What to expect on your jewellery making holiday in France

Creative holidays

What to expect on your jewellery making holiday in France

Lush meadows, rolling countryside, field upon fields of sunflowers and deep woodland expanses, all with the Pyrenees mountains standing tall in the distance, is what to expect on these unique jewellery making and cooking holidays in south west France.

This very special creative holiday is run by Caroline and her husband, Adam. Caroline is a qualified jewellery making teacher from the UK. They moved to the area looking for a change of lifestyle and now run their hugely successful jewellery making business from Baron-Figués, where you will be staying.

This is a truly unique experience where you can try new jewellery making techniques and leave with your personalized jewellery piece after spending time in the bright, spacious studio on the property.

Caroline’s holidays are crafted to your needs and what you want to get out of it; whether it is more culture, hiking, a day by the pool or an evening of mastering new French dishes, Caroline and Adam have combined their talents in their stunning countryside accommodation to make sure you get the best of the area and activities.

For those new to the idea of jewellery making on holiday, we decided to talk to Caroline to paint a picture of what you can expect from one of her holidays.

You offer such a large range of jewellery making holidays, could you let us know how each material is a bit different?

The materials I use range from all forms of metal (precious and base) in both clay and sheet form. All forms of glass in powder, frit, rods and sheet form.

What is so wonderful about offering such a broad range of materials is that there is something for every level and style of jewellery making. I find out what each individual likes and wants to learn and plan the projects around what’s possible in the time available.

Do you have a particular material you prefer using, and if so why?

My favourites are silver metal clay and glass. Teaching someone, friends or a family coming with no previous skills, who believe they have no special creative talents and who make amazing professional looking fine silver jewellery that their friends are amazed with is fantastic for me!

Having been a teacher for many years this is still my favourite subject to teach! Just look at some of the pictures of jewellery that beginners take home with them.

What are your favourite types of jewellery pieces to create?

Some of my favorite pieces to make and teach are bronze and silver lentil bead pendants. I take students to button shops and brocantes to find interesting old buttons and textures. We then come back to the studio and create beautiful jewellery.

Another favourite of mine are fine silver leaves. We walk in the stunning sunflower fields and vineyards in between a few wine tastings in the chateau and back in the studio we turn these freshly picked leaves into unique fine silver jewellery.

Can guests just come and choose the materials they would like to work with? What materials do you keep in your studio for people to experiment and create with?

Our guests generally choose the materials they want to work with before their holiday. All the materials I work with are kept in the studio and guests can, within reason, change what they want to do. As the studio is such a wonderful space to be and work in guests can’t help but want to try different materials and I try to be as flexible as possible with what they wish to learn.

In a week long holiday, how many pieces can a guest typically expect to complete and take home with them?

Each holiday is different and depending on the material the guests use they will bring home around 8 completed pieces from their week long holiday.

Once people try your holidays, is it fairly easy to take this new jewellery making hobby home with them? How expensive it it to start doing this for themselves at home?

For most it is easy to continue making pieces at home with no need for any expensive equipment. For those who really want to develop their skills we offer residential training courses and, through our partners, can supply a professional kit.

What is a typical day structured like on your holidays? How would it be ideal for a solo traveller, couple, or a family?

Each holiday is different and tailored to meet the needs of the guests.

Generally we have breakfast at 9 and start courses or activities at 10. Lunch is around 12 then courses or activities in the afternoon from about 2.

There’s plenty of time to relax before an aperitif and dinner around 8 and we finish up when everyone goes to bed. There is generally a free day to allow guests to explore on their own and an excursion day where the guests are taken out for the day. These two days are quite fluid and we’re always happy to help guests get the best from their holiday with us. All the guests are included in all the events.

Your holidays seem like the perfect family getaway. Could you let us know how your holidays can be personalised for all tastes and ages of a family?

Before our guests arrive we take the time to get to know them a little – their food preferences, whether they want to relax or be more active, what excursions they might like to make and more.

For groups and families, we work with them to ensure their holiday suits their preferences. For individuals, we always adjust menus to suit and will discuss the preferences of the individuals on the holiday over dinner on the first night to get a consensus, and adjust the holiday to ensure everyone is getting the most out of their time here.

In addition to your gorgeous home, pool, and studio, what are some great things to do in your area?

Based in the centre of south west France, we are surrounded by amazing history, fantastic wines and Armagnacs, great food, mountains, seas, lakes and rivers as well as walking and cycling routes and spas.

This is your holiday so you can decide what to do;
– lay by the pool with a cool drink or have a relaxing massage
– cycle or walk through the sunflowers and vineyards to a local village auberge or a Michelin starred restaurant for lunch
– visit local markets and brocantes
– visit the historic castles, abbeys and monuments by car or bike
– play a round of golf, a game of tennis or swing through the trees on zip wires
– visit a spa to relax or a water park

All this is at Baron-Figues on our doorstep. Further afield you can splash in the sea, ski in the mountains and even take to the skies in an hot air balloon.

If you’re ready to learn a new craft, Caroline offers a full range of jewellery making holidays all starting on the same date. The only difference is what material you would like to use. From glass to PMC, the choice is yours.

View the full range here.

Or feel free to browse our full range of creative holidays here.

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