French Flanders is known for its quality craft industry. Beer, textile, cheese, etc. Meet these men and women at the market, where they share their treasures and their passion for the region.
Keeping the tradition alive…
The craft industry is part of our tradition. Some old trades have disappeared due to the emergence of modern techniques. Artisans have come together to share their knowledge and passion with the younger generations. Today, they replicate the techniques of the experienced artisans and help to preserve the identity of Flanders, making our furniture and the yellow gold which sparkles in our beer glasses, shaping our fences, decorating our houses and making our fabric.
You can meet lace makers in many schools where they still make lace using bobbins and needles. Courses and workshops are offered in Merris, Steenvoorde, Hondschoote, Wormhout and at the École académique de dentelle in Bailleul.
Craft breweries make the yellow gold which sparkles in our glasses. For several years, many breweries have resumed this activity. Amber, lager, dark beer – a wide variety exists. Did you know that Flanders is the only region in France – along with Alsace – where hops farming continues. Today, 26 hectares are still farmed by seven passionate families. This relatively small area is nevertheless able to supply many breweries and micro-breweries in Nord-Pas-de-Calais and France. Find the contact details of the breweries in our region here.
Oil painting, watercolours, pastels and drawing with ink: there are many artists and painters here! In French Flanders you will find many galleries where artists share their passion with you. Cubist, abstract and contemporary style: there is something for everybody!
Trades to be preserved
There are other artists here as well.
Decorative wood carvers work down to the smallest details. You will be surprised at the meticulousness of this art.
The techniques of stained-glass window makers and mosaicists will surprise you: cutting, shaping, placing: a fully fledged art style!
And finally, other old trades exist, such as that of the blacksmith, the tapestry maker and the basket maker.
Techniques to discover
The potters of Flanders share their passion with you and teach you about the techniques of yesteryear, and some propose workshops.
You will be surprised most by the human-sized puppets made in a workshop for gigottos automates!
In Hondschoote, you may visit the flaxseed granary where all of the steps in linen production are explained.
So many trades and passions to discover or to rediscover!