August 2017

L'École abroad

L’École, School of Jewelry Arts returns to Hong Kong for its third outing from September 16th to October 1st, 2017. The Paris-based school, which sheds light on the secretive worlds of jewelry design and history, will once again reside at the Qube in the city’s creative design hub, PMQ.

The school first travelled to Hong Kong in October 2014 for a two-week program, followed by a successful second run in March 2016. In keeping with its mission of sharing with the local community, the school invites all those who are passionate and curious about jewelry making to uncover the art behind the craft.

“L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts, has already held two successful programs in Hong Kong. The third edition is expected to bring together even more members of the creative community as they share their passion for learning and Savoir-Faire,” says Nicolas Bos President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels.

For 2017, the school will offer 10 courses, 6 of which are brand new, that cover Art History of Jewelry, Savoir-Faire and The Universe of Gemstones. Each course is limited to a number of students, encouraging personal interaction between student and instructor. It will also feature a new interior designed by Johnny Li, which pays tribute to the city’s oriental heritage.

Details of L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts

Date:                           September 16th to October 1st, 2017

Time:                           9:00am – 8:30pm (online registration for courses is required)

Address:                     The Qube, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Soho, Central

Registration link:

Enquiry:            / +852 2532 7259

* Open day on September 17th, 2017 9:00am-6:30pm (Free admission)

The Curriculum: An innovative and educational approach

Classes are based around three themes: Art History of Jewelry, Savoir-Faire and the Universe of Gemstones.

The Savoir-Faire courses transport students to the jeweler’s bench where they explore and experience the craftmanship behind jewelry making. From the past to the present, the Art History of Jewelry courses explore the major aesthetic sources and symbols that are part of the wonderful world of jewelry. The Universe of Gemstones courses invite students to a journey to the center of the earth to discover the origins and evolution of its greatest treasures - gemstones.

Each tailor-made session is limited up to a maximum of 12 students, who are encouraged to listen and watch, exchange views and delve into the subject while learning technical hands-on experience. Each session lasts for two to four hours and is led by a team of experts including jewelers, art historians and gemologists. Upon completion of each course, students will receive a certificate signed by Ms. Marie Vallanet-Delhom, President of L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts.

The Courses

1.       Art History of Jewelry

a.    History & jewels

Each jewel has a story to tell – from periods in history to culture, taste and style. Two art historians will uncover jewels that have borne witness to history while sharing their stories.

b.    Art Nouveau jewelry

A time of tumultuous change, the Art Nouveau period also marked a resurgence in artistic creation and revitalized the jeweler’s art. Students will learn about the vibrant style of the period and its effects on jewelry making from two art historians.

2.    Savoir-Faire

a.    From the wax project to the setting techniques

Discover the steps taken to create a jewel, from the wax project to hands on experience in setting on a silver mounting. The Professors, The Mains d’Or TM (or Golden Hands) from the High Jewelry workshop guide students through various techniques including shape modeling and stone placement.

b.    From French jewels to Japanese lacquer

Immerse yourself in two magnificent arts and crafts traditions in this class conducted by a master of Japanese Urushi Lacquer and a jeweler. Seated at the jeweler’s bench, students work with metal and vegetable ivory to create motifs on the wings of a butterfly jewel. In the lacquer workshop using traditional tools, students create a lacquered butterfly, practicing three of the lacquer master’s ancestral techniques - placing colors, Maki-e and mosaics in mother-of-pearl.

c.    The Gouaché in High Jewelry 1: the light

The design is the first step in jewelry creation. The gouaché is a technically detailed two-dimensional rendering which is used as a guide for the multiple hands that work together to make a jewel. The gouaché prefigures the jewel, both in volume and in color. Students will learn how to create and master volumes for a white gold jewel rendering, and how to create a subtle play of lights and shadows.

d.    The Gouaché in High Jewelry 2: the color

During the second course dedicated to this technique, students will discover how color, along with depicting the reflections, luster and brilliance of stones, allows the designer to reproduce the exact color plus the shape of the stones, up to the point where the actual stone seems to be before the eye of the viewer. Thanks to the advice of the professor, they will succeed in painting a cabochon and a faceted stone, in the precise and demanding manner of jewelry design.

e.    Trying out the jeweler’s techniques

There is so much to discover about the creation of an iconic jewel. Above and beyond the value of its materials is the collective achievement reached by all those who practice the savoir-faire of jewelry making. Students will experience the jeweler’s various techniques first-hand, while being guided personally by master jewelers.

f.     Trying your hands at Japanese urushi lacquer

Find out more about the history of this exquisite artisanal practice from Japan in this dedicated workshop. A lacquer master will lead students on a journey of discovery as they uncover the technical secrets behind this ancient art form. Students are also given the opportunity to test their newfound knowledge while making a lacquered butterfly.

3.       The Universe of Gemstones

a.     Recognize the gemstones

This class enables students to become informed connoisseurs by training their eyes and discovering the tools of the gemologist – imagining themselves at the world’s legendary gemstone markets: Chanthaburi in Thailand, Ratnapura in Sri Lanka or Bogota in Colombia. The goal is to examine very similar stones, learn to distinguish them and to identify them, first with the eye, then by mastering the gemological instruments.

b.    The diamond, a gemological exception

Diamonds have fascinated jewelers for centuries. Students will uncover the mysteries behind this fascinating stone, from its unique chemical composition to the secrets of color, clarity and cut.




