In anticipation of the gallery’s upcoming exhibit opening party, artist and custom jewelry designer Eve J. Alfillé speaks about her choice of materials in the process of completing pieces for her new design series “Voyage to Antarctica.” RSVP Online for this special gallery event on May 4, 2013.
Q. Were there any materials that your guests would find unusual in the Series?
Eve: The material selection process continues through the life of the series…and for years to come. When I saw this opaque, intense green gem, called Maw Sit Sit, I knew that was the contrasting experience. When Paul traveled to Antarctica, he first stopped in New Zealand. The lush greens are the last visuals before you enter the world of ice.
Eve: Quartz. It is so beautiful, not only capturing the ‘look’ of ice, but the shine as the sun reflects off the ice. I was also attracted to aquamarines as I can see the water and ice together forming this beautiful texture and color.
We need to remember the extreme cold in Antarctica. I use the cold as a way to understand the feeling of retreat that you experience in your mind. You become more introspective. It’s very different than a nice warm day at home.
I then thought about images. For some series I can have a form that symbolizes it, such as an Acanthus leaf. For this series, I don’t have one, instead I have textures. If I go too literal, then the Series is about penguins!
Q. Once you pick out some materials, what is next in the process?
Eve: I assemble them, and I let the materials speak to me.
Do you ever find that you start out making a necklace, or a brooch?
Eve: No, it depends on what materials I have in front of me, and which ones speak to me. The first material was the opal and I added some diamonds to represent flecks of light. Some of the smaller pieces, I have an idea of what I want to do, but many form throughout the creation process up the day we are to exhibit!
Q. I notice in this series, the little diamonds are often set in rows, but each is set separately from each other. Is there a reason for this?
Eve: You know how I mentioned that when you are so far from your normal life, alone in the Antarctic, you can see things more clearly, with better perspective. So I imagined that just as you would notice each of the individual lights of the camp as your helicopter approached for a landing, you would also begin to see each of the elements of your regular life, back home, with more clarity because you are now away from it.
So I turned to this method of setting diamonds as separate little ‘lights’ in this series. And these lights might seem a little lonely amid the pristine whiteness, but they illuminate a continent of vast beauty.
Q. You mention the word ‘Organic’. What does that mean to you in the creation of a new series?
Eve: Organic to me means that there might be some indeterminate curves, that there is some asymmetry. The more geometric pieces tend to have more symmetry. When I thought about the “Voyage to Antarctica”, I thought at first, it was a place of disorder. Then I realized and saw the repeating forms; there was order. I needed to reflect both the geometric and the organic forms.