The work of artisan jeweller, Hong Kong's own Wallace Chan ( www.wallace-chan.com ), has enjoyed a revival in recent years. 'Wallace Chan is doing some incredible things. His work is in demand,' says Mei Giam, associate vice-president of the jewellery department at Christie's Hong Kong. With clientele as glittering as his wares and a long waiting list, Chan is careful to ensure the highest standards. He began as a young ivory sculptor in Hong Kong, and worked with jade, corals, malachite and emeralds. Today, through intensive development of his techniques, he has garnered the reputation of one of the most skilled craftsmen in his field. His approach is methodical and philosophical. 'There are two core elements in a creative process: human existence on the one hand and jewellery as a symbol on the other,' Chan says. 'To me, creativity starts with the very fact of my own existence. If I erase every preconceived concept and frame of reference that I have, start from an empty beginning and look at everything with the eyes of a baby, that's when creativity comes in.' His Five Reflections, Horae Godness piece (above) is an astounding example of what he calls the 'Wallace cut'. To get a full-bodied, three-dimensional face for this work, he had to employ a type of reverse intaglio. 'First, I bored a tiny hole right in the centre [of the stone]. Then I slowly widened the space from inside out. As it was done in reverse, every drill was an act of reverse thinking, left is right, deep is shallow, and front is back.'