Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

“Unwrapping” Just Desserts by Eve J. Alfille

The new series will be revealed Saturday, May 5, 2018 from 1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, with guests enjoying festive refreshments, live music, winnable prizes, and Evanston-made art jewelry.


 

How We See Sweets

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All jewelry by Eve Alfille.

There are a few things in life that are as universal as they are self-evident: food is one.

We eat to live.

But…wait…what about sweets???

It seems that Nature has explicitly directed that sweet things go directly to the head of the pleasure line, perhaps ahead of all others. And humans acknowledge this by giving immoderate veneration to their desserts, by cosseting them in special decorative vessels, by adorning them to the point of extravagance, by giving them a special place in the processional order of the meal.

We shake our heads when told of the wondrous goings-on at the palace in Versailles: the lineup of waiters, each bearing an ever-higher dessert, the pastry chefs vying for who could create a more teetering ‘pièce montée’ of candied fruits, pastry and fondant.

But hey, just behold the petit-fours at the bakery! Who can say that Versailles isn’t still with us? The unapologetic cuteness, the unnecessary swirls of frosting, the poufs of sweet cream! You know, I just think that desserts, to us, are the jewelery of the meal!

The Jewelry of the Meal

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All jewelry by Eve Alfille.

There is the old rationale for the emergence of jewelry in human culture: originally perhaps as a marker of transcendence, then a talisman for protection, to become a beacon of status. You don’t need jewelry, but it gives you a boost in many ways–it occupies a special place in human cravings, and we expect it to be exquisitely formed.

Well, doesn’t the same go for our sweet indulgences? If it’s your birthday, and an unadorned slab of cake appears; what a disappointment! Here is the sundae I ordered…what, no nuts or cherry on top? If it’s dessert, it must be somehow fancied-up!

True that sugar can appear in main dishes as well, sweet and sour pork or sauces. But this only shows that it is not just the sugar, but the social constructs.

The Power of Sweets

We do not need sweet foods, but they mesmerize us…we idolize them, wrap them in bright foils and frilly skirts, hold them out as rewards, turn to them in consolation, acknowledge them as guilty pleasures. Even use them, sometimes, to trade for personal safety.

Four years of my childhood were spent under war conditions–rationed foods, dark bread, no meat, butter, or sugar. We lived under assumed identities.

My forward-looking mother had somehow managed to stash away a few pieces of wrapped candy: I was told I could have one once a year for my birthday, and you can imagine how I anticipated the little ceremony of unwrapping it and sliding it slowly into my mouth.

But one time, as I was tossing and catching a ball, it veered off, and broke a neighbor’s window. These were the dark years, no telling if the neighbor would be understanding, or report us to the Gestapo. My mother, when she heard, seemed very upset. She immediately went to her special closet, brought out two of the precious candies, wrapped them in a newspaper cone and instructed me directly to take them to the neighbor and make my excuses.

I was furious, and bawling! Me, she only gave me one a year, and here the neighbor would get TWO! And what seven-year old wants to go ‘make excuses’ (i.e. apologize)?!

I don’t remember how the neighbor received the apology–I think my mother ended up going with me, and I felt plenty guilty when I finally understood it could have been a matter of life and death for us.

-Eve J. Alfille


Please send RSVPs to either 847-869-7920 or contact@evejewelry.com. To learn more about Eve Alfille and see more of her works, visit http://www.evejewelry.com.


 

All jewelry by Eve Alfille.

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Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

D is for Dreamy

London is the place to be for lovers of the exceptional this winter. Recently revealed to the public in hopes that a private collector will do just that–collect–a very, very special stone which awaits its new home. 

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Image by Sotheby’s.

The exceptionally proud founder and chairman of Sotheby’s, Patti Wong, has announced of the stone that “in the course of my long career, which has brought me close to some of the greatest stones the earth has ever yielded, I have not encountered anything quite like this.” 

