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The Art behind the Craft

Stephanie Rault

Founded in 2012 with support from the French jewellery brand Van Cleef & Arpels, the Paris-based L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts was established to reflect public interest in the artistry of fine jewellery across the industry.

The school has since expanded its reach by offering overseas courses that allow the public to discover the art of jewellery-making. After two successful programmes in Hong Kong in 2014 and 2016, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts returns to Hong Kong from 16 September-1 October at the Qube in PMQ. It will also exhibit as a lifestyle partner at the upcoming CENTRESTAGE, 6-9 September.

According to Stephanie Rault, Managing Director of Van Cleef & Arpels in Hong Kong and Macau, the courses target those who are curious about jewellery-making to uncover the art behind the craft.

Why have you decided to return to Hong Kong for a third time?
Hong Kong was an obvious choice for the travelling school as it is a hub for arts, design and creativity in Asia. The success of the last two editions has driven L’ÉCOLE’s return to this city and our plan to continue developing a relevant programme for the community in Hong Kong.
This year we are launching a new selection of classes, and bringing our professors from their fields of expertise, including jewellers, art historians and gemologists from Paris to share their expertise in Hong Kong with the students.
We are very honoured to work with a group of pioneers from various creative industries to form our advisory committee – Victor Lo, Pearl Lam, Nansun Shi, Jean Wong, Professor Cees de Bont, William Lim and Pansy Ho – who are passionate about Hong Kong’s cultural development. Supporting the school while it’s in the city, committee members have been joining hands with L’ÉCOLE to be part of the Legacy Program, which cultivates emerging talents in the local design scene.
The third edition will feature 10 courses, six of which are new. Which ones you think you will be most popular in Hong Kong?
We’ve always found that people are very interested in learning about the history of jewellery art, so courses covering the Art History of Jewelry are always very popular, while the Savoir Faire courses are fantastic for those looking for a little more hands-on experience. Our Evening Conversations will offer in-depth insights into the world of jewellery, while creative workshops designed for kids and teenagers (5-16 years old), such as Create your Jewel and Discovering the World of Stones will enable a younger audience to explore their artistic side. Each course is limited to small groups to encourage personal interaction between student and instructor.
Why have you chosen to hold the event at PMQ?
PMQ is known in the city as a centre for art and creativity. Sharing the same value with L’ÉCOLE of supporting local creatives, PMQ makes the perfect spot for L’ÉCOLE to share our passion for jewellery with people from all walks of life.
Hong Kong is among the world’s biggest jewellery markets. What is unique to this market compared with others?
Hong Kong has grown to become a mature market in terms of people’s appreciation towards jewellery over the last few decades, so it’s the perfect place to share the passion that we have for jewellery. We’ve seen a genuine interest in the heritage and craftsmanship of jewellery emerge over the years.
What makes L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts different to other jewellery programmes?
The school is an educational entity that offers a non-technical curriculum to encourage the intellectual and emotional understanding of the essence of jewellery and convey the craftsman’s skills through personal experience and interaction. It is the only such school open to the public.

Related Link
L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts 

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