Design Series

A design series is a grouping of jewelry pieces that are related to each other by a theme. Eve creates a new jewelry series every six months. They appear alphabetically below, most with a short story or poem from Eve about the series. Click on the name or the picture to go to the individual jewelry pieces.

"With each of my Series, I tell a story: of  the woods, the water, the sky, of the long history of nations and of the love between two people. Then you will add your story, and that of your family, to entwine into a delicate, precious, unique jewel, for you and for generations to come."

-Eve

Design Series

Series 1 to 10 of 39  

 

A Winter's Tale



1. Early warning She arose, drowsy.  Fingers of  diffuse light danced on the ceiling, her eyes now following the patterns. With an exclamation, she swung off the bed , running to the wide  uncurtained windows:  her tree now gloved with fresh snow hung silent, waiting.  All was silent, new, untested.

2. Inner light That day, he woke in bad humor:  no matter how he tried to push the dream away, shreds enveloped him still.  He stumbled to the  high window, at first unseeing, his breath turning to frost, then wiped the pane with a clumsy hand.  The skeleton of  a tree appeared, wrapped in icicles.  He turned to face the day, whistling tunelessly.

3. Untitled Very silently, she rose.  Though the glass swirled with crystalline patterns, she could make out a crescent moon, high in the sky, and the silhouette of bare  branches. This would make the third month of her incarceration.

4. Joy Saint Sylvester, the last evening of the year.  Her parents swung her high, time and again, strolling the boulevard,  rows of plane trees strung with white lights.  Happy throngs were walking to and fro, exchanging greetings.  In May, war would be declared.

5. Hard Frozen, the furrows made walking difficult.  A cow lowed somewhere, dawn was near.  She stretched to match their pace, sensing haste, not understanding.  Here and there, patches of snow remained, but the earth itself had turned dark and hostile.

6. Thaw The earth was chanting, a low song of deliverance: from trees, a stream of droplets, then another.  Icicles broke off, then shattered.  There was sun, there was a new kind of light, there was wet earth, happy mud, and every body knew the long dark dream had come to an end.  But she also wanted to shout a goodbye to  the quiet snowy mornings, the buried villages, snowflakes caught on the tongue, winter magic and all its inhabitants.  Not all was evil, a lesson learned.

– Eve J. Alfillé,  Fall 2008



 

Acanthus



Anniversaries, in a way, are portals, stoas, doorways, gates, through which we leave the old ways and enter the new. The New Year–the sun’s traveling anniversary–is our annual orgy of looking back and looking forward, preferably accompanied by celebration–“look how far we’ve come”!

Humans love to celebrate: a year, ten years, a hundred, a thousand...I know this well because you have often asked me to accompany the occasion with a unique jewel, much as the Ancients did.

So when someone asked what metaphor would best distill the essence of our great millennial passage, I thought for a while, of a jewel that would take us forward and backward. Both at the same time, like the Roman god Janus.

Janus was the doorkeeper of heaven, the god of beginnings and endings. Second only to Jupiter, he had two faces arising from one body, one looking forward and one looking back, since a door can let you in, or let you out. The first month of the year was named after him rather than the last, perhaps because we set more store by hope than we do by regret.

In that way I see the coming year as representing humankind’s profound need to reflect on its trajectory. We stand under the portico and invoke Janus for the wisdom to see the past and the future at once. A house is only as strong as its doors. Janus’ status as a god declined as the Empire went on. Soon, barbarians were at the gates.

– Eve J. Alfillé, Fall 1999



 

Alone Together



Script: Alone Together in eleven scenes

1. A fourth-floor walkup on a quiet street in Paris. A child is playing with blocks on the floor while a radio is playing. She is Aimee, (ay-may), later called Violette, a small, quiet, brown-haired child with wide eyes.

Sound: a man is ranting, screaming at a high pitch. A crowd roars, again and again, in successive waves. The windows rattle. Somebody swiftly crosses the floor, switches off the sound. It is 1940.

2. A slightly taller Aimee, two years later, wincing as her mother braids her hair to get ready for school.

"Why can't I go play with Claudine after school? why not?”

“You just can't.”

“But why not? Everybody plays outside after school.”

“We are not like everybody. We have to stay quiet. Il ne faut pas se faire remarquer. Do not draw attention to yourself.”

3. The Convent of St Vincent De Paul. The school principal, Soeur Marie Catherine, is quietly talking with another sister. Both wear the wide wimple and flowing habit. They rise and walk to a nearby classroom, where they stand against a wall, observing as twenty five second graders file in.

The students, in a chorus: "Dear sister, we have the honor to salu-ute you". They sit down, and open their books. The teacher asks a question. Aimee raises her hand, as usual. "Any one else?" No one responds. The teacher sighs.

