Design Series, Eve's Insight, Gallery Events

Eve discusses her choice of materials for her new series “Voyage to Antarctica.”

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.

Phantasmagory Earrings by Eve J Alfille
Free-form Schlangenhaute (snakeskin) agate with petal pearls, diamonds and moonstones and treated drusy removable drops.

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.

A vision of Antarctica
A vision of Antarctica

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.

Stormy Weather Pin by artist Eve J. Alfille
“Stormy Weather” pin, drusy quartz set in sterling silver with 14 karat gold

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.

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Eve's Insight

A Royal Romance

Napoleon & Josephine's engagement ring
Napoleon & Josephine’s engagement ring

Napoleon’s Engagement Ring Sells for $1.17 million dollars, (actually for $949,000 plus the fees which made a total of 1.17 million), to an anonymous buyer. They timed the sale to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Josephine’s birthday.

The French auction house, Osenat, gave the sapphire & diamond ring a pre-sale estimate of $23,500 to $26,000, primarily based on the market value of the materials & design of the ring.  It is a simple ring, featuring 2 pear-shaped gems, a blue sapphire and a white diamond, each weighing less than a carat.  The golden ring is in an 18th century setting called “toi et moi,” “You and Me,” with opposing tear-shaped jewels.  It is not the most exciting of designs, but apparently has enough cachet to run up quite a major premium for its provenance of belonging to Emperor Napoleon & Empress Josephine!

In my wildest dreams, I did not think we would outsell the estimate by more than 47 times,” Emily Villane, an auction house spokeswoman, told ABCnews.com.  “We based the estimates in our catalog on the actual market value of the ring, minus Napoleon and Josephine provenance.  It is not our job to tell bidders how much they should pay for the historical premium.”

Joséphine de Beauharnais was the first wife of Napoleon.  Interestingly, she was imprisoned and her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais, was executed by guillotine during the “Reign of Terror” at the beginning of the French Revolution, as an “enemy of the Revolution”.

Joséphine had 2 children from her first marriage, a son, Eugène, and daughter, Hortense whom Napoleon later adopted.  As a little aside: Napoleon’s step-daughter Hortense (Josephine’s daughter with Alexandre) later married Napoleon’s brother, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland; their son became Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.

Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte. Source Time/NewsFeed (http://wp.me/pRDsw-woN)

Josephine was then released from prison after the fall of Robespierre and she had affairs with a number of political figures.  According to Napoleon’s memoirs written at St. Helena, he met Josephine when her son Eugene came to ask him for the right to keep his father’s sword.  Napoleon said yes, and Josephine invited him to her apartment in Paris to thank him.  Napoleon was immediately smitten, and within the first couple months of their relationship had fallen completely in love with her.  As his mistress he wrote to her many love letters.

A few days after they were married, Napoleon left to command the French army near Italy.  In the following months, he frequently wrote, expressing how much he missed her. On July 17, 1796 he wrote:

“Since I left you, I have been constantly depressed.  My happiness is to be near you.  Incessantly I live over in my memory your caresses, your tears, your affectionate solicitude.  The charms of the incomparable Josephine kindle continually a burning and a glowing flame in my heart.  When, free from all solicitude, all harassing care, shall I be able to pass all my time with you, having only to love you, and to think only of the happiness of so saying, and of proving it to you?”  — Source: Top 10 Famous Love Letters / Napoleon to His Wife

Napoleon Bonaparte
Josephine’s Ring. Source Time/NewsFeed

The auction house described the 18th century ring as a “simple” band decorated with two pear-shaped gems, a blue sapphire and diamond, which face opposite directions.  “At the time, Napoleon had very little money,” Osenat’s Jean-Christophe Chataignier explained to the Daily Mail.  “The ring is a very ordinary one.”  An ordinary ring, save for the fact that the man who gave it to his beloved went on to become the emperor of France.  Though their marriage ended in divorce after 14 years (because Josephine was not able to give Napoleon any children), Josephine was said to have cherished the ring and continued to pass it down as a family heirloom.  And Napoleon still wrote love letters to her even after they divorced.

