Design Series, Eve's Insight, Gallery Events

Eve discusses her inspiration for “Voyage to Antarctica”

In anticipation of the gallery’s upcoming exhibit opening party, artist and custom jewelry designer
Eve J. Alfillé speaks to her inspirations for her new design series “Voyage to Antarctica.”  RSVP Online for this special gallery event on May 4, 2013

an Antarctic Weddell Seal, photo by Paul Alfille
an Antarctic Weddell Seal, photo by Paul Alfille. Click to enlarge photo.

Q.  This is a very special Series to you. What was the inspiration for the next Series, “Voyage to Antarctica”?

Eve: Paul Alfille, my son, was in medical school when he became involved in a research project with Weddell seals. There are only 4 land and air animals that live in the Antarctic, one being the Weddell Seal. They are fascinating animals as they can dive for up to one hour, a unique feature. The research team went to Antarctica to discover what enabled seals to remain submerged, in the hope to help newborn babies.

During his month long trip to the Antarctica, he spent time taking photos. As we gathered as a family to view the pictures, it was interesting as the interpretations were divided. Some found the pictures somewhat uninteresting as they appeared to be just white on white. But when I saw those photos, I see things on many different levels.

Antarctica Earth and Sky
Antarctic earth and sky, separated only by sunlight.

For the past 20 years, the pictures have been in the back of my mind until I saw a way of translating the experience. And when I saw them again recently, I wondered how anyone could have ever found them bland: they are full of searing drama!

Eve: Yes, absolutely. Paul has agreed to share his adventures to Antarctica in a special presentation in June. We’ll share more details as soon as possible. Keep Sunday, June 23 open!

As we take a look at the pictures, there’s a sense of simplicity.

Eve: Yes, there is a simplicity in the colors, but that is what draws attention to the complex textures in the whites and blues, and besides, the colors change with the light.

"McMurdo" pendant
“McMurdo” pendant, blue topaz, sterling silver, 14 karat gold and 14 karat white gold pendant

Q. Explain how you want to express Antarctica to your collectors and guests?

Eve: I know that I cannot bring ice or water from Antarctica. For this Series, I wanted to give guests the sense of being in this wondrous place where very few humans visit. As each creation is revealed, it captures a moment of time in Antarctica and as an entire Series, it encapsulates the experience.   For example, the “McMurdo” pendant shown at right, features blue topaz, sterling silver, 14 karat gold and 14 karat white gold pendant.  Click the photo to enlarge the view.

Eve's Insight

Diamonds are Forever (in April)

a photo of Elizabeth Taylor adorned with Diamonds on the cover of Life magazine.
Elizabeth Taylor adorned with Diamonds in a Life magazine photo.

April’s birthstone is diamond, which gets its name from the ancient Greek adámas meaning: unbreakable.  Along with their  glamorous sparkle and ability to transmit light, diamonds come in a myriad of colors making them a dazzling birthstone.

Most natural diamonds are formed at high temperature under immense pressure miles beneath the Earth’s surface and formed over billions of years, along side its close carbon cousin, Graphite.

Both are pure crystalline forms of carbon, but . . .which would you rather have set in your jewelry?

Diamonds are also known to be the strongest material found naturally on Earth.  While science is making every effort to create materials that are harder than diamonds, nothing beats a diamond in hardness (gem-o-logically speaking.)

In fact, the Moh’s Scale of Hardness measures the hardness of various minerals by testing the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. These are measured on an exponential scale, for example diamonds on the scale are a 10 and are 4x harder than corundum (the mineral name for ruby and sapphire) which scores a 9.

See the Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness charts for more information.

"Venetian Lace and Chocolate" platinum and diamond ring from Eve’s "Antiquities" series.
“Venetian Lace and Chocolate” platinum and diamond ring from Eve’s “Antiquities” series.

Do you ever consider the scientific properties of your gem when you think of diamonds?  Of course not, you probably imagine how nice it will look wrapped around our finger, or how it looks in photos of Liz Taylor.

While we consider every birthstone to be lovely and sacred to its wearer, April birthdays have the happy brilliance of diamond’s sparkle to illuminate their birthstone jewelry.

For more personal insights into this wondrous gem, stop in and check out Eve’s collection of unset colored diamonds.

Gallery Events

Spring Clean Your Rings

rs1Spring Clean Your Rings at Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio on Saturday April 6th from Noon – 5:00 pm

Your rings are faithful companions, time to give them their own Spring cleaning!

Bring your rings into the gallery for a complimentary cleaning and enjoy a glass of wine while you wait.
Custom Design, Gallery Events

Special Bridal Event | Feb 24.

1st Annual Evanston Wedding Walk
1st Annual Evanston Wedding Walk

Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio will be participating in Downtown Evanston’s 1st Annual Wedding Walk scheduled for Sunday February 24 from noon – 3pm.

Following the wedding walk, participants will attend a fashion show at 27 Live where a selection of Eve’s beautiful bridal jewelry, including engagement rings, wedding rings, necklaces, and earrings will be featured together with dresses from Avail & Company.

The gallery will extend special hours to brides (and grooms) who wish to meet with Eve and discuss one-of-a-kind wedding and engagement rings, bridal party gifts or specialty items for your flower girl.

Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio will also be donating the necklace pictured below for the lucky winner or the Wedding Walk raffle.  Register Today for your chance to win!

Ice Hotel necklace
Cascading pearls tumble between natural rock crystal elements in this one-of-a-kind treasure from Evanston artist and custom jewelry designer, Eve J. Alfillé.

There is nothing quite like the soft glow of real pearls on the bride for her big day!

And, pearls show up especially well in photographs!

This lovely bridal necklace is titled “Ice Hotel”  and is composed of faceted and tumbled rock crystal (quartz), cultured freshwater pearls and sterling silver, valued at $260.00.

Custom Design, Design Series, Eve's Insight, Frequently Asked Questions

Gem Stones & Design Inspiration

Q: Are there gems that reflect the vision of a series?

Dream Series necklace "Autumn Festivities" by Eve J. Alfille
Dream Series necklace “Autumn Festivities”

Eve: It depends on my inspiration and where it takes me.  In the Passage of Time, I like the colors of the rainbow in sapphires.  Most people know of the blue sapphire, however, sapphires have an exquisite array of colors: reds and pinks, violets, yellows, and a lovely subtle green like sumptuous velvet.

In Nature, especially the Organic Series, there are stones that hold a vision of where they came from in the earth: Drusy gems, crystals, and jaspers, all stones that look as though they were found in the road!

In Dream, you’ll see pearls, moonstones and opals.  All of these stones or gems have lovely characteristics of light that travel across the surface in different ways revealing unexpected colors.  Diamonds too carry the light, and the memory of the light, whether they are sparkling white, rough, opaque or opalescent, or even, magically, a shimmering absolute black!