Handcrafted items have always held a special allure for me. Knowing that an artist lovingly created a piece solely out of his imagination and produced it using skills honed over a lifetime gives a handcrafted item a personality not found in a mass produced piece. Whether it’s a hand hammered gold ring or a cloche hat delicately topped with chic feathers, I adore artisanal work!
Paris: Made by Hand takes the love of skilled craftsman even one step further and highlights the best artists in that best of all cities – Paris! This fabulous book grabs you by the hand and leads you through the city streets of Paris, where all manner of delightful shops, craft boutiques and studios are revealed. These are the tiny, hidden Parisian gems that often only insiders know!
Written and photographed by Pia Jane Bijkerk, Paris: Made by Hand is filled to bursting with special ateliers (français for studio or workshop) that craft everything from exquisite silk flowers ready to adorn haute couture runway looks, to quirky pieces created from repurposed men’s ties, to jewelry shops dripping in colorful, hand fired glass baubles.
As you wander through the turning, twisting streets and hidden alleys, you uncover treasures at every turn — vintage silk ribbon, yarn, handmade buttons, flowers in feathers and silk, and more. Each atelier is described in loving detail – from the studio’s history, to its unique wares, to the principals whose genius creates such delightful pieces.
Best yet, the photography is nothing short of spectacular. Pia’s background as a photo stylist is evident on every page. From the gleaming, gem encrusted charms at Oh Dis Le Moi to the amazing details on vintage textiles at Marie Louise De Monterey, the photography can only be described as luscious.
Pia helpfully provides not only each studio name and address, but telephone numbers, web addresses where applicable, and even hours of operation — and so, this has become a guidebook of sorts, for connoisseurs of beautiful objects. Paris: Made by Hand is available from The Little Bookroom for only $15.16 USD.
One ticket to the City of Light, please!