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

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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.

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

Q&Eve: Undercurrents

A new series of fine art jewelry opening 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.

Q: What first sparked your interest in life beneath the sea?

A: All of my childhood summers were spent near the North Seas…a roiling, vigorous stretch with frequent storms that others thought scary but I found beautiful, even to the flotsam on the beach after the storm. Calm days were spent collecting shells, seaweed, and observing small crustaceans burrowing at water’s edge.

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Copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo Credit: Matt Arden.

Q: What was your thinking process behind the creation of “Undercurrents” and its underlying themes?

A: When you gaze at the ocean, the horizon seems limitless, so of course, you are going to feel that it is an infinitely expandable resource that needs no stewardship. Most of us that are not fishermen experience the animals that dwell therein as “Nemo” cartoon characters, or ingredients in their sushi.

Q: Is “Undercurrents” at all a reaction to climate change?

A: …Not specifically climate change, but anthropocene-induced deterioration, and the now-permanent gyre of plastic debris in the Pacific.

Q: Marine Biologist & past Pearl Society speaker Michelle Hoffman described Earth as a closed system…Does this have implications in your work?

A: More and more, we come to accept this.

Q: Several pieces in your new series feature long, rectangular compositions of undersea life that appear to have a very contained sense of space. What was your creative thinking behind these works?

A: So we can imagine ourselves as attendees at a future museum exhibit presenting bas reliefs of a vanished undersea world…The series of 10 gold bas reliefs will be mounted on bronze bases, straddling the world of sculpture and jewelry.

Q: In what ways might “Undercurrents” be an evolution of some undersea symbols you’ve explored in past series, like “Les Animaliers” and “Sea of Sargasso?”

A: “Les Animaliers” dealt, not with animals, but with how we represent them, anthropomorphize them, and reduce them into near-abstractions. “Sea of Sargasso” was a moody meditation on the allure and mystery that the “unknowable,” the seven seas, have held for humankind. 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.

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Copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo Credit: Matt Arden.

Q: What materials, styles, or motifs might we see in your new series?

A: Obviously, pearls, many, all kinds- even freshwater, since all waters are ultimately connected. Oceanic hues, green seaweed, corals, bright gems adorning rock fish, moonstone-bearing jellies, diamond trails of bubbles, and opals in all their shades…

Q: Just for fun: do you have a favorite sea creature, and if so, then why?

A: A quick, thoughtless answer would be: shells, based on my childhood summers by the sea. But the paradox is that, while collecting shells used to bring delight, seeing some actual living animals in their shell brought only fear and revulsion! Another marker of our human self-centeredness!

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Helios: A Q&A with Eve

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“Solar Wind” earrings copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

What does the concept of “Helios” mean to you? 

This series, “Helios,” falls within my interest in and investigation of how we, as humans, have always responded to the world as we perceive it. So, more broadly, it belongs to the ‘passage of Time’, historical/prehistorical part of my work.

Just like my much earlier series “Les Animaliers” was not about animals per se, but about how we have interpreted them (an ‘animalier,’ in French, is a painter who specializes in animals as subjects), “Helios” attempts to view the Sun as ancient to modern people have seen it: a constant and inescapable presence, overwhelming at times –weak and endangered, perhaps, at others– and capable of multiple interpretations.

That those interpretations have almost always been very graphic testifies to our need for control and self identification: giving the Sun facial features is a very ancient, anthropocentric attempt at understanding it, and hopefully bringing its course under human control. Maybe if the sun is human-like, we can reason with it?

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“Sol At His Most Benevolent” pin/pendant: copyright Eve Alfille. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

What does “Helios” mean to history? To jewelry? 

Given how central the Sun, in its incredible power, is to human survival, I ponder how original sun cults eventually evolved into modern religions! Was it necessary to diminish the sun’s power by erecting defenses? Other, stronger gods to confront its influence?

Certainly Luna, the moon, is more often female, while Sol, the Sun, might more often have been seen as male- though not always.

Why? And why is the Sun’s face often bland? It is only occasionally that we encounter a favorable expression,  or even a particularly angry one.

…And why did humans resist putting the Sun at the apex of their gods, when in fact its influence determines whether they eat or not, survive another year or not? How come Jupiter, how come Baal, how come any other gods came to be seen as more powerful?

