Gem of an Ed­u­ca­tion

STU­DENTS OF Van Cleef & Ar­pels’ JEW­ELLERY SCHOOL BEN­E­FIT FROM ITS MOVE INTO NEW PREMISES IN PARIS THAT PRO­VIDE MORE SPACE AND STUDY OP­TIONS

Hong Kong Tatler - - Spotlight -

Van cleef & ar­pels’ jew­ellery school, L’ecole, which quickly es­tab­lished an en­vi­able rep­u­ta­tion after its found­ing in 2012, re­cently moved into the mai­son’s ren­o­vated 18th­cen­tury Paris town­house, L’hô­tel Van Cleef & Ar­pels des Métiers. The mul­ti­storey build­ing on Place Vendôme pro­vides the school with mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties, new class­rooms and work­shops, a li­brary lounge and more space.

The renowned mai­son, known for in­no­va­tions such as the Mys­tery set­ting and the Zip neck­lace, pro­vides a fas­ci­nat­ing look into the world of high jew­ellery through the care­fully cu­rated cur­ricu­lum of its school. It’s a world where cen­turies-old skills are prac­tised by a hand­ful of ar­ti­sans—and a world with a grow­ing need for new re­cruits.

“A mai­son such as ours has the duty to support artis­tic crafts­man­ship so that it re­mains alive and ever more cre­ative,” says L’ecole Van Cleef & Ar­pels pres­i­dent Marie Val­lanet-del­hom.

With the move into the new premises, which are de­signed in the style of an 18th­cen­tury salon, the school was able to in­crease the num­ber of cour­ses it of­fers. As well as at­tract­ing peo­ple want­ing to make a ca­reer in jew­ellery, the cour­ses also draw those who are just cu­ri­ous or pas­sion­ate about gems, who are in­ter­ested in gain­ing an un­der­stand­ing of the tech­niques of jew­ellery-mak­ing rather than prac­tis­ing them.

“It is a jew­ellery-ini­ti­a­tion school for the pub­lic,” says Val­lanet-del­hom. “The project aims to ed­u­cate par­tic­i­pants in taste and ap­pre­ci­a­tion, and to of­fer them a hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence, mas­tered and un­der­stood through per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The cur­ricu­lum of­fers stu­dents, whether novices or al­ready work­ing in the in­dus­try, a unique method of learn­ing, she says. “A piece of jew­ellery is a re­sult of col­lec­tive work and a com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent skills,” says VallanetDelhom. “There’s a large amount ded­i­cated to ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, so in a four-hour class on ap­pre­ci­at­ing jew­ellery tech­niques, we spend one hour in the class­room and three at L’ecole Van Cleef & Ar­pels’ work­shops—where the master jew­ellers and de­sign­ers are—to see how tech­niques are done, wit­ness the com­ple­tion of a piece and try it on.”

The school of­fers more than a dozen cour­ses based on three themes: The His­tory

of the Art, The Uni­verse of Gem­stones, and Le Savoir-faire. The his­tory mod­ule re­veals to stu­dents the ma­jor aes­thetic sources and sym­bols that have in­flu­enced jew­ellery de­sign through­out his­tory. The Uni­verse of Gem­stones cour­ses pro­vide knowl­edge about the ori­gin and evo­lu­tion of gem­stones, and stu­dents learn how to dis­tin­guish and ma­nip­u­late pre­cious stones.

Le Savoir-faire cour­ses trans­port stu­dents to the work­shops of Van Cleef & Ar­pels to ex­plore, ad­mire and ex­pe­ri­ence the crafts­man­ship be­hind the cre­ation of high jew­ellery and the mai­son’s time­pieces.

Stu­dents can en­rol in one or more cour­ses, although a few, such as “En­ter­ing the Van Cleef & Ar­pels uni­verse” and “Hav­ing ac­cess to Van Cleef & Ar­pels cre­ations”, have pre­req­ui­site sub­jects.

More than 2,200 stu­dents from 30 coun­tries have stud­ied at the school since it opened in 2012. The cur­ricu­lum has ex­panded to 13 cour­ses that last for four hours each. The cour­ses are given in French and English.

This month, Van Cleef & Ar­pels’ jew­ellery school takes up res­i­dence in Cen­tral, Hong Kong. Cour­ses will run at PMQ on Hol­ly­wood Road for two weeks, from Oc­to­ber 16 to Novem­ber 1.

THE RENOWNED MAI­SON PRO­VIDES A FAS­CI­NAT­ING LOOK INTO THE WORLD OF HIGH JEW­ELLERY THROUGH THE CARE­FULLY CU­RATED CUR­RICU­LUM OF ITS SCHOOL

SPARKLY SCULP­TURES The Savoire- Faire classes teach stu­dents to make jew­ellery moulds from pewter

CRE­ATIVE SPACE L’ecole Van Cleef & Ar­pels’ lec­ture room in the mai­son’s 18th- cen­tury town­house on Place Vendôme

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