The good sisters have agreed to hide the child, but Aimee stands out more than is wise. At the end of the school year, Aimee will not be asked to step forward to receive the prize she knows she deserves. Fifty years later, this will still rankle.



 

Antiquities



"She dreamed of princes
Robed galloping on legendary steeds,
Long maned queens disrobing in tents,
Banquet tables, staghorned cups,
Millennia of gold spilling
Worked, caparisoned, into the virtual reality
of her mind."

– Eve J. Alfillé, Spring 1990



 

Architectural



"A Tower, ascending to heaven...
Hic Roma est? A machine for living?
Structure, we call it, architecture,
Mankind's will against chaos.
But have we understood chaos?"

– Eve J. Alfillé, Spring 1986



 

Asia



I have always wondered at humankind’s capacity for abstraction.

“Asia” began for me with ancient Chinese bronzes from the 10th century B.C. The beautiful coiling patterns, evoking animals of the Asian steppes, to me seemed modern once again.

I hope you will see them as I do, and accompany me once more, as you have done for all these years, on an evolving artistic experiment.

Thank you, very much. Without you, it couldn’t be.

– Eve J. Alfillé, Fall 2003



 

Au fond des choses



When we are young, we live only in the moment. Who we are, what we do, who we like (or hate) is all about right now. Past and future are opaque, a construct your parents might be forcing on you.

Later, though, things change. A wonderful thing happens: the veil lifts, and you see, not through random surfacing memories, as you might think, but in layers. You can go back and magically recall how you felt at 5, 15, 25, and so on, and you can tie cause and effect. It is a powerful ability, and gives you the illusion of being very wise. You draw conclusions, and declare yourself satisfied with life.

For me, a child of six and seven living in France during WWII, home was half of a bombed-out house in a tiny hamlet at the edge of a forest. Those were not bad, or sad years. True, there were nightmares of imagined 5 am raids. I lay in bed long after bedtime straining to capture my parents worried whispered voices. But when I entered the quiet fragrant woods, the rushing river that was the world slowed to a trickle, and I could suddenly hear leaves falling.

I studied how things grew, fought for air, rose high and fell, and when I burrowed into the piles at my feet, beneath the twigs and roots, there were acorns raising spindly white stems, new life from old. There were surprises too, among the layered sere leaves: a caterpillar, a frog, a spent shell from a long ago war. This is how I grew, and how my secret self was formed. I made up little poems, and thought about the world in that forest.

– Eve Alfille, Fall 2010



 

Crown of Leaves



Constant as the sun, deciduous as the seasons.
Who will sing the leaf?
Far cousins in country weddings,
Naiads in dappled shadows.
Victors of august races
And those who apply poultices
humbly gathered in the woods.
Who will sing of knowing the leaf?
The lanceolar, the dentate
And those, perhaps not known
From far-away taxonomies.
Who will speak for the familiar
the supple, brittle, the ones after whom are named
A thousand figments of our organization?
No one.
So perhaps I will.

– Eve J. Alfillé, Spring 2001



 

Dancing Under the Stars



Like in the beautiful painting Carnival, (1908), by Lionel Feininger, my new series "Dancing under the Stars” is animated by a stirring contrast of warm and cool colors, and strong textures representing human passions cooled by the cosmos.

My warm side is ablaze with rubies, orange garnets, red garnets, burgundy sapphires and amethysts.Their ardor is quenched by the teal blues and greens of tourmalines, muddy aquamarines, fine labradorites blue as the night sky and the tang of wonderful peridots.

Those colors and textures reappear, confirmed by the complexity of Diane Alfillé's art glass collages.
The series is bold, passionate, and speaks of artists equally at ease in the daily world and that of dreams.

– Eve J. Alfillé, Fall 2011



 

Deja Vu



Can you believe it's been twenty-five years? Twenty-five years of taming the wild feathers of inspiration to land at precise times, a precise place, my studio. Twenty-five years of flight, an arc of light, of color, of strength, subsumed into tiny precious objects:

For all of you, who read this, my muses, my patrons throughout. Thank you. You, who saw an object, and cradled it, and offered it to the altar of  someone you loved and wanted to honor. What a chance you took, to adopt one of my children. And to love it daily. Thank you. Do it again.

Maybe it glistens on your finger, mindful of vows taken. Pearls, or a shimmering thing, your work's reward. Or, unique, the gems that called your name? Whatever you chose, whatever you undertook to take home, please know it helped me, and  freed me to explore, and bring to earth, one by one, each spring and fall, hewn from rock and earth and fire and time, the many inspirations, the tiny precious objects – The many series of the past twenty five years!

– Eve J. Alfillé, Fall 2012



 

Series 1 to 10 of 39

 
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