What can we expect to see stylistically in this series? Any stones or motifs of note?

How interesting that we are conflicted about the sun: it is the best of things, it is the worst of things. We tan, or we wield parasols. Primitive tribes wailed in anguish during solar eclipses: it was dying, maybe not to return! If we use HFC’s, skin cancer rises. But then it’s beach season again.

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“Carefree Days” necklace:  copyright Eve Alfille. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

So my suns will be both sunny and angry, they will be crowned in beauty with opals, and bare of ornament. They will be subdued, or blazing with diamonds, like the costume designed for Louis XIV, the Sun King. Red spinels, mandarin garnets, yellow sapphires.

 

But we too suffer when Helios, or Sol, removes itself. Its loss, or absence must, too, be celebrated, albeit in somber tones of black spinels, grey and mauve moonstones, and labradorites…

And there should also be peasant suns, enthroned over parched fields of jasper with plump golden rays enlivening sere landscapes, and uncertain suns, November suns, of pale citrine and quartz.

How does this series fit into your work as a whole? 

When we celebrated our 25th year at the gallery, a “Deja Vu” series replayed some favorite pieces in a new guise in honor of the occasion.  This time, as we prepare to honor our 30th year next year, I have taken a few other favorites –rings in this instance– and asked them to present homage to Helios as a special addition to the series. You will see a special version of the Acanthus ring, the Medieval ring, and a few others among the new Helios pieces.  It is my way of paying obeisance to earlier inspirations while forging ahead, as I hope to do for many years to come.

Did you ever encounter anything related to Helios during your time as an archaeologist? 

Heraldry…it is a medieval code of graphic design, and very precise. A heraldic sun’s straight rays always mean Light, but its oscillating rays have to mark Heat. Ancient Incas must have known this: their sun, who is a short-statured warrior, holds in his quiver both curved and straight rays.

Here too, is duality, which we must observe and portray. Heat and light: observe both in the political fray…perhaps more heat than light, alas.

 

To view Eve’s series, “Helios,” join us in celebration at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio on November 19 from 1pm to 7pm. 

 

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

“Latitude & Longitude:” A New Jewelry Collection to be Unveiled by Art Jewelry Designer Eve J. Alfillé

The new series will be celebrated on Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio, and will allow guests to indulge in beverages, food, live music, and Evanston-made art jewelry.

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Evanston, IL – Get your walking stick and rucksack ready, because it’s almost time to traverse some terrain with Evanston’s resident citizen of the world, Eve Alfillé. This world-conscious creator has tackled fields ranging from history to language and more with her art jewelry, and is using her latest series to explore even more of the world she loves. The series, “Latitude & Longitude,” will be celebrated at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio on April 30 by fans of jewelry and geography alike!

No world capitols, no school quizzes! Alfillé’s exploration takes us back to the physical world, and how we learned to relate to the space we inhabit and the lands and seas beyond. Each place, both familiar and foreign, will be evoked with materials ranging from pristine diamonds to baroque pearls to unruly fossils that celebrate the world in all its textures…wavy seas, grainy sands, and more will have a place on Eve’s map.

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Sterling silver and garnet “Rose des Vents” earrings could be yours…enter Eve’s raffle and see!

Symbols will also be key: a compass rose, a pendulum, birds in migration, the fish of the seas, along with a circle of ebony to represent the unity of the earth and all things in it. Above all, Eve stresses the importance of solidarity in a world with as many varied passions and opinions as there are latitudes and longitudes.

The opening celebration promises to be worth the trip– tantalizing treasures await, including a raffle for a stunning necklace and pair of earrings designed by Eve just for the party (no purchase necessary!). Come test your luck at the raffle, or simply enjoy the party atmosphere with a glass of Champagne! Festivities will also include delicious catered treats by Donna Goodman and musical stylings of jazz duo, The Casual Flyers. All earthlings are invited!

The new series will be released and celebrated on April 30, 2016 from 1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio. To ‘book your trip,’ send us your RSVPs at 847-869-7920 or by email at contact@evejewelry.com. To learn more about Eve Alfillé and her inspiration, go to www.evejewelry.com.