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

Initiated by the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess, Luxembourg's art and craft trades biennial event entitled De Mains de Maîtres aims to give greater visibility to the artistic professions in the Grand Duchy and encourage the rising generations to commit to this creative movement.

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.

Because of the health crisis, the 2020 edition was postponed to 2021. 

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.

The themes of the first two exhibitions were De Mains de Maîtres (2016) and Gestes & Merveilles (2018). The 2021 edition is to be entitled Viv(r)e la matière. 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 2020, a special scholarship for De Mains De Maîtres creation was 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 is affecting every entrepreneurial field. Nine winners were selected by the jury after studying the applications 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."