Related Articles: Napoleon and Josephine’s Engagement Ring Sold at Auction for $949, 000
(Source: Time/Newsfeed)

Gallery Events

Beer, Bourbon & Baubles

Gentleman’s Shopping Night At Eve’s – Your chance to Be a Hero this holiday

drawing of a super hero
Be a Hero, Shop at Eve’s on Dec 13th (5-8pm)

Gentleman are encouraged to join us Thursday, December 13th from 5-8 pm for a relaxing and fun shopping experience.

Beer & Bourbon (and wine) will be served, in addition to non-alcoholic options, while you enjoy assisted shopping for the perfect holiday treasure.

We will make your shopping easy, and even gift wrap your purchases for you, all while hanging out.

We love to help you make their eyes light up with excitement when your gift box is opened!

And, bring a friend!

Eve's Insight

Quarter of a Million Dollar Black Diamond Nail Polish?! Seriously!??

Black diamonds are sexy. They are sparkly. And black diamonds are fascinating.

black diamond necklace
Earrings, necklace and rings featuring Black Diamonds by Eve J. Alfillé

However, until very recently they were only used in industrial applications – think high tech drill bits and other scientific & medical abrasive applications. Diamond suppliers & mining firms, like De Beers, could not imagine anyone would want to use them in jewelry.  Well, that has certainly changed. Black diamonds are alluring, mysterious and fun!  They work beautifully in jewelry, especially when paired with white hot platinum and palladium precious metals, and even white gold.  Look at the image below to see black diamonds beautifully set in Eve Alfillé’s exquisite jewelry designs.

But there is a new application of black diamonds that leaves many scratching their heads — Black Diamond nail polish.  Not black nail polish named Black Diamond, but black nail polish MADE from (oh, excuse me, “infused with”. . . ) black diamond powder, supposedly 267 carats of crushed black diamonds, available for a mere $250,000.!!

Hollywood, CA – Kelly Osbourne in her $250,000 manicure at the 2012 Emmy’s. What could be more beautiful than her forearm tattoos & black nail polish? Image ©EPA

So, who would wear such a thing, you ask. Well, Beyonce for one and heavy metal Rocker Ozzy Ozbourne’s daughter Kelly  sported the polish at the Emmy Awards this year.

Kelly, this is how one wears black diamonds & looks beautiful, a fantastic black diamond necklace by French-born jewelry designer Eve J. Alfillé!

Seriously, $250,000. for a manicure that wears off in a week or so, or you could walk down the red carpet wearing a fabulous necklace by artist Eve J. Alfillé with over 100 carats in black diamonds, sparkling in all their faceted glory in a charming pattern featuring large faceted black diamonds held between 2 smaller ones glittering brightly even in the low light of an intimate restaurant, for a mere $10,900!

Eve’s own Black Diamond design:

Gallery Events

Eve’s Holiday Party

Eve's Holiday Party invitation
Sat. December 1, 2012

Mark your calendar and be sure to join us for Eve’s Holiday Party on Saturday, December 1, 2012 from noon – 6pm. RSVP Online

Support the the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research & Team Fox and take home a special Eve Alfillé jewelry treasure for the holidays!

10% of all direct sales that day will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Adding to the festive atmosphere harpist Derin Kenny will perform throughout the event.

Enjoy bubbly champagne, wine, or non-alcoholic punch and refreshments while you shop.

Raffle Prize: Necklace
This necklace could be yours!

Enter to Win:  All who attend Eve’s Holiday Party may enter to win a new Eve J. Alfillé necklace, shown at left, which is a pretty combination of cultured and freshwater pearls and faceted amethysts with an amazing faceted amethyst egg suspended from the center.  No purchase necessary, must be present to win.

Media Sponsor Donation:

Make It Better Magazine, our media sponsor for Eve’s Holiday Party, will donate $5.00 to Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research for each new person who signs up for their free Better Letter email during our party.