Fees (HKD)

Art History of Jewelry

History & jewels

2 hours


Art Nouveau Jewelry

2 hours



From the wax project to the setting techniques

4 hours


From French jewels to Japanese lacquer

4 hours


The gouaché in High Jewelry 1: the light

3 hours


The gouaché in High Jewelry 2: the color

3 hours


Trying out the jeweler’s techniques

2 hours


Trying your hands at Japanese Urushi lacquer

2 hours


The Universe Of Gemstones

Recognize  the gemstones

4 hours


The diamond, a gemological exception

2 hours


For further information and registration for courses, please visit:

Special Programs

In addition to the set curriculum, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts also hosts and offers special programs including Evening Conversations and Creative Workshops

1.   Evening Conversations

The Evening Conversations are hosted by two experts and offer a platform for in-depth exploration of themes that are specific to the world of jewelry.


September 19th, 2017 (Tuesday) 7:30pm

Treasures & Legends

Vincent Meylan

September 20th, 2017 (Wednesday) 7:30pm

Asia Pacific PearlsLily Vongwattanakit and Inezita Gay 

September 27th, 2017 (Wednesday) 7:30pm

Stones of the sky, stones of fireEloïse Gaillou and Gislain Aucremanne

For further information and registration, please visit:

2.    Creative  Workshops

The Creative Workshops invite younger members of the community to express their creativity as they discover a new universe. Open to children from the ages of 5 to 16-years-old, they are the perfect initiation into the world of creative professions. Held in small groups of seats limited up to 12, children and teenagers are invited to create their own art objects using different materials, or learn about gemstones and jewelry making. Each workshop lasts two hours and consists of six themes.

a.  Create your jewel (5 to 8-years-old)

*Parental guidance required

Guided by a designer from Van Cleef & Arpels’ design studios, children color, cut and decorate a jewelry design template with mosaics, stones, ribbons and feathers, thereby creating their own piece of jewelry.

b.  Create your precious clock (8 to 12-years-old)

*Parental guidance advised

Guided by a designer from Van Cleef & Arpels’ design studios, children uncover the inspiration behind clocks and watches, before choosing from five nature-inspired dial models to create a clock for themselves.

c.  Make your treasure chest (8 to 12-years-old)

*Parental guidance advised

Guided by a designer from Van Cleef & Arpels’ design studios, children draw inspiration from high jewelry creations such as the Minaudière® precious case and the Mystery Set™ technique to decorate, modify and adorn a personal box for their own precious treasures.

d.  Discovering the world of stones (13 to 16-years-old)

Led by a gemologist and instructor, teenagers use gemologists’ tools to examine fine and decorative stones. By touching and manipulating the materials first-hand, they are initiated into the mysterious world of gems.

e.  The mock-up, first sculptural vision of the jewel (13 to 16-years-old)

Seated at jewelers’ benches and guided by an experienced jewelry mock-up maker, teenagers are invited to try specific techniques of jewelry mock-up making, a process where an initial design takes on a three- dimensional form.

For further information and registration, please visit:

The Legacy Program

In keeping with the spirit of sharing and transmission, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts offers the Legacy Program, which was initiated since 2014, open to gifted, young artists from any field.

To continue this meaningful engagement with the local creative community this year, L’ÉCOLE collaborates with Mines ParisTech to pair their gemstones with Van Cleef & Arpels creations around the theme “The Art of Gems – A study between jewelry & gemstones photography. The connection between raw and refined.” Renowned Hong Kong photographers and deans of educational institutes are invited to nominate one candidate (18-years-old or above) for the program. Nominees are then required to submit a photographic assignment based around the theme. The winning candidates will be invited on a sponsored three-day cultural exchange and experience with the L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts team in Paris.

The winning designers of Legacy Program 2014 travelled to Paris for a cultural exchange experience with L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts.

The creations of the candidates of Legacy Program 2016 were displayed at PMQ in Hong Kong.

The Team

The teaching staff at L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts consists of various instructors: jewelers, art historians and gemologists. Although each of them deals with its own specific field of expertise, the team is united by the desire to share and transmit their knowledge through experimentation and dialogue. The team is led by:

President: Marie Vallanet-Delhom

Marie Vallanet-Delhom is the President of L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts. Her professional experience has been dedicated to the passing on of expertise and to High Jewelry. After a Master’s degree in Literature, Marie Vallanet-Delhom began her career as a teacher. In 1986 her professional path takes a crucial turn: she joins the Richemont group and its jewelry Maisons, most recently with Van Cleef & Arpels. For 28 years, Marie has been sharing and conveying her passion and extensive knowledge of jewelry with clients and colleagues. Her expertise and personal qualities are the perfect assets to lead the Maison’s new creative and historical challenge: in February 2012, this passionate lover of music and literature becomes President of L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts.

About L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts supported by Van Cleef & Arpels

Established in 2012, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts was created by the historic High Jewelry Maison, Van Cleef & Arpels, to reveal the secret worlds of jewelry making. Its goal is to instil an intellectual and emotional understanding of the spirit of these exceptional crafts; to encourage mastery of their techniques through personal experience; and to educate the hand, the eye and the sense of taste. The school gives students a unique opportunity to meet experts, to feel what it is like to handle the materials and to be in the very heart of savoir-faire.

Mystery Set TM and Mains d’Or TM are trademarks of Van Cleef & Arpels.

To find out more about the program or register for a course, please visit:

Or email: Or call:

+852 2532 7259

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All images are copyrighted to L’ECOLE, School of Jewelry Arts (unless otherwise stated in the photo caption).