A fresh breeze from France arrives at the Craft Museum of Finland in the autumn 2019 when a group of Normandy artisans, Élan de créateurs, present their works in two exhibitions. 11 artisans from different fields bring such contemporary handcraft and design to the museum as ceramics, textile creations, jewelry, works from recycled materials and art handcraft.

Additional information

Mikko Oikari, Senior Curator, Exhibitions, Craft Museum of Finland, mikko.oikari [at] jyvaskyla.fi, tel. 050 553 3880

The colorful and playful sales exhibitions include traditional techniques as well as inventive new ways of using the materials. 

The fundamental idea behind the La Normandie Boréale exhibition is the ambition to create discussion and cooperation possibilities between Finnish and French artisans. When the Craft Museum of Finland was founded in the 1880s, objects from abroad were acquired to the museum collections as a reference material and as a model for domestic production. A collection of objects from France was acquired during the Paris World’s Fair in 1889. However, a completely French exhibition has not been seen in the museum before. 

Cooperation with Normandy artisans began when Madame Andrée Le Gros-Henriksen, who has previously lived in Finland for a long time but returned to Normandy, suggested to the Craft Museum of Finland the collaboration between her two home areas. Le Gros-Henriksen brought together Normandy artisans who were enthusiastic about the opportunity to present their works in Jyväskylä and thus continue the artisanal collaboration between the Craft Museum of Finland and France, which had started more than a hundred years ago. La Normandie Boréale exhibition has been created in cooperation between the Craft Museum of Finland and the Normandy group Élan de créateurs. The curator for the exhibition on behalf of the Craft Museum of Finland is MA Maija Oinonen

Some members of the Élan de créateurs group travel to Jyväskylä for the opening of the exhibition. They are also offered opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with local artisans and other people working on the field. The aim is to bring about discussion on craft entrepreneurship and its prerequisites in different countries. At its best, the exhibition project leads to continuing cooperation in the future.

Artisans participating in the exhibition

Sarah Azzopardi is an illustrator and graphic designer, who wishes to delight with her soft and sweet works. She has sewn fairytale characters to the exhibition. 

Sylvie Bezard creates decorative mirrors and paintings from recycled cardboard. She is inspired by nature and particularly insects.

Emilie Bredel creates magical animal and plant themed wireframe artworks. Their finesse can be seen especially with the play of light and shadow. 

Dressmaker Frédérique Chevallier Ridel makes beautifully colorful children's clothes, accessories and dolls by hand. 

Ceramist Anne Delahodde presents her horses and other animals made by raku technique. Her animal characters also show their humane characteristics. 

Marie Lesens specializes in fabric animal trophies and a colorful collection of them are seen in the exhibition. 

Claire Paesen is a photographer and her specialties are recycled products and light boxes that are made by using photographic techniques. 

Marie-Isabel Rojo makes baskets, bags and accessories from jute, linen and other natural materials. 

Karine Routel makes jewelry that are characterized by graphic design and the use of different materials. She brings her latest works to the exhibition. 

Sandra Saint Requier also makes jewelry and is inspired by modern art. Her delicate works are mainly made of recycled leather and gold-plated jewelry.

Céline Vandermeersch is a ceramicist. Her dishes, ornaments and ceramic jewelry are graphic and elegant.

The exhibition in the Lobby Gallery of the Craft Museum of Finland includes both large and small pieces from the Normandy artisans, which you can also reserve and buy for yourself. At the same time, a second exhibition from the same creators is presented in the Museum's Window Gallery. In this exhibition the creations can be bought directly. There are events connected to the exhibition during the autumn. For example, on Saturday 7th of September Emilie Bredel and Claire Paesen run a French Craft School in the museum. 

La Normandie Boréale exhibition is opened on Friday 6th of September at 6pm.  Professor Outi Merisalo, Honorary Consul of France in Central Finland, opens the exhibition.