The Art & Science of Gemstones

From the title of this post you’d be forgiven for thinking that I was about to go into a  discussion on the science behind the creation of Gemstones and how they have been used in works of art throughout history. Well sorry to disappoint you but I just wanted to share some pics and tell you about this awesome exhibition I visited at the wonderful Art Science Museum in Singapore (that’s the wonderful flower shaped building you might of seen in some of the pics I posted last week.

The exhibit was in association with Van Cleef and Arpels and showcased some of their most innovative and creative pieces whilst also giving an insight into the formation of gemstones.

I didn’t know much about Van Clef before – other than they make ridiculously expensive jewellery – but the thing that struck me the most, other than their impossibly high standards, was how creative and truly innovative their pieces have been and the transformative theme that seems to run through them all. It started with the  Passe Partout in 1938 and continued with other iconic pieces such as the zip necklace. Why have just a necklace when you can have a necklace that’s also a bracelet. Also, I learnt the the iconic minaudière bag was a Van Clef creation.

In the middle of the exhibition was a projector screen showing videos from various members of the team at Van Cleef: the designer, the model maker, the gem buyer, the gem setter and the jeweller. Seeing the time and labour that goes into creating each piece made me understand exactly why they cost so much. From the woman who’s job it was to inspect each stone to ensure it meets their incredibly high standards for colour, cut and clarity and rejecting those that don’t measure up; the designer who spends days created highly detailed hand painted drawings of each design including the placement of each individual stone; the jewellers who spend days cutting, shaping and buffing one small portion of a necklace to bring the designers vision to life and the gem setter who has the insanely, intricate and time consuming but perhaps a bit therapeutic job of placing each individual stone into the famous mystery setting.  I loved that traditional methods were still used and all the parts of the puzzle came together to create some incredibly special pieces and it was really wonderful to see was each member of the team was so passionate about their craft and the Van Cleef brand. If only I could afford a piece of my own. A girl can dream.

The exhibition is on until 14th August, if you’re in Singapore be sure to check it out.

Until next time!

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