Oysters are delicate creatures. Situated midway on the ocean food chain, they depend heavily on the microscopic creatures that inhabit the ocean. Without this oceanic food supply they would be unable to produce the lustrous pearls we all admire. Michelle Hoffman, is an award-winning educator who holds advanced degrees in Marine Biology (University of New South Wales) and law (DePaul University) and is currently working on a film about this delicate, microscopic, ocean environment.
Microcosm is a ninety minute, high definition visual journey into the microscopic universe of the ocean. Within the microcosm dwells the foundation of life as we know it; it is the base of the oceanic food web, generator of the air we breathe, toxins that can poison our food supply, potential medicines that will save a loved one, and the fuels that might someday power your home. There is exquisite beauty and biological diversity in the microcosm that has captivated artists throughout the centuries and provided the foundation for coral reefs so large they can be seen from outer space. Through this film Michele hopes to underscore the artistry of the delicate creatures she calls "living snowflakes" and help people understand that these organisms represent the topsoil of the ocean. The story to be told is one of interconnectedness, and untapped potential for a cleaner planet and healthier ocean.
Ms. Hoffman began her love affair with the ocean at age five with the gift of a shell. At sixteen, she took her first life-altering breath on scuba, and by twenty-three she was a fully hooked PADI instructor. Michele’s articles and photography have appeared in international publications including an underwater photo shoot for Playboy, and she has been recognized in several international photo competitions. Some of Michele’s favorite dive locations include Thailand, Ireland, Hawaii, Australia, Honduras, Bahamas, Puget Sound, and the Floridian caves. Currently Michele is an active contractor with Dive Into Your Imagination and a faculty member of Columbia College, School of the Art Institute, and Roosevelt University where she teaches a range of courses that span traditional ocean sciences to sustainability courses that encompass law, policy, and ethics. At the core of Michele’s teaching philosophy is the belief that there is an inner scientist in everyone. She resides in Chicago with husband Bob and young son Ryan (also avid ocean enthusiasts) who share in her research and travel adventures!
Please join us on Sunday, September 22, 2013 from 3-5pm to see some of the stunning images and learn more about the ocean environment that supports us all, and allows us to wear the softly glowing orbs we so love!
Please reserve now as seating is limited, 847-869-7920, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Refreshments will be served.
Readers may also wish to attend the Microcosm: An Evening of Art & Inquiry fundraising & education event at Columbia College of Chicago, October 17, 2013 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. More information is available on their website: www.microcosmfilm.com
Pearl Society member and world traveler, Emily Christian reports on her recent
visit to the Persian Gulf tracking the history of the world’s most valuable
natural pearls. This will be a lively and fun meeting so please join us on Sunday, August 4th, from 3 to 5pm at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, 623 Grove Street, Evanston, Illinois, 60201.
Ms. Christian is the second Pearl Society member to gain
access to the relatively inaccessible Dubai Pearl Museum, whose main objective is to help preserve the colorful history of the pearl divers and merchants of Arabia. The National Bank of Dubai
where it resides, which former speaker Heidi Bohn described, has changed
ownership. Renamed Bank of the Emirates, it now features a segregated section for women’s banking. Ms. Christian also zoomed up to the top of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is 2,717 feet high, which she tells us only takes 58 seconds by elevator! Come and
hear the adventures of this intrepid pearl lover and world traveler.
Please reserve now! 847-869-7920
or e-mail Eve at email@example.com
Refreshments will be served
Bank of Dubai, now called the Bank of the Emirates
View looking down from the world's tallest building, in Dubai
Standing alongside the fabulous pearl collection at the
Dubai Pearl Museum, in the Bank of the Emirates
Upcoming Pearl Society Event: Sun. July 22, 2012 from 3 - 5 pm at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio
Following his highly entertaining 2011 talk on the Wisconsin Pearl Rush, historian and journalist George Johnson will be returning to The Pearl Society on Sunday, July 22, 2012 from 3 to 5 pm with friend and fellow pearl aficianado Norm Lange to host a lively lecture and discussion titled "Wisconsin Pearl Stories."
When word got around that there were pearls to be found in the Mississippi and its tributaries, there was a big rush, similar to the Gold Rush; and until recently this was never truly documented. Johnson who spoke to our membership about the “American Pearl Rush: Its Wisconsin Beginnings” in March of 2011 had then, just published his article “Wisconsin’s Pearl Craze” on that subject in the Spring '12 edition of Wisconsin Magazine of History.
This will be a continuation of the Pearl Rush, including stories of individual pearls and together with Norm Lange, they will go into some detail about the identification and collecting of our natural pearls.
Mr. Johnson will be signing copies of the Spring 2012 edition of Wisconsin magazine of history issue which has his article “Wisconsin’s Pearl Craze” The first 40 attendees will receive a free copy of this issue!
