Jewelry Classes in Paris

I had thought it would be easy to find courses in basic jewelry design in Paris. After all, the city is the world capital of fashion. There are independent jewelry stores all over the place. But no. What little I could find were studies that took at least a half year.

I finally landed on La Petite Manufacture, a jewelry boutique in the 11th arrondissement with a sizable studio in back. The owner, Marie, gives courses on Fridays and Saturdays when not tending to the store and making her own creations. A look around the place and you know you’re in capable hands: besides Marie’s own jewelry, which is whimsical and well made, there’s a kiln; a wall of drawers for materials from stamps to glues to silver metal paste; and, on the large wood workbench, jars of scissors, colored pencils, and dentist tools.

The 3-hour, one-off classes cost 45 to 60 euros and range in subject from beading to metal paste to Murano-style glass-making. Students are provided with all the materials they need, and can also select from the boutique in front. In yesterday’s beading course, for instance, I “shopped” for ribbon, clasps, beads, wire, and fancy embroidery thread.

The real value of the class is in Marie. Patient and encouraging, she leaves the students enough free range to find their own way after ample instruction. She speaks English, in case your French is a little shaky and you need a few words translated (“melaxer” means “squish,” I learned).

I was amazed at how many new skills I learned from Marie. Because there are often just two or three students in a class, Marie tailors instruction to your level of ability. (I took two classes, and am headed for a third next week.) Yesterday, since I’d already had some basic instruction in beading and wire work, I brought in some pieces I was stuck on. She helped me find aesthetic solutions to all my problem cases.

Experienced artists can buy time in the studio to work on their own projects. If you need a shot of inspiration, this is a great place to find it.

7 Responses to “Jewelry Classes in Paris”

  1. TN
    Comment by TN | 06/25/12 at 6:17 pm

    YAY! I LOVE Maria she is awesome. She taught me everything I know. I started with her making Silver Art Clay Jewelry. I wish I had more time to go to her shop…but alas a Newborn takes up a lot of precious free time 😉

    Just to correct a few things she is in the 3eme (11eme is across the street ;-). And her name is Maria no harm no foul!

    Great post!


  2. Comment by Kassia Costa | 11/04/12 at 7:40 pm

    Hello there!
    I`m very interested at Marie`s classes. The only problem by now is that I am learning french, so I dont know if I would be able to understand the classes. Could you give me more information? I really would like to stop by and improve my skills =) Merci =)

  3. Comment by Laurie | 11/04/12 at 10:30 pm

    Good news, Kassia, Marie is fluent in English and is happy to make sure you understand the class. She can even do an English-only class if you have a couple of friends who would want to learn with you. The three classes I took were amazing–I bought a kiln of my own and have been making a lot of jewelry every since!

  4. Comment by David James | 11/21/12 at 10:00 am

    Quite a value-for-money class indeed. Euro 45 to 60 for a 3-hours class with accessories included is not bad at all. Thanks to TN for the amendment on the address of Marie (or Maria) so that it would be easier to locate her though it’s only across the street. Both my 7 and 10 year old nieces would be thrilled if I were to bring them along in Marie’s classes. Does anyone know if children are charged the same prices or is there any discount? Also, we are able to bring back the handicrafts done in class right? Thanks all. Maybe Laurie, you could add more photos of a few more of your works. That’d be great!

  5. Comment by Mariam | 03/15/14 at 12:16 pm

    I am in Paris at the moment and I’m interested in taking short courses I. Jewlery design. I read what you wrote about Maria and I think this exactly what I was looking for. I just need to be provide with an address or contact detail as I would like to start right away.

    Thank you in advance and have a good day :)))

  6. Comment by Laurie | 03/15/14 at 12:45 pm

    I am sorry to say she is no longer in business. Her storefront is now a shop for e-cigarettes!

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