Interview - Raphaëlle Le Baud - The Craft Project

Raphaëlle Le Baud is the co-founder of the Métiers Rares studio and the founder of a podcast dedicated to the Craft Industry: The Craft Project. This podcast is a reference in the French Cultural Ecosystem with 28 interviews and 50 000 listeners. It aims at telling the stories of artisans through powerful conversation about their work, career and inspiration.

Among the podcasts recorded by Raphaëlle, four are devoted to our partners: Lison de Caunes from Lison de Caunes Creations, Charles Jouffre from the Ateliers Jouffre, Pierre-Yves Guenec and Pascal Remy from the Ateliers Saint Jacques.

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Par Excellence: Which paths, experiences and encounters led you to the founding of The Craft Project?

Raphaëlle: I have been an entrepreneur in Craftmanship for ten years. It all started in 2010, when I took over the Maison Duvelleroy, specialized in the making of fans. And for ten years, I was inspired by craftsmen, who allowed me to take a richer look on life but also on my working sector. This is why I decided to do a podcast.

In addition, I studied at Sciences Po Paris and NYU in New York. I have lived with the radio since I was born and so for me, a podcast is the best way to make the specific intelligence of each craftsman heard.

Par Excellence: Which method do you use during your interviews to have access to the most intimate of each craftsman? Is there a technique?

My mother is a psychoanalyst, so I think it helps. I also have a facility to listen to people. And when it comes to craftsmen, I think it’s my deep admiration for what they do and build that creates a caring environment that makes them speak freely.

Par Excellence: Who is the typical listener of The Craft Project? And what reaction do you want to generate when someone listens to your podcasts?

The Craft Project is very known in the Craft sector. Among the students – especially at the Boulle Art School in Paris – but also the artisans. Many of them told me they listen to the podcasts while they are working. Customers and decorators can also discover gem through this way. And finally, I am always very touched when people who do not know anything about Craft tell me that they listened to the podcast and were inspired by the artisans’ Art and History.

Par Excellence: The Craft Project is also in your words “A Think Thank of Craftsmen who come together to think and act for the future of Crafts”. How can we think this future and what place does the digital occupy in it?

Over the interviews – almost thirty episodes! - we realized that the concerns of craftsmen were deep and worrying, particularly in regard to the formation of their successors. Parents, students and the Ministry of National Education should be aware of the professional opportunities this sector offers. This is why we meet regularly to find new ideas and to act in this direction.

As far as digital is concerned, it enables craftsmen to make themselves known on the market independently of intermediaries. So, it is already a valuable springboard for them. Within the workshops, these are craftsmen who become influencers. Instagram gives artisans the opportunity to get an unprecedented economic influence. That’s why digital is central in the future of fine Crafts, and The Craft Project is the very expression of it. The artisans of the Think Tank have a big digital community, so do I: we are deeply involved in digital.

 Par Excellence: You’re in a way an ambassador of French Know-How: Co-founder of Duvelleroy and the Mayaro Gallery in Paris, co-founder of the Métiers Rares Studio. Do you plan to be the ambassador of this French Savoir-Faire on the international stage?

It’s my dream, because the Crafts need to shine. I am very attached to French workshops; I would like to talk about it internationally. I had the chance to participate in Homo Faber in Venice, where it was a real pleasure to talk about crafts, talk about our Craftsmen and their skills and expertise. And this is why one of my dream is also to translate the Craft Project in English. And I thank Par Excellence for all its efforts to accompany me in the realization of this will!

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