As many of you know, Natural American pearls were extremely highly valued in the nineteenth century, especially in the Art Nouveau era when the asymmetrical forms of nature were favored. Most of the jewels from that era in European museums are set with beautiful American natural pearls, as opposed to the round Oriental pearls (from the Persian gulf and Ceylon) which were used before.
Of course, once the rush took place, the pearl-bearing mussels took a long time to recover, and Wisconsin pearls now are very few and far between, especially with ongoing pollution. As Mr. Johnson wrote in his article, "Today all collecting of clams for any purpose is against the law in Wisconsin and surrounding waters, with one exception..." They allow carefully regulated harvests by professional divers for use as nucleii in the far Pacific cultured pearl industry. So we treasure the natural American pearls we have!
The Peninsula School of Art has arranged for pearl expert and Pearl Society founder Eve J. Alfillé, to lead a pair of seminars on Pearls including: Designing with Pearls and Buying & Collecting Pearls.
Consider taking an inspiring trip to beautiful Door County, Wisconsin where you can learn hands-on about pearls while from Eve's while enjoying scenic beauty!
Eve will present two pearl project designs using both metal wire and sheet, followed by an opportunity to work on your own designs with her assistance.
Eve shares her passion and wisdom about pearls in tales filled with ancient and flamboyant characters, but also imparts practical knowledge, both for those who wish to design with pearls, and for those who love to acquire them. View Eve's Pearl Work online
For over 40 years, Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, has been a destination for visual arts education in a wide range of media. Over 100 years ago, artists began to retreat to Door County seeking inspiration from the landscape. They met and studied together informally and from this fledgling art colony, grew the desire to create a permanent place for artistic study and development on the Door Peninsula. Founded over 45 years ago, Peninsula School of Art, has grown to become a year-round destination for artists and art appreciators of all ages and levels.
To register go to their website by clicking this link: Peninsula School of Art. Or you can type this address into your web browser: http://www.peninsulaschoolofart.com.
Title: Designing with Pearls
Instructor: Eve Alfille
Course ID: JE1215
Date: Fri-Sat • Aug 3-4 • 9am-4pm
Level: Advanced Beginner and Above
Member Tuition: $320 + materials fee
Non-Member Tuition: $345 + materials fee
Tags: Akoya, Aquaculture, archaeology, artist, beauty, Buying and Collecting Pearls, calcium carbonate, China, Course, Cultured Pearls, custom designed pearl jewelry, custom jewelry, custom pearl jewelry, designer, designer Jewelry, Designing with Pearls, Door County, Door County Wisconsin, Eve Alfille, Eve J. Alfille, Eve J. Alfillé, evejewelry.com, exotic gems, fabrication, fashion, faux pearls, fine jewelry, Freshwater Pearls, Guru, habitats, heirloom, Instructor, Japan, jewellery, jewelry designer, making pearls, metal, mollusk, Pearl, pearl aficianado, pearl care, Pearl Course, Pearl Farming, Pearl Guru, Pearl jewelry, Pearl Origins, pearl origins, Pearl Society, Pearls, Pearls, Peninsula School of Art, precious metal, rare pearls, real pearls, science, Seminar, South Seas, style. Wearing pearls, Tahiti, Tahitian, tuition, Viet Nam, wire, Wisconsin
Next Pearl Society Meeting: Sunday May 20, from 3 to 5 pm at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio
Join us on Sunday May 20, from 3 to 5 pm. as the author of “Pearls”, Renee Newman, returns to the Pearl Society for a book signing and discussion of her new book “Rare Gemstones”. This and several of her other books will be available for purchase and signing by the author at this meeting including Exotic Gemstones Volume I and Volume II, and Jewelry Handbook, as well as her newest work: "Rare Gemstones" . Come see which of these gems you might not be familiar with! While you are here, check out Eve's new series, "Jazz Age" which features a necklace of grey keshi pearls and raw grey diamonds.
Please reserve your place now by calling 847-869-7920 or e-mail artist, jewelry designer and pearl aficianado, Eve Alfillé at firstname.lastname@example.org. Refreshments will be served.
Save the Date: Sunday, July 15 from 3 to 5 pm for the following Pearl Society meeting
Author, historian, and natural American pearl expert George Johnson will present “Wisconsin Pearl Stories”.
Tags: Artist Eve Alfille, Book Signing, Books, Bracelets, cufflinks, Designer Jewelry, earrings, engagement Rings, Eve J. Alfillé, Eve. Eve Alfille, Exotic Gems, Gemstones, jewelry, Necklaces, Pearls, Pendants, Rare Gems, Rare Gemstones, Renée Newman, Rings, Wedding Bands, Wedding Jewelry, Wedding Rings
"...For in (opals) you shall see the living fire of the ruby, the glorious purple of the amethyst, the sea green of the emerald, all glittering together in an incredible mixture of light."
