L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts Hong Kong

September 15, 2017 by Laura Gomez


 

L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts is the first school to shed the light on the hidden world of jewelry to the public. The school is open to the public, those who are passionate, anyone who wishes to acquire inside knowledge of this fascinating world.

It is truly delightful hosting L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts at The Former Police Married Quarters again in 2017. Once the original home of Central School and later renamed Queen’s College in 1894, it was the first government school to provide primary and secondary Western education. In 1948, the building was demolished for the construction of the Police Married Quarters, or PMQ for short – the first of its kind to provide accommodation for married junior police officers.

Today, the PMQ is Hong Kong’s creative design hub, serving to showcase unique brands and elevate the appreciation of design and innovation within the public. Retaining the two quarters blocks from its original architecture, the PMQ also has a multi-function hall known as “The Cube” and a 1,000 square metres Central Courtyard, along with design galleries, bookstores and cafes.

The teaching staff at L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts in Hong Kong consists of 14 instructors: jewelers, art historians, experts, gemologists and historians of time. Although each of them deals with its own specific field of expertise, the instructors are united by the desire to share their knowledge through experimentation and dialogue. They include:

The Mock-up Artists And Designers
Graduates of the prestigious Ecole Boulle, these artists guide students through the first stages of creation.

The Gemologists
Stone buyers, with dual training in gemology and geology: they have a uniquely deep and broad understanding of precious gemstones, which has inspired them to teach in order to share their passion.

The Art Historians
Graduates of programs such as L’École du Louvre (Paris), or Princeton University (USA), their experience, enthusiasm, understanding of jewelry, their passion for sharing and transmission: have made it their destiny to incarnate L’École’s teaching.

The Jewelers
“Mains d’Or” of Van Cleef & Arpels’ High Jewelry workshop, they total more than 100 years of professional experience. At the highest rank in their profession, they initiate each participant into the jewelers’ gestures.

Courses:

ART HISTORY OF JEWELRY
From the origins to the present, immerse yourself in the very essence of the History of the worlds of jewelry and watchmaking, their major aesthetic sources, their experts, famous jewels and legendary gemstones.
Art Nouveau Jewelry: Discover how Art Nouveau revitalized jewelers’ art. This class is conducted by two art historians. A splendid time for artistic creation, Art Nouveau identified the jewel as a work of art. Let’s decipher and interpret together the style of this period of tumultuous change: the « Belle Epoque »

History & Jewels:
Learn from the History of Jewelry and master jewelers. This class is conducted by two art historians.
Periods, tastes, styles: each jewel has a story to tell. Let’s listen to what these precious witnesses to the History of the Arts have to say to us.

SAVOIR FAIRE:
Step by step, become familiar with the jewelry arts and crafts, their techniques and their Savoir-Faire.


From French jewels to Japanese lacquer:

Immerse yourself into two magnificent arts and crafts traditions. This class is conducted by a Master of Japanese Urushi lacquer instructor and a jeweler with many years’ experience in Van Cleef & Arpels’ workshops.
Two traditions, two Arts, two types of Savoir-Faire: French Jewelry and Japanese Urushi Lacquer. Seated at the jeweler’s bench, you work both with metal and with inlaid vegetable ivory, to create motifs on a butterfly jewel’s wings. In the lacquer workshop, using tools and materials from far away, you create your lacquered butterfly, praticing three of the lacquer master’s ancestral techniques: placing colors, Maki-e, and mosaics in mother of pearl.

From the wax project to the setting techniques:
Understand the steps taken to create a jewel: from the wax project to hands-on experience in setting on a silver mounting. This class is conducted by a jeweler and a stone-setter – both with many years’ experience in Van Cleef & Arpels’ workshops – along with an instructor.
Your Professors, the « Mains d’Or » (Golden Hands) from the High Jewelry workshop, lead you in your search for symmetry, modeling the shapes, drawing out the placing of the stones… Then, you will carry out, with your own hands, 2 setting techniques : bezel setting and prong setting.

The gouaché in High Jewelry 1: the light:
In jewelry, creation is the result of a team effort, for which the design is the first step. The gouaché is a technically detailed rendering which will guide all the different « hands » who will participate in the creation of the jewel. The mockup maker, the jewelers, the gemologists, the polishers, the setters: all will refer back to it during every single stage. The gouaché prefigures the jewel, both in volume and in color. In this course you will discover how the designer must perfectly express the association of color with light. From cabochon shape to faceted cuts, you will apply the techniques for gouaché which show the liveliness of the real stones.

The gouaché in High Jewelry 2: the color:
In jewelry, creation is the result of a team effort, for which the design is the first step. The gouaché is a technically detailed rendering which will guide all the different « hands » who will participate in the creation of the jewel. The mockup maker, the jewelers, the gemologists, the polishers, the setters: all will refer back to it during every single stage. The gouaché prefigures the jewel, both in volume and in color. In this course you will discover how the designer must perfectly express the association of color with light. From cabochon shape to faceted cuts, you will apply the techniques for gouaché which show the liveliness of the real stones.

Trying out the jeweler’s techniques:
Experiencing craftsmanship and discovering how to create a High Jewelry masterpiece. This class is conducted by a jeweler and a stone-setter – both with many years’ experience in Van Cleef & Arpels’ workshops – along with an instructor.
There is so much to discover about the creation of an iconic jewel. Above and beyond the value of the precious metal and the gemstones which go into the jewel, there is a summit of achievement reached together by all those who practice the savoir-faire of jewelry making. You will try out the jeweler’s gestures hands-on, and thus experience for yourself all the richness of these artistic professions, guided personally by the Master Jewelers.

Trying your hand at Japanese urushi lacquer:
L’École, The School of Jewelry Arts invites you to find out for yourself about the practice of this exquisite artisanal art.
In the dedicated workshop, our Lacquer Master will lead you in discovery of the ancestral technical secrets and will help you to make your own lacquered butterfly.

www.hk.lecolevancleefarpels.com

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