Eve J. Alfillé, artist and owner of Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio, announces the opening of her new Feathers series from 1 to 7 p.m. on May 4. There will be champagne, snacks and frivolity to introduce this lighthearted collection of earrings, necklaces and rings. 

Ms. Alfillé, a French-born artist, archeologist and gem expert, opened her Evanston-based gallery and studio in 1987. Inspired by their color, lightness and structure, Ms. Alfillé experiments with apatite, blue topaz, emerald and tanzanite to mimic the plumage of feathered friends. Feather shapes sparkle with rubies and garnets and necklaces with opals, turquoise, citrine and sapphires. 

Ms. Alfillé remembers her father’s riddle to her at a young age.  “Which is heavier, a pound of iron or a pound of feathers?” he asked. Perplexed, she replied, “A pound of iron, of course.” Her father wagged his head.  “No.  They each weigh the same, a pound.”  

She says, “I knew I had disappointed him, but inside, I felt rebellion.  Could I also be right?  There was something about the image of all those feathers lightly, delicately swirling to the ground that delighted me.

“Now, these many years later, I see human discourse re- enacting the riddle. On one hand, words that… clang to the ground, words as weapons.   On the other hand…words meant to float and be slowly absorbed, words as instruments of mutual discourse.  Both reach their target, but feathers do not maim,” she says.

“I do love metal, its uncompromising hardness, its weight. I work through it every day, for peaceful purposes,” she says.