well-known of sapphiric colors, they come in an entire rainbow, and are known as “fancy sapphires” whenever they are not blue.


Categories_Gemstone_Sapphire_FancyColor.jpgRubies, of the same ‘corundum’ mineral as sapphires, are only the very reddest selection. Other beautiful reddish shades of sapphire, however, are imported from Thailand, which can also produce yellow-green sapphires. Also from Asia come Sri Lankan blue and red-purple sapphires. Moving into the southern hemisphere, you’ll find Kenyan green sapphires, and a whole bevy of Madagascar sapphires: green-blue, blue, red-purple, golden, and green-yellow.

Tanzania is a veritable font of sapphires, coming primarily from two separate regions; Tundura, home of six different color varieties of sapphires including green-blue, blue, blue-purple, purple, red-purple, and yellow, and Songea, which produces orange-red and yellow-green sapphires. Farther south still, Australia produces green and green-yellow sapphires, mate!

Finally, back in the states, Montana is known for its beautiful green and green-blue sapphires, some of which Eve has even mined herself! So the next time you’re feeling a bit of wanderlust, rather than booking a plane ticket, come by the gallery and you’ll be sure to see an entire world of sapphires!

A Glass of ‘Charity’ Sauvignon

September 4, 2015

Why simply browse jewelry when you can do it in style? Take your shopping experience to the next level by enjoying a fine glass of wine while you do it at the Evanston Charity Wine Walk, conveniently held right in Downtown Evanston!


Join us as we pair with the Chicago Dempster Merchants Association and Vinic Wine, who will be hosting a ‘locally-grown’ event on September 17 from 5pm to 8pm. More than 20 local businesses will be pouring tasty samplings of Chilean wine at this annual event to benefit local programs for people with disabilities. After all, charity looks good on everyone.

Each ticket purchased will also come with a marker for a botttle of wine from the wine walk to be redeemed at Vinic!

Eve and her talented staff can’t wait to help you select the perfect treasure, or even custom-create one that is uniquely your own, while enjoying an array of flavors from dry to sweet to spicy!


image1Wine Walkers could also win an intoxicating whiskey quartz, citrine, and garnet necklace, which will be proudly displayed in the front of the gallery up until the day of the Walk! Titled “A Bridge in Florence,” this piece was designed by Eve specifically for the event. With raffle tickets at only $5 apiece (CASH ONLY!!), the raffle will be ongoing until the day of the walk…All proceeds go to benefit both Wine Walk charities: JJ’s List and The Woman’s Club!

For more information, head on over to or head right on over to to EventBrite to purchase tickets!


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