According to a statement released by Sotheby’s:

“at 102.34-carats, this masterpiece of nature is the rarest white diamond ever to come to the market and the largest, round D color flawless diamond known to man. [This is] the only stone of its kind ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the diamond has achieved the highest rankings under each of the criteria by which the quality of a stone is judged – ‘the four Cs’.”

The mode of sale currently underway, however, is rather unusual for this caliber of stone…typically, such a dazzling diamond would be put up for auction. Instead, Sotheby’s has daringly opted to quietly keep it available for private purchase. 

According to Sotheby’s statement:

“Only seven diamonds weighing more than 100 carats and with the highest colour for colourless diamonds (D colour) has ever sold at auction; none of them were of brilliant cut.”

Whether it will sell immediately, or not to this generation, is unknown. But what we do know is that if you’re in London and have some spare time, maybe the Rosetta Stone can wait. 

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Making Markle Sparkle

One of the hottest topics of 2017 has been the happy news that England’s most eligible bachelor has finally locked it down with American actress Meghan Markle. The whole world has been a-buzz with the ensuing frenzy of planning their spring wedding…but could it be that a hot proposal by Prince Harry could also lend some interesting insights into the hot, harrowing history of the earth’s crust? 

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The Botswana resort where Meghan and Prince Harry fell in love.

 

…Of course, no royal proposal would be complete without the perfect, fairy-tale ring…a romantic at heart, Prince Harry used diamonds from his mother’s private collection, as well as a central diamond hailing from Botswana (where the royal romantics met). These days, the African nation enjoys a climate of relative volcanic peace compared to what once was: a clime so fraught with explosive volcanic power that it rained diamonds on more than one occasion (an event which would have pleased the likes of Marilyn Monroe, but for the scalding ash and magma that came with it!).
 
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It’s no secret that Botswana has boasted more diamonds than any other part of the world since the eighties…while it’s true that these lovely, lustrous gems can exist anywhere in great quantity, in most parts of the world they’re also inconveniently located 100-or-so miles underground. It takes a historically massive upheaval to send them into the air and a bit closer to the surface for miners and princes alike to easily find. Research by scientists like Janne Koornneef  has indicated two such events in the region Markle’s diamond hails from, both 1.1 billion and 3 billion years ago.
 

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This first batch was caused when the Zimbabwe Craton -a rather sizeable chunk of the earth’s crust- broke free and slammed into a neighboring craton! The second time a diamond-scattering took place, it was during a time from whence the ‘Umkondo Large Igenous Province’ drew its name…the entire region was completely transformed by the large and overactive volcanoes covering the terrain.
 
Prince Harry engagement

 

…Not so interested in tackling the trip to Botswana for a blind date, like the auspicious pair did, or in facing walls of steaming ash for your diamonds? Maybe consider giving a visit to the Eve Alfille Gallery & Studio up in Evanston instead!

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Q & Eve: In Great Spirits

The new series will be revealed Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 1:00p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, with guests enjoying a “Bubbly Bar” and festive refreshments, a live music ensemble, raffle prizes, and Evanston-made art jewelry.
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Tourmaline bracelet by Eve Alfille. Photo by Matt Arden.

Q: Congratulations! You recently celebrated your 60th wedding anniversary, and now the 30th anniversary of your business! To what do you attribute this long and fabulous career?

Eve: To an artist, I think creating is a natural activity, like eating or drinking…exhilarating or frustrating, but always intense. “In Great Spirits” is a reminder that life can still unpack delight – that we are wired for joy as much as for doom.

 

Q: Is there a secret meaning in the title for your new series “In Great Spirits,” and can you elaborate on it a bit?

Eve: …You can rage at the dying of the light, you can go off on the road less traveled by, but deep down, we are social animals, and derive warmth from celebrating together such things as the harvest, a wedding or a good death.

 

Q: Looking back on 30 years at your gallery, is it what you expected?

Eve: As a teen, I had this romantic vision of founding an artists’ colony, housed i an ancient castle…we’d all be making art. And when I would reach the age of 36 (being ancient) I would leave this earth…didn’t completely work out this way!

