The Artists’ Studio ZEM is the first interactive metalsmithing workshop built within a European Museum.
ΖEM, is refurbished to replace the model hands-on prototype jewelry museum workshop that was set up when the museum first opened, to honor the space that housed the original Ilias Lalaounis’ jewelry workshops from the early 60’s until 1992
ZEM focuses on promoting contemporary studio jewelry through the live work of young artists working in public. Traditional ancient and modern metalsmithing techniques are revealed to promote both traditional and modern forms of jewelry. Through a regular Museum visit, spectators may watch the demonstration of multiple techniques, the conservation of jewelry in an inspirational environment motivated by this new jewelers’ hub. Individuals and groups with specialized interests may experience hands on tutorials and exchange knowledge with the artist in residence. This exciting educational experience is established under the sacred rock of the Acropolis where the mythical workshop of Hephaistos is revived to generate knowledge and grounds for the production of new contemporary jewelry!
The Artists’ Traditional Crafts Studio advances artistic productivity and enhances the educational role of the ZEM metalsmithing workshop (in the Museum’s ground level) to promote the use of non-precious materials, traditional crafts and new forms for contemporary studio jewelry.
ZEDET respects the space that hosted the first Ilias Lalaounis workshop for fine jewelry and challenges artists in a process that will enable them to flourish within the international artistic community moving away from Greece’s traditional use of metalsmithing. Artists experiment with textiles, ceramics and wood; master the use of leather, enamel, clay, recycled materials, and plastics, responding at the same time to current social issues manifested in contemporary cultures. The marriage of traditional and modern techniques, tools, and materials envelop new inspiration for the promotion of new contemporary design by the Greek and international artistic communities.