L’ÉCOLE Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels is a french jewelry house known for their whimsical designs from florals to fairies and charming ballerinas.  They are also known for is their jewelry making school called L’ÉCOLE which, until recently, was only offered in Paris. Now, L’ÉCOLE has found a temporary new home in New York offering classes until mid-June for people like me that are interested in how things are created and learning by doing. Tucked elegantly into the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, you can’t help but feel like you are transported to Paris in a classroom wrapped in crown molding and french accented teachers who are skilled jewelers guiding you.

The course I took was Savoir-Faire, a four hour class where skilled instructors walk you through the first six steps of jewelry making. I loved learning how to paint a diamond in gouache, and how a little flat butterfly design becomes something you learn how to cut out, shape, hold and glue diamonds (ok, rhinestones) into as they teach you the jeweler’s gestures.

These classes are very intimate, only 12 students, and run from now through June 18th. Other courses include looking into the world of watchmaking, gemstones, and the art history of jewelry

I’ve always appreciated the beauty of high jewelry but until I actually tried my hand at it, I didn’t understand the intense skill it requires to make the charming pieces I am so lucky to get to wear to events like this past year’s School of American Ballet Winter Ball. I wouldn’t exactly say I learned a new skill yesterday (in fact I learned it takes 10-15 years as an apprentice before you can begin to make high jewelry) but I certainly did gain a new level of understanding into a world that makes life sparkle.   

LECOLE_NewYork_004 LECOLE_NewYork_005 LECOLE_NewYork_006 LECOLE_NewYork_007 LECOLE_NewYork_008 LECOLE_NewYork_009 LECOLE_NewYork_010 LECOLE_NewYork_011 LECOLE_NewYork_012    LECOLE_NewYork_014 LECOLE_NewYork_015 LECOLE_NewYork_016 LECOLE_NewYork_017 LECOLE_NewYork_018 LECOLE_NewYork_019 LECOLE_NewYork_020 LECOLE_NewYork_021 LECOLE_NewYork_022 LECOLE_NewYork_023   LECOLE_NewYork_025 LECOLE_NewYork_024

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

This entry was posted in Lifestyle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • This looks like so much fun! Hopefully they do more of these in the future!

  • How fun! I love learning by doing. I totally wish I could take this class. Jamie–your adventure are always so insightful.

  • Oh man – I can imagine it wouldn’t be easy, but how stinkin’ fun! You really have the best job Jamie 😉 xo

    • I love being able to learn new things and gain appreciation. I feel so lucky to get to share it all too :)

  • Tarragona IN

    What a great experience!!! I would like to do my own jewelry.

  • ah what an incredible opportunity! And luxury jewelry making suits you :) x

    • hahaha, if only I could be as good as it as photography :) I think I’ll leave it to the real skilled and talented workers. Was such a fun opportunity!

  • Alfredo Ciano

    The Birth of the Luxury : Photos Collection for an Artist Job…