Pliny, 1st Century A.D.
Miracles of refracted light: Pearls and Opals
Join us on January 15, 2012, from 3 to 5 pm
"Things Are Not What They Seem" earrings - carved opals, Souths Seas pearls, 18k gold by artist Eve J. Alfillé
Join us on January 15, 2012, from 3 to 5 pm, for the next meeting of The Pearl Society, and become an expert not only on pearls, but on boulder opals.
Robert Shapiro, a long time collector and specialist in opals more recently added Tahitian pearls to his interests and inventory. Each of these gems derives its sensuous appeal from refracted light: opals through their unique structure retain water through which light circulates.
You will learn to distinguish the merely good from the exquisite, viewing actual opal samples and comparing their appeal to that of Robert's lush Tahiti pearls,also on view that day. If you are in the Chicago area, or can make arrangements to be here for the meeting, you are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to contact@EveJewelry.com or call The Eve J. Alfillé Gallery, 847-869-7920 to reserve your spot as space is limited.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Eve Alfille doles out her wisdom about pearls in tales filled with ancient history, flamboyant characters and practical knowledge about the calcium carbonate creations -- beauty born from an irritation inside a mollusk.
The founder of The Pearl Society, based near Chicago, gave a three-hour lecture about pearls at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History today. She punctuated her presentation with examples of some of the rarest natural and cultured -- or created -- pearls from all over the globe.
Alfille started out decades ago as a field archaeologist unearthing mostly shards of cooking pots and tools from lands inhabited by humble people.
But one thing that piqued her interest was that there was always some form jewelry -- and the pieces were often nicer than the surroundings would lead her to expect.
Alfille was fascinated by the radiant pieces of jewelry people wore around their necks, close to their hearts.
"It's human nature to handle it, you fondle it. It's close to you. It has meaning to you and it becomes an extension of self, "Alfille said. "This was where the original value of jewelry was, in transcendence."
Pearls are among earliest examples worn as embellishments by both women and men , going back thousands of years, she said.
Her lecture was sponsored and attended by members of the newly reborn Cleveland Gemological Society. The group consists of area jewelers, gem enthusiasts, collectors and hobbyists who meet monthly, said Molly Paschke, of South Russell.
Paschke, who recently returned to the area after college and is studying with the Gemological Institute of America, revived the dormant group that was founded in 1985. Alfille said the pearl, with its naturally occurring luster and creamy radiance, has always captured people's imaginations. But she added that in modern history it has taken a backseat to the diamond, mostly thanks to heavy marketing efforts by diamond giants like DeBeers.
Photo Credit Peggy Turbett, The Plain Dealer.
A strand of silvery white South Seas cultured pearls, known as Baroques for their irregular shape, are connected with chocolate pave diamonds, part of the display presented by Eve J. Alfille, founder of the United States Pearl Society, at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History Sunday. All about pearls gallery (7 photos)
Eve J. Alfille, founder of the U.S. Pearl Society, wears South Seas circle pearls during her lecture on the history and variety of pearls at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Sunday. Alfillé, a jewelry designer, owns the Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio in Evanston, Ill.
Photo Credit Peggy Turbett, The Plain Dealer.
Niki Novello, jeweler with Cleveland Jewelry Designs in Lyndhurst, takes a close look at a bridal necklace made of Oriental pearls sewn with horsehair, part of the display presented by Eve J. Alfille for her lecture on the history and varieties of pearls at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History Sunday.
At the center of Alfille's world of pearls is nacre, the secretion that forms pearls in layers over time.
Harnessing the substance has been a fascination for legions of fisherman, sketchy businessmen and pearl doctors always looking to one-up each other with secret processes for enhancing quality, size and price of the precious objects, she said.
Alfille showcased rare pearls made of abalone, funky baroque-style and a natural pearl bridal necklace made of tiny orbs stitched onto shell with horsehair.
She also brought examples of more pedestrian strands, dyed pearls and some experiments gone wrong that show the progression of the industry, now dominated by Chinese pearl farmers who have learned to grow strikingly shiny cylindrical pearls that are coveted for their uniformity.
Now, she said, people like pearls with odd shapes and more relaxed designs.
"People now want beauty that doesn't look like it's trying too hard."
