Under the title Manufacto, the Skills Factory, the programme aims to promote artisan skills in joinery, fine leatherwork, saddlery/upholstery and plaster to the public. The scheme was devise d by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in 2016 and piloted for a full school year byt the Paris Board of Education, in collaboration with France’s national artisan apprentice schemes, Les Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France, and in partnership with the École Camondo — school of decorative arts — and the Villa Noailles.
Guided by three skilled group leaders — an artisan, an assistant and a teacher —, pupils from primary, middle and high schools create their own decorative objects through a series of practical, technical workshops.
Based on the outcomes of the three past successful years, Manufacto was extended in 2019 to forty-one schools, reaching some 1,100 pupils and involving boards of education in Paris, Créteil, Nice, Lyon and, most recently, Besançon. By widening the programme’s geographical scope in this way, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès intends to expand the chance to become acquainted with artisan know-how to future generation across France.