Our Dream of a Craft School

We are craftsmen, entrepreneurs, “designers who make”, workshop owners, actors in the daily life of the arts and crafts. We are 40 years old, 20 years old, 10 years old, 1 year in the trade. We are graduates of the Ecole de la Vie, the Ecole Boulle, Sciences Po Paris, the ENSCI, the Compagnons du Devoir. We take the floor. A free and spontaneous speech. We take it to build. Because we are worried about the future of our professions.

The observation:

– Craft training is becoming poorer following successive educational reforms that reduce the hours of workshop training in favour of hours dedicated to design.

– The technical and practical level of students leaving school is not sufficient and leaves the most important part of the training to the professionals without this time and effort being valued.

– Crafts and skilled trades enjoy an excellent image, particularly among the new generation of makers who are looking to build their lives on concrete and meaningful trades. But this notoriety is having a hard time turning into a business for the workshops.

– Craft training is still considered a second-rate choice, with little value by society in general and parents in particular.

– The luxury market is buoyant but it is most often the intermediaries (architects, designers, brands) who capture most of the value.

Our dream (Tomorrow)

One day, we will create our own school around the trades of metal, textile, stone, wood and rare materials. The technical education will be ambitious. It will be complemented by courses in entrepreneurship and design. We will have private funding that will allow us to build in freedom and efficiency. We will have our roots in Paris and branches in Brussels and New York.

Our project (Today)

In the meantime, we want to build bridges between craft schools and business schools. So that students graduating from Boulle, Estienne (…) or the Compagnons can benefit from a Master’s year in the most prestigious French schools.

We want to create the first promotions of craftsmen-entrepreneurs who will take their place with ambition and vision. At the head of the biggest workshops, at the head of the design studios, at the head of their own adventures.

The objectives

– To perpetuate the transmission of rare know-how by giving technical, artistic and economic skills to craftsmen.

– To ensure professional opportunities for students by connecting training courses to the expectations of the luxury market and creating links with the main players in the sector.

– To give craftsmen the skills and confidence to defend their interests and better sell their work.

– Enhance the image of this school and the professions to encourage students and their parents to embrace this path.

– Enhance the image of the trades taught on an international scale by “producing” excellent professionals who will work all over the world.

What we want

– To be listened to by the public authorities in charge of the reform of the DNMADE (National Diploma of Art and Design Trades) to try with all our might to stop the collapse of the foundations of the training courses in art trades.

– Alert the general public, who love crafts so much, to the fact that at this rate in 10 years time, the next generation will no longer have the level.

– Bring together expertise and funding to lay the foundations of our school of fine crafts.

– To set up pilot programs between the “grandes écoles des métiers d’art” and the “grandes écoles d’entrepreneurs” in a rapid and pragmatic manner.

This project is led by the Think Tank The Craft Project, a collective of exceptional craftsmen convinced that the transmission of know-how is a social issue for France and ready to devote their time and expertise to this dream.

Our vocation is to build. We are not looking to the past but to the future of our professions. We are 20, 30, 40 or 60 years old. We share the same faith in the material, in technique, in poetry.

Think Tank The Craft Project

To support our approach, you can sign our petition

Follow us on Instagram: @the.craft.project.paris

Listen to our podcast (produced by Métiers Rares) : The Craft Project

Photo Credit: Pierre Salagnac