Created in collaboration between ESSEC Business School and the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, the ESSEC Masterclass - Homo Faber Fellowship was launched on September 6th, offering an exclusive program for young international artists and craftsmen.
Once upon a time, they were the cathedral builders, the master carpenters of castles, the costume designers in theaters, and many more. Today, the National Institute of Crafts recognizes 281 such trades – the crafts and arts – as the ambassadors of French excellence. They are the masters of creation, working with glass, crystal, ceramics, textiles, wood, all of them artisans, and some, true artists. Their mission is to create or restore our precious heritage, which is currently in jeopardy.
It is in this context that the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship has partnered with ESSEC to bring the Homo Faber Fellowship to life. This program aims to enhance the career prospects of graduates in applied arts and crafts by equipping them with fundamental entrepreneurial and business skills.
The ambitious goal of this program is to nurture thriving artisanal businesses that can adapt to market changes, host apprentices, and ensure the longevity of their workshops.
The seven-month Fellowship incorporates a month-long entrepreneurial and creative masterclass certified by ESSEC Business School at Joana Vasconcelos’ studio, in addition to a six-month placement for practical skills acquisition in the workshop of a master artisan.
"We aim to help people rediscover the beauty of handmade creations and support those who excel at it – these exceptional contemporary master artisans who employ age-old traditions, ancestral skills, and deep knowledge to create exquisite, enduring objects," explains the Michelangelo Foundation. "We have selected 20 young artists from across Europe to embark on this journey with 20 experienced mentors, skilled artisans. By expanding training opportunities, promoting intergenerational exchange, and facilitating the transfer of skills, we will break down the economic barriers that master artisans face when it comes to training the next generations."
The Michelangelo Foundation has chosen 4 young artists for France:
1. Pierre Henri Beyssac & Inès Rauch, Ecole Boulle, marquetry
2. Sébastien Klein & Tom Even, Ecole Boulle, bicycle builders
3.Cédric Lamballais & Léandre Le Bail, Ecole Estienne, blacksmith and engraver
4. Julien Vermeulen & Matéo Laurent, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, creations with feathers
To further enrich this experience, ESSEC has designed a certified Masterclass focused on entrepreneurship and creativity, specifically for Homo Faber Fellowship participants. During this training, they will acquire essential skills in communication, digital marketing, and business planning.
"By equipping master artisans and young graduates with entrepreneurial skills, we are helping them create thriving and sustainable businesses," explains Simon Nyeck, Professor and Director of the Masterclass Homo Faber at ESSEC's Chair in Exceptional Craftsmanship Management. "The goal is to create a model that fosters change and growth in the artisanal sector, aligned with recruitment needs."
The Masterclass also includes visits to the workshops of master artisans and local designers, as well as art history lectures, providing participants with the opportunity to integrate these fundamental skills to develop and preserve our immeasurable cultural heritage.
From September 4th to 27th, the 20 participants will be welcomed in Lisbon at the studio of artist Joana Vasconcelos in Portugal, where they will attend the ESSEC Masterclass alongside conferences and workshops.