Monday, March 26, 2012

Artisans At Work

(photo courtesy of

Paris is brimming with specialists. There are entire boutiques dedicated solely to harps, for example, or hand-bound travel journals, and that's something thing I adore about the French culture: how much pride, art, and focused dedication Frenchies put into their chosen field. If you've ever wanted to know how a musical instrument is created, how a florist creates living works of art, or how a period-specific costume is made for the theater, this is your lucky week.

The annual "Days of European Crafts" (Les Journées Européenes des Métiers d'Art), running this week only, gives you the chance to watch artisans and craftsmen (and craftswomen) create their specific and passionate work. Over 3,000 artisans open their ateliers to the public or participate in demonstrations to show you just how a delicate lace fan is made, how an umbrella specialist restores parapluies beaten down by Paris weather, or what's involved in being a "coutourier." I'm definitely down to find out how Anne-Marie Zahar creates lighting fixtures that are at once a "cultural vector" but are also "personal and intimate."

Les Journées Européenes des Métiers d'Art
March 30-April 1
Most events free
Various locations

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