Art and craft trades Art and craft work go hand in hand in the Grand Duchy

Initiated by Their Royal Highnesses the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, the Luxembourgish biennial event for craftsmanship, De Mains de Maîtres, wishes to give more visibility to the artistic professions in Luxembourg and to encourage new generations to follow this creative path. The fourth edition of the biennial event will take place from the 23rd to the 26th of November 2023 at 19 Liberté bringing together almost 120 artists!

A royal initiative and a huge popular success

Their Royal Highnesses the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess launched the De Mains de Maîtres initiative to showcase modern craft trades in the Grand Duchy. The exhibition at the crossroads of art and craft trades presents the search for innovation in the sector, witness to the transmission of gestures and skills, and promotes the creative talents of the Grand Duchy, including on the international scene. 

The first edition of De Mains de Maîtres was held in December 2016. The first exhibition was a great success, and in May 2017 Her Royal Highness Princess Stéphanie of Luxembourg, the Chamber of Trades, the BCEE national savings bank, and Mr Roland Kuhn created a not-for-profit association to promote the art and craft trades, with a view to organising further editions of the biennial event.

The second edition was held in November 2018, again at 19 Liberté in Luxembourg City. This time the event had even more exhibition space, and this time it included a display of photographs on the theme of art and craft trades from the BCEE's collection. New partners, including the d'stater muséeën and a number of galleries and artists, expanded the event's possibilities by seeking out new viewpoints for visitors.

The third edition of the biennial event was held in  November 2021 at 19 Liberté and simultaneously at the residency of the Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Paris, France.

At the exhibition in Luxembourg City , around one hundred artists from Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and France presented their expertise on the theme of "Viv(r)e la matière" (Living the material).

Around ten of Luxembourg's craftspeople and creators exhibited their works in the salons and garden of the Ambassador’s magnificent XIX century mansion in Paris. Unlike the Art Paris fair  that was held at the same time and which was open to the general public, the "Impressions of Autumn" exhibition could only be visited by private appointment.

The theme of the fourth edition is "Le Geste et le Territoire" (The Gesture and the Territory). At 19 Liberté, in Luxembourg City, it will present 77 artists from the Grand Duchy and around 40 from Portugal. The latter is the guest of honour, since its nationals constitute the largest migrant community in Luxembourg. The works speak of Luxembourg as a land of transit and a welcoming country, of its ethnic and cultural mix, of its artistic identity and cultural heritage, of the environment, of the transfer of knowledge and of technological resources, and of its links with Portugal. From the 23rd to the 26th of November, you are invited to travel and dream, since artistic creations transcend borders.

A themed biennial event, well-known internationally, offering prizes

The artists and craftspeople selected for the De Mains de Maîtres biennial event are able not only to benefit from the  international fame  of the project, but also to showcase their work according to a  specific theme.  And they may be lucky enough that it is their creation that wins once of the prizes.

Internationally, the artists featured at the 2016 edition exhibited at the end of 2017 at Luxembourg's embassy in Brussels and at the Lin Deletaille Gallery. In May 2019, the 2018 edition of De Mains de Maîtres travelled to the Grand Palais in Paris for "Révélations", the international biennial event celebrating the arts and crafts trades and contemporary creation. The Grand Duchy was the guest of honour at the fourth edition of this unmissable event in the field of French and international creation.

At each edition, the organisers award one jury prize and one people's-choice prize. In 2018, Léa Schroeder won the people's-choice prize. 

In 2021, a special scholarship for De Mains De Maîtres creation aimed at supporting a talented creative craftsperson living in the Grand Duchy. The aim of this special aid was to support a craftsperson's creative work during the health crisis which was affecting every entrepreneurial field.  Nine prize winners were selected by the jury after studying the entries received. You will find more details about the scholarship and the artists here

Léa Schroeder – an eclectic creator

Léa Schroeder has been creative since she was a child. Her mother introduced her to ceramics when she was just four years old; she studied Art Design in Paris. She learned her trade from the creative stage through to production, and during her training she was able to gain work experience with major brand names such as Louis Vuitton and Hermès. She went on to specialise in accessories by attending a training course in Milan with one of the world's leading luxury groups, and when she returned to Paris she ended up signing a contract to work with Lancel



The desire to produce her own designs nevertheless became increasingly strong, and not being able to literally use her own hands triggered a desire both to become independent and to return to the Grand Duchy. It was a gradual return to her native country via a number of projects, including exhibitions at the Konschthaus beim Engel, as part of the Design City event, and during the De Mains de Maîtres biennial event. This last project, her first major piece of independent work, brought her dream of freedom to life. 

For Léa Schroeder, being part of the Luxembourg scene means promoting local work and showcasing the Grand Duchy abroad. Although the Grand Duchy is now her home base, she continues to work in other countries as well. The art and crafts trades are extremely important to her, as they represent the excellence of skills by combining top quality design, materials and techniques. In addition to producing items of her own brand, she also works on projects for other people, acts as a consultant, and enjoys sharing her experience and know-how with other producers.

Léa Schroeder is a versatile artist: She is equally at home working in ceramics, graphic design and textiles. Each product is designed as a total package: product, packaging, communication and presentation. Her ceramics, in cloisonné faience, are also produced for commissions. She draws inspiration from stories, customs and traditions. The spiritual aspect represents the relationship between humans and nature, and she believes its interpretation is the basis for all creative work. Léa Schroeder develops her ideas using both digital and craft techniques: two elements that might seem contradictory but are in fact complementary for the artist, who cannot do without either.

Her studio is currently at the 1535° in Differdange, were she can take advantage of the innovative environment and contact with other creators. As both an artist and a businesswoman, she advises young entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and in their projects, to keep training themselves and stay informed, to diversify and reinvent themselves all the time, and to set out on the journey she defines as continuous discovery.

The idea and the intellectual impact of a creation - and indeed its execution - must be just right.