The wonderful romantic city of Paris has attracted people from all over the globe for centuries. Full of superb architecture and an artistic culture that’s second to none, Paris today boasts some of the best artisan workshops in the world.
In the quiet back streets of Paris you can find artisan workshops that produce some of the most exquisite hand crafted treasures found on the planet, from gilders to cabinetmakers who pride themselves in the quality of their workmanship. Finding these ‘ateliers’ in the back streets of Paris is like finding a treasure, and La Place de la Bastille and the surrounding streets is the best place to start exploring in order to find them.
One such place is called Ateliers de Paris and every year there is are ‘workshop open days’ held here which means not only do you get to see the end products but how they are actually made too. You are taken ‘behind the scenes’ so to speak, to see these wonderful artisans at work as they produce the delightful finished products.
There is so much to see in the Atelier from jewellery, fashion, textiles, culinary delights to tile makers as well as hat makers, you’ll find something that’ll catch your eye. Visiting these workshops and seeing just how these marvellous things are actually made is more than just fascinating. These workshops work in very traditional ways which is why the finished products are of such outstanding quality and beauty.
Another place which is well worth a visit is Viaduc des Arts where many artisans are more than happy to take you through the vaulted arcades on Daumesnil Avenue to see and discover their fabulous works of art. I love to visit these vaults that are so full of treasures and there is so much to see, but my favourites have to be the music boxes that are made here.
If however, you would like to know that little bit more about perfumes, and after all Paris is famed for the perfumes they produce then there are workshops organised which let you go behind the scenes of how these fragrances are made. There is a splendid choice of group workshops to get involved in and the price of them does depend on just how in-depth you want to go.
You get to learn about every stage of how a perfume is produced and why certain raw materials are used to produce a certain fragrance. You even get to become a perfumer for the day and take away your own personally made fragrance at the end of the workshop.
I cannot think of a nicer way to spend a couple of days in Paris than learning and seeing how such beautiful things are hand crafted in this marvellously cosmopolitan city. Paris has a lot to offer it’s visitors visually but when it comes to hands on experiences, it does not get any better than joining an artisan workshop for the day.