L’École, School of Jewelry Arts, the voice of emotion

Isabelle Hossenlopp

Supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, L’École, School of Jewelry Arts is the only initiative of its kind in France and perhaps even the world. Launched in 2012, its mission is to introduce as many people as possible to the fascinating world of jewelry. For more than ten years, it has offered a series of practical courses, workshops (in conditions very similar to those used by artisan jewelers), lectures on gems, history and craftsmanship, and exhibitions dedicated to the world of jewelry.

L’École offers a unique chance for people to discover and learn about a world of luxury and refinement.

From its new home at the Hôtel de Mercy-Argenteau (the historic site being located on rue Danielle Casanova, just off Place Vendôme), L’École, School of Jewelry Arts presents:

La Voix de Bijoux

a new series of podcast episodes designed to reveal the fascinating stories and secret knowledge of jewelry from around the world. The episodes are structured around seasonal-based themes.

  • The polyphonic work of experts:

The first 3 seasons of La Voix de Bijoux (The Voice of Jewelry) each comprise four episodes of around 10 minutes. The short format is perfect for capturing the listener’s attention at a time when people want bite-size media that gets straight to the point. However, it takes 2 to 3 months’ work to put together a single season, not including translation.

Historians, gemologists, writers, philosophers, artists and actors lend their skills to help piece together and bring to life these polyphonic episodes that are as lively as they are instructive. They are then written up by Martin Quenehen and Aram Kebabdjian, based on their discussions with the professors and teacher-researchers at L’École, School of Jewelry Arts, before actor Pierre-François Garel provides his voice performances.

  • More than just a page of history, an adventure:

Each episode gives the listener the chance to enjoy a different adventure first-hand. The voices take you on a journey through a variety of experiences and encounters, while the words, sounds and music that immerse the listener in the story help stir up the emotions.  

The latest podcast recounts the madcap tale of Giampietro Campana, a 19th-century archaeologist, collector and adventurer who was obsessed with finding the magnificent Etruscan jewel of the River God. This precious pendant in repoussé gold is a remarkable piece of jewelry. Inspired by the head of half-man, half-beast Achelous, it is embellished with filigree and gold granules, while the hair is made of spiral gold threads, ending in a central granule. The pendant is now on display in the Louvre.

Achelous’head pendant, Paris musée du Louvre museum © RMN-Grand Palais / Stéphane Maréchalle

. In pursuit of the Hope Diamond

Diamonds obviously get a special focus in L’École’s podcasts, with an entire season devoted to them. The four episodes of season 2 take listeners on a journey to discover some of Louis XIV’s most beloved diamonds, before heading across the Atlantic to retell the story of the many different lives of the Hope Diamond.

Blue Diamond © Patrick Dubuc

  • Produced by the agency Bababam, La Voix des Bijoux is already a hit. Launched just a few weeks ago, the podcast has reached 70,000 listens, including 40,000 in English.
  • L’École, School of Jewelry Arts also has a rich library of videos available to the public. These include “Diamond: from rough to brilliant”, a seminar on cutting in which Diren Ramsamy, Expert Diamond Cutter at Rubel & Ménasché, explains the cutter’s trade and techniques, alongside Olivier Ségura, Gemologist and Scientific Director of L’École.