 

Q: What is the key to longevity in both work & life, in your experience?

Eve: I worry very little. I rejoice often. I really like being part of a community, both coworkers and our patrons!

 

Q: What would you like to say to those who have been with the gallery since the beginning?

Eve: The absolute first thing I owe is gratitude to all those kind, patient art patrons who allowed me this extraordinary adventure!

 

Q: Do you still do any gold & platinum smithing work yourself?

Eve: There is never enough time in the day, so when I do, it’s done at night. This is when I can open the taps of inspiration & let ideas flow…designs evolve unbidden as a piece emerges.

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“Vineyard Wedding” ruby and sapphire ring by Eve Alfille. Photo by Matt Arden.

Q: Are there any techniques, motifs, or materials which you plan to favor in this new series?

Eve: I think of the harvest, of fruit before it goes to the press, of the new wine, and of growing hops. Of tourmalines, green sapphires, rubies, gold in warm tones, and lush pearls…

 

Q: Does ‘spirit’-uality hold a place in your work?

Eve: I am thankful to our Maker for allowing us to keep the gallery flowing all these years!

 

Q: As a well-travelled citizen of the world, what is the best “spirit” you have ever encountered…either drinking or otherwise!

Eve: We spent some years living in Switzerland, where people do not make friends as readily as we do – but when they finally do, friendship is marked by epic Sunday formal lunches, lasting till evening! Many good bottles are enjoyed amid lively conversation, and by the end of the day, all stand empty. But no one is tipsy – just in great spirits! So this series is a celebration of the human bond – a time when strife recedes, when tolerance and good humor remind us we need each other.

 

cheers

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

“In Great Spirits:” A New Collection of Art Jewelry by Evanston Artist Eve J. Alfille

The new series will be revealed Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 1:00p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, with guests enjoying a “Bubbly Bar” and festive refreshments, a live music ensemble, raffle prizes, and Evanston-made art jewelry.

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Evanston, IL – Raise your glass, it’s time to toast three decades of gorgeous fine art jewelry! Enjoy an intoxicating array of brand new designs from the series “In Great Spirits,” designed by Eve herself in anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio. Come see what she’s been brewing, and join in the ‘spirit’ of the day!

A series which exists as a celebration in itself could obviously draw inspiration from many different avenues…in this series, Eve’s mind escaped the familiarity of downtown Evanston to wander the countryside. “I think of the harvest,” says Eve of her designs “…of fruit before it goes to the press, of the new wine, and of growing hops.” Such a robust palette of flavors will be expressed through a wearable cornucopia of “tourmalines, green sapphires, rubies, gold in warm tones, and lush pearls” sure to please even the choosiest sommelier.

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“The Night They Invented Champagne” Earrings, copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

Naturally, never satisfied to keep things at just face value, this delectable dessert of a series has a second layer of meaning hidden beneath its’ initial crust: “you can rage at the dying of the light, you can go off on the road less traveled by, but deep down, we are social animals, and derive warmth from celebrating together such things as the harvest, a wedding or a good death,” elaborates Eve, “so this series is a celebration of the human bond – a time when strife recedes, and when tolerance and good humor remind us we need each other.”

The opening celebration will feature a “Bubbly Bar” and other luxurious libations, mouthwatering morsels (including a visit from the famous Stan’s Donuts truck!) and the opportunity to win either a Chopping Block Gift Basket worth $200, or an Eve Alfille “In Great Spirits” necklace, no purchase necessary! Revelers will also enjoy a live classical ensemble, and will receive a 30th Anniversary Series charm with a purchase of $750 or more during the party! Join us in ‘popping the cork’ on November 4, 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 contact@evejewelry.com. To learn more about Eve Alfille and see more of her works, visit www.evejewelry.com.

About Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio
French-born artist, archeologist and gem expert, Eve Alfille opened her Evanston, IL-based gallery and studio in 1987. The Eve J. Alfille 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.