A very impressive panel of craftsmen.
Savoir-faire and expertise in a variety of crafts such as working with wood, sculpting clay, polishing gold, renovating old furniture, sculpting glass and other materials is acquired by men and women who are passionate about their art and work hard to perpetuate time-old traditions. Techniques are passed from generation to generation and contribute to the prestige and enrichment of heritage both locally and farther afield. These high-level professionals often practise crafts that have today become uncommon. Craftsmen are contracted by various types of clients, from individuals to decorators or even local authorities to convert or restore heritage items. Most remain relatively unknown, despite their drive and ability to innovate, however some craftsmen enjoy national or sometimes international standing.
Plaine Commune, a true talent
Many craftsmen have migrated to the area to benefit from a local policy that helps them develop their business. Being so close to Paris and the hustle-bustle of the flea market has encouraged many of them to move to Saint-Ouen. They work for individuals or merchants on pieces that require anything ranging from a mere sprucing up to more extensive restoration work in crafts such as furniture restoration, cabinetmaking, upholstering, varnishing, gilding, stonework, jewellery making, clock making, bookbinding, marquetery and many more.
Meet the local craftsmen
The foire des savoir-faire solidaires (solidarity skills fair), bringing together local craftsmen all under one 600m2 roof, has become a must-do annual experience in Saint-Denis. The only event of its kind, it gives people the opportunity to meet the sixty-odd exhibitors all from the local area. They may be designers, experts or even local associations wishing to present their work, be it in textiles, decorative objects, fashion accessories, jewellery and more. You can watch various demonstrations by these creative craftsmen and women, as well as participate in manual workshops, or even just look for an original idea for the perfect Christmas present!
The European Artistic Crafts Days takes place over three days each year to showcase the work of these men and women passionate about their skills. It is an exceptional opportunity to learn more about the techniques, knowledge, innovation in, sharing and passing on of these exceptional skills.
Certain craftsmen and training centres open the doors of their workshops to the public. Themed walks and initiation workshops also enable the wider public to better understand the world of these creative craftsmen and women so that they can truly appreciate the technique and creativity involved with such arts that makes French savoir-faire so respected throughout the world.