Six artisans from French luxury houses saluted by France’s Minister of Culture and Communication Crafts from French regions in the limelight
Tonight in Paris, the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Audrey Azoulay, presented the insignia of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres to six artisans from French luxury houses that belong to the Comité Colbert. This honour recognizes the contribution made by these outstanding artisans to the prestige of the nation’s cultural heritage. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Comité Colbert’s strategy to honour and promote traditional hand crafts in France.
Nathalie Blaise, model maker (Baccarat); Arnaud Davenne, silversmith (Puiforcat); Jacqueline Deverchère, head of the weaving and jacquard atelier (Yves Delorme); Josette Gonnot, expert weaver (Hermès); Eric Lebel, cellar master (Champagne Krug) and Céline Vergne, head of the “hand painted and “glazing” ateliers (Les Faïenceries de Gien) have been recognized as role models for the younger generation, upholding and transmitting the skills of their luxury craft. Their outstanding careers honour the hand crafts and encourage young people making their first career decisions to choose a profession that promises both passion and accomplishment.
Since 2006, the Comité Colbert has made it a priority to promote and gain recognition for artisans that achieve excellence and represent the diversity of French luxury. This cultural and creative industry is diverse in another way as well: strongly anchored in the various French regions, it capitalizes on their numerous assets. The six artisans decorated this year all work in different parts of France, i.e.: Nathalie Blaise (Lorraine), Arnaud Davenne (Seine-Saint-Denis), Jacqueline Deverchère (Loire), Josette Gonnot (Rhône), Eric Lebel (Marne) and Céline Vergne (Loiret).
“With this decoration, the French Republic honours outstanding crafts, rare talents and impeccable techniques. It also salutes the willingness of these artisans to preserve our national heritage by perpetuating time-honoured gestures, reinventing them daily and, above all, transmitting them to the younger generation” declared Audrey Auzoulay, French Minister of Culture and Communication.
“In decorating artisans from Colbert houses with the insignia of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the French Minister of Culture honours the contribution of luxury crafts in promoting French culture worldwide. This year’s group had a high feminine component, which will encourage all of the young women choosing to work in hand crafts today. This group of outstanding artisans covers the map of France in terms of regional craft skills,” observed Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes, President and CEO of the Comité Colbert.