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Ateliers SP at Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art

As Mortagne-au-Perche embraced the Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art, the artisans of Ateliers SP unveiled an artisanal mastery and timeless creativity to the audience

From April 5 to 7, the picturesque town of Mortagne-au-Perche in the Normandy region hosted the eighteenth edition of the JEMA 2024 (Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art, or ‘European Crafts Days’), offering an intriguing journey into the realm of fine craftsmanship. Amidst the cobblestone streets and historic chapels, 22 French artisans showcased their mastery and creativity, drawing admiration from visitors far and wide.

This year’s theme, “On the Tip of the Fingers”, invited participants of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the tactile world of arts and crafts, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for craftsmanship. The event attracted over 3,000 visitors, among them more than 300 schoolchildren, who eagerly explored rare and traditional crafts such as the work with feather, helio-engraver, medal engraver, straw marquetry, cabinet maker, alongside renowned specialties of excellence.

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The artisans, including Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, Masters of Art, and members of the Grands Ateliers de France, showcased their expertise, engaging with a diverse and discerning audience. Fanny Boucher hosted a photogravure workshop for children, allowing them to create their own prints, while Nicolas Salagnac, a medal engraver from Lyon, delivered a captivating lecture on the art of medals.

Artisans from Ateliers SP were among those exhibiting unparalleled craftsmanship skills and dedication:

  • Frédéric Hamel, a renowned cabinet maker, displayed his expertise at the Chapelle Saint-François. He showcased a vintage guilloche lathe, crafted in Switzerland in 1926, a machine intended to create geometric decoration on watch dial backs. In his current work, Frédéric uses the lathe still in its original condition to work with metal and wood.
  • Audrey Legeay, specializing in the conservation and restoration of leather and metal objects, charmed the audiences at the Chapelle Saint-Joseph. Visitors gained insights into the historical significance of antique artifacts, as Audrey emphasized the delicate techniques required for their preservation.
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The event also featured a concert by Laure Cholé, a talented young pianist, performed on a 1905 Pleyel grand piano restored by Sylvie Fouanon.

As the event concluded with a final toast of friendship, exhibitors, visitors, and organizers reflected on the success of the “2024 vintage” of JEMA. Amidst the picturesque backdrop of Mortagne-au-Perche’s historic center, the event was marked by joy, unity, and a celebration of excellence in craftsmanship.