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Tags: abalone, akoya pearls, Alfillé, Antique, baroque, baroque style, calcium carbonate creations, Chinese pearl farmers, Cleveland Museum, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, custom jeweler, custom jewelry, custom jewelry designer, custom jewelry designer Eve J. Alfille, custom jewelry Evanston, custom jewelry in Chicago Illinois, designer jewelry, Eve Alfillé, Eve J. Alfille, freshwater pearls, history and varieties of pearls, horsehair, jewelry, jewelry designer, jewelry designer, lecture, mollusk, nacre, natural pearl bridal necklace, Ohio, Oriental Pearls, oyster, pearl doctors, pearl expert, pearl varieties, pearls, pearls from around the world, presentation, rare Biwa pearls, South Seas Pearls, South Seas Pearls, Tahitian Pearls, the Pearl Society, The Plain Dealer
Join us for our next meeting
"The American Pearl Rush: Its' Wisconsin Beginnings"
Sunday, March 6, 2011 from 3 pm to 5 pm
George Johnson, journalist and historian, has recently completed a major project detailing a seldom-described aspect of U.S. history. His scholarly article The American Pearl Rush: Its' Wisconsin Beginnings is to appear in the Wisconsin Magazine of History.
While the American Gold Rush has been thoroughly documented and romanticized, the equally sensational Pearl Rush, which occurred from August 1889 to 1915, has never been thoroughly described. Mr. Johnson sees himself as the successor of famed gemologist George Kunz, who, in his 1908 "Book of the Pearl" could only cover the beginning of the Wisconsin stampede to pearls.
What happened to those pearls is the subject of much speculation as well. Once the rush ended, pearling gave way to clamming, both for nacre to produce buttons for the world, and for nuclei to send to Japan for the nascent cultured pearl industry. But some natural pearls continued to be discovered, and some of those will be on view for this presentation. Mr. Johnson, who has another vocation as a restorer of native prairie, is an energetic and fascinating speaker. Copies of the January 2011 Wisconsin Magazine of History will be available to be signed by the author. To be held on Sunday, March 6, from 3 to 5 pm at the gallery.
Refreshments will be served
RSVP: 847-869-7920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please RSVP Now – space is limited
Tags: 14 karat gold and pearl, 18 karat gold and pearl, abalone, Akoya, akoya pearls, Alfillé, Antique, Aquaculture, baroque, baroque style, beauty, bridal necklace, calcium carbonate, calcium carbonate creations, China, Chinese pearl farmers, Cultured Pearls, custom designed pearl jewelry, custom jeweler, custom jewelry, custom jewelry designer, custom jewelry designer Eve J. Alfille, custom jewelry Evanston, custom jewelry in Chicago Illinois, custom pearl jewelry, designer jewelry, Designing with Pearls, Eve Alfille, Eve Alfillé, Eve J. Alfille, Eve J. Alfille, exotic gems, fabrication, fashion, freshwater pearls, Freshwater Pearls, gold and pearls, growing pearls, habitats, heirloom, high karat gold and pearls, Japan, Jewelry, jewelry, Jewelry designer, jewelry designer, jewelry designer, keshi pearls, Kobe Japan, lecture, mollusk, mollusk, nacre, Oriental Pearls, oyster, palladium and pearls, pearl care, pearl culture, pearl doctors, pearl expert, pearl farm, pearl farming, Pearl Guru, Pearl Origins, pearl origins, Pearl Society, pearl varieties, pearls, pearls from around the world, platinum and pearls, poppy seed pearls, precious metal, presentation, rare Biwa pearls, rare pearls, rose gold & pearls, science, South Seas, South Seas Pearls, South Seas Pearls, style. Wearing pearls, Tahiti, Tahitian, Tahitian Pearls, The Pearl Society, the Pearl Society, varieties of pearls, Viet Nam, white gold and pearls
Floridian Marlene Miller is fascinated with pearls... and pearl artifacts... and things from the past. This lively, highly enthusiastic and knowledgeable speaker is an irrepressible collector (and maker of craft objects) who has amassed a personal collection of objects of desire for all pearl lovers: conch pearls, abalone pearls, Biwa pearls. She also has a rare stereoscopic film of Lake Biwa, a century past. The Pearl Society will host Miller at our next meeting, Sunday, July 18th from 3 pm to 5 pm, at The Eve J. Alfille Gallery.
Marlene scours antique shops and garage sales on the lookout for things like the single pearl pendants favored by ladies in the Fifties (I think I once saw a photo of Marilyn Monroe wearing one). When she discovered an authentic Faberge egg pendant made of pink Honduran opal (she had the expertise to know what it was), she went on to find the perfect necklace to wear it from: a rare strand of pink natural Mississippi pearls.Join us for a chance to see and touch these and many treasures that Ms. Miller will transport to Chicago for our pleasure and edification, and bring a friend!
The meeting will be Sunday, July 18th from 3 pm to 5 pm
at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery &
623 Grove Street, Evanston, Illinois 60201 • 847-869-7920