Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art, France’s Festival of Artisans, went Pan-European

Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art, France’s Festival of Artisans, is a 3 days festival that let the visitors go behind the scenes in workshops, learn a unique savoir-fair. A sort of open doors with demonstrations of skill, exhibitions, meetings, a glimpse to a world of creation and knowledge. Some 4,169 craftsmen opened their studios and workshops to reveal the details of their collective labors, which often lie somewhere between passion, precision, and obsession.

For the first time the event extended beyond French borders thanks to partnerships in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. Many more countries are interested in joining, according to Jean- Michel Delisle, the president of France’s Institut National des Métiers d’Art (INMA), which coordinated the event’s French component.

“The Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art are bridges, gateways to facilitate encounters, stimulate the senses, and, just maybe, illuminate new career paths,” Delisle said to artinfo.

The Journées is an annual event, but this year it took place among rising unemployment for young people and at a time when, though most of the unemployed are untrained workers, several European ministries are warning that even highly trained applicants will have to settle for less challenging and rewarding jobs. The moment is ripe, then, to re-introduce the 217 officially recognized crafts, which evoke not only the charm and value of traditional, durable labor in France — and also happen to be, by their very nature, difficult to outsource.