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

Belle Epoque Pearls

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The Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio and The Pearl Society cordially invite you to join us on a private, guided tour of the Driehaus Museum, a Gilded Age museum and historic mansion in the heart of Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

This tour will take an intimate look into the beautiful jewelry of the Belle Epoque period as depicted in poster form in the new exhibit: ‘L’Affichomania’ the Passion for French Posters. The tour will be followed by a brief Q&A.

  • When: Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm
  • Where: The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, 40 East Erie Street, Chicago

Reserve your place now as space is limited to only 10 lucky attendees! Call 847-869-7920 to pay by credit card, or stop by the Gallery to pay in person. Private tour cost is $21/person (non-refundable) which is required at the time you reserve your place.

Please make checks payable to Eve J. Alfillé Gallery.

Please note: We will meet at the museum at 12:00 pm. Parking is available for $15.00/car with museum validation at ROW Self-Park, 50 East Ohio, Chicago.

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Design Series, Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Gallery Events, jewelry

Undercurrents: Opening Celebration

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.

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“Ghost Fish” Necklace. Copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo Credit: Matt Arden.

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.”

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Copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo Credit: Matt Arden.

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 contact@evejewelry.com. To learn more about Eve Alfillé and see more of her works, visit www.evejewelry.com.

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Gold Diggers

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Treasure hunters rejoice! A couple of enterprising detectorists (those who seek buried treasure with metal detectors) have once again proved that it can be a fruitful hobby indeed…the enterprising duo, Joe Kania and Mark Hambleton, unearthed the find of a lifetime in a field just south of Manchester. Their “hoard,” a bracelet and three neck torcs estimated to be at least 80% gold each, were either lost or buried 2,500 years ago, making them possibly the oldest known Iron Age discovery to date!
 
 
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“The torcs were probably worn by wealthy and powerful women, perhaps people from the continent who had married into the local community,” said Dr. Julia Farley, a curator for the British Museum. “Piecing together how these objects came to be carefully buried in a Staffordshire field will give us an invaluable insight into life in Iron Age Britain.”
 
 
Not far from another famous find, the “Staffordshire Hoard,” this locale seems ripe for the detecting. This bounty was uncovered by ‘local boy’ Terry Herbert in 2009, and has already garnered a generous bounty for the finder (it’s the law in Great Britain that all found artifacts must be turned in to the government, but also that they get reimbursed the full value!), and the objects themselves have already been touring museums for some time! It will be exciting to see what happens to this 2017 discovery once its worth has been calculated by the British Museum, where it is currently being kept on display.
 
 
 To get an eyeful of the famous 2009 find attributed to ‘local boy’ Terry Herbert and the garnet-encrusted goodies he unearthed, check out the hoard’s official website (…or, for a closer look, just check out some gold and garnets at the Eve Alfille Gallery & Studio!).
 
 
Garnet and gold pommel cap from the Staffordshire Hoard.
Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Unearthed in Angola

 

 

An illuminating discovery was unearthed only weeks ago in Angola, Africa, unexpectedly escalating the shares of the company responsible by 29 percent. Lucapa Diamonds, an Australian-based mining company, was already in the public eye following the recent discovery of three other diamonds over 100 carats from their Lulo mine in recent history.

The uncovering of a diamond of spectacular proportion, however, broke all of these records: a 404.2-carat behemoth of a diamond was found, sporting a top-tier D-color and Type IIA. The stone itself measures about seven centimeters in length, which would be comparable to wearing a diamond ring the size of your finger itself.

While the final fate of the gem is unknown, it caused a stir at market when the stone sold for $22 million Australian dollars, or roughly $16 million in the US. That’s quite a bit of change, with an estimated $55,585 per carat!

This stone is currently measured as the 27th largest recorded diamond in history, following such illustrious diamonds as the Cullinan diamond found in South Africa in 1905…And if rare stones such as these are your fascination, there are many minerals far more rare than diamonds! Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks to possibly read about them in a future story.