Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

“Ancient Echoes”

A piece simultaneously new and old, Eve has just unveiled her incredible “Ancient Echoes” necklace. 

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“Ancient Echoes” necklace ©Eve Alfillé, Photo by: Matt Arden.

A master of meaning as well as of visual and wearable beauty, Eve has done it yet again. Since the May opening of her latest series, “Pompeii,” Eve has not ceased creating more and more beautiful and conceptually complex pieces, all bent on hearkening back to yesteryear (with a few years added on top of that.)

In case her stunning relief pendants, depicting Romans doing as Romans do, do not excite your sense of history; in case her tiny silver replicas of bread found still sitting in Pompeiian ovens, or her evocative and emeralds, are somehow not enough to inspire in you a sense of what living and dying in Pompeii would have been like, then “Ancient Echoes” is your solution.

Carried in a sentimental, yet elegant necklace of gold, there rests the cameo of a beautiful woman’s face, surrounded by heart-like shapes depicting her covetability. Her soft, enigmatic features have all been lovingly carved from a smooth, cool-colored stone that is not immediately identifiable to the untrained eye…it is, in fact, an actual specimen of Vesuvian lava, carved from the very rock that spelled out destruction for the idyllic resort town of Pompeii all the way back in 79 A.D.

This simple, yet lovely cameo has left many a bookmark between the pages of the centuries that it has travelled since the great eruption where it hurdled, boiling and red hot, through the air and into the homes of the Pompeiian elite. The female form on the lava came into being much later, being carved into the volcanic rock as late as the 18th century (or as the ever-romantic Eve calls it, the time of Jane Austen.) It took almost another 200 years, near the dawn of the 21st century and over 2,000 years since the eruption of Vesuvius, for the cameo to pass into the skilled hands of Eve Alfillé and be made back into a wearable piece immortalizing its heritage.

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“Via della Fortuna” necklace ©Eve Alfillé, Photo by: Matt Arden.

Today you can see her at the gallery, along with her lovely sister, “Via della Fortuna,” both politely waiting, as they have done for centuries, to again be bestowed with the gifts of life and of motion.

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Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Pearl Society

A Nouveau Neckline

Fashion runways in India have recently seen the advent of a new trend in jewelry…or rather, a clever spin on some jewelry items that you already own.
 
headaccesory5 An entire line of models showed off multiple versions of this burgeoning trend in New Delhi when they graced the stage with pearls and jewels draped across their hair like diadems. Rather than bedazzled hairbands, these were each cleverly-employed necklaces: a classic beauty standard that is now getting a breath of fresh air as a new and multifunctioning hair accessory.
 
 
 
TJennifer_Lawrence-1024x721his innovative implementation of necklaces is a trend that has also been spotted recently in the western hemisphere on several stars, such as Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Lawrence (whose taste in jewelry has already sparked our interest.) Rather than draping it across the top of her head like a circlet, however, Lawrence chose to carefully weave a glittering necklace into her low updo for some added texture and panache. 
 
DIY: This look could be easily replicated at home by weaving your necklace into a loose braid from top to bottom, and then coiling and pinning the braid up at the nape of your neck.
 
Another Hollywood actress to sport this look is fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker, who chose to wear her necklace off to one side like a beautifully-draped pin or brooch.
 
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 DIY: To recreate this look, simply bobby-pin your necklace into place in any kind of updo, ensuring that the clasped ends are tucked into your hair. Feel free to place your necklace in front, off to the side like Parker, or even in the back. 
 
Those of you with shorter hair need not despair! For a circlet or hairband-like appearance, simply wrap the necklace around your head once (or twice for longer strands), and bobby pin it into place to create a look just as delicate, bold, casual, or elegant as the pieces of jewelry that you select. Enjoy!
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.

Design Series

Jazz Age in France

From the Jazz Age Series by Eve J Alfille
From the Jazz Age Series by Eve J Alfille

A fascinating and optimistic time in history when music, art, architecture and society took on a transformation of unconventional ideas while maintaining a sense of elegance. We’re drawn to the breathtaking time of excitement and hopefulness wanting to explore for ourselves these wonderful delicacies.
Music was electric and captivated our senses. Everyone knew of Gershwin, Cole Porter and Maurice Ravel. But it was French entertainers like Ada “Bricktop” Smith and the great Josephine Baker who performed nightly to Paris audiences.  When Jazz arrived, it was overwhelmingly accepted by the Parisians. It allowed people like Josephine Baker to become a star.
Inspirational developments included Art Deco design and architecture. The Art Deco aesthetic was wonderfully sleek and streamlined with symmetrical and geometric designs. It’s character was seen in everything from furniture, fashion to jewelry.
As a society, the sense of excitement came from freedoms of individuality such as hand holding, free flowing dresses and beautiful jewelry. It gave permission to define who you want to be.

Watch a wonderful video of France in the 1920’s.

Design Series

“Jazz Age” Eve J Alfille’s New Jewelry Series

"Jazz Age" New Jewelry Series
“Jazz Age” New Jewelry Series

Welcome to Eve J Alfille Gallery & Studio’s new jewelry series, “Jazz Age”. Take a moment to explore the thoughts, inspirations and creations of the Artist’s Statement.

In French schools, the recent past is not taught: too fresh to be history, it may revive controversy. So my high school classes learned all about Versailles and the Baroque style, but nothing about Art Deco, or jazz. Though ‘The Jazz Age’ usually denotes a period in the late 1920’s, its great innovations in style extended long past the 1929 crash. The elegance of Art Deco, coupled with its practicality and relative simplicity, “suggesting better times”, still speaks to us today.

As a child, what had impressed me was the wild romanticism of Art Nouveau, the Paris Metro entrances, the soaring street lights with their sweeping curves. On the other hand, I had nothing but contempt for my parents’ 1940’s furniture, with their restrained, stylized curves, the symmetry and repetition of the little corner motifs, chevrons carved and inlaid in contrasting wood. A frisson ran down my spine recently when, in a 2012 auction catalog I spied those exact armchairs, an Art Deco exemplar, quoted for an extremely handsome sum! How I wish I

"Jazz Age" Featured Earrings and Necklace
“Jazz Age” Featured Earrings and Necklace

had them now!

We revere the elegance of this style: ever modern, it can be treated sumptuously with rare materials, like the inlaid Jean Dunand screen I almost bought in Switzerland in 1981, when we spent a couple of years in Geneva, and my mother-in-law’s diamond brooch. But it had also formed a background of our growing years in its more humble interpretations, the facades of the movie theaters in our small towns, the old Philco radios with the pleated wood cases, the streamline toasters of our early years.

I love the functionality, the stylishness: Art Deco is above all a way of seeing, it looks at the pure geometry of everyday objects, the sun, fountains, ocean liners, the pyramids, and translates them into flat decorative motifs that are at once restrained and joyous! For me, what inspired my current Jazz Age series is the particular duality of the style: how it makes room for both movement and repose, exuberance and severity, inspiration from current times and times past. What other decorative style can throw together speedy trains and ancient pyramids, maybe both in the same piece?

"Jazz Age" pendant
“Jazz Age” pendant

In this series, I have to remind myself to proceed past restraint: it’s permitted to be joyous, even with nothing but the black, white and gray diamonds and pearls! And no problem letting rubies in, just remember to color within the lines! So we will work from both ends, the pastels of moonstones, Ceylon sapphires and opals, and the glorious reds, oranges and yellows of jades, citrines, topaz and rubies. I design, hearing the jazz of Coltrane and Davis, the coolness and the splendor alternating. White gold and palladium for coolness, blush gold for delicacy, all are playing a role in my new Jazz Age series.