Once one of the most eligible bachelorettes in England, Pippa Middleton became the talk of the town on Saturday, May 20th, when she finally tied the knot. Though she wasn’t wearing anything obviously borrowed or blue, she was spotted wearing something ‘old’…the bespoke diamond earrings which she wore to her sister Kate’s world-famous wedding! Donned again in celebration of sacred vows, these enchanting adornments feature floral motifs and a classic pear-cut diamond drop…the pair was originally designed to be an understated version of the Duchess Kate’s wedding earrings, which also featured an oak leaf and an acorn – elements of the Middleton family coat of arms. The ceremony was a truly royal event, with a guest list including the bride’s sister, Duchess Kate Middleton and her husband, Prince William, along with Prince Harry and his Hollywood girlfriend, Meghan Markle. Young Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended as page boy and a bridesmaid, and the entire entourage gathered at the end of the night in a massive glass palace which the bride had shipped from Belgium to her backyard.
In addition to the “something old, something new” adage, another interesting nod to tradition which Middleton’s wedding jewelry embodied included the lesser-known trend for royal brides to wear Welsh gold. Over 80 years ago, a gift of Clogau gold was made to the throne, and which was plentiful enough to fashion rings for brides Queen Elizabeth, Princesses Margaret and Diana, and the original bride, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon in 1923. Though Pippa‘s ring may not be from this original supply, it is known that it is indeed of Welsh gold, and thus a part of a very shining legacy.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Eve Alfillé and see more of her works, visit www.evejewelry.com.
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.
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!
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!