Meeting with Nel who makes magnificent Fumay slate jewelry. Discover his know-how.
Hello everyone !
New article on the blog. Today, I'm going to meet a Dutch girl named Nel de Vlieger. This charming lady and her husband Théo fell, so to speak, in love with the Ardennes 40 years ago and now own a holiday home in Fumay, a town of character with a heavy slate past.
The slate… let's talk about it! If I mention this to you, it is not without reason.
Nel de Vlieger has a particular talent in connection with slate. Indeed, she uses it as a raw material to make beautiful jewelry and other unique accessories, in Fumay slate.
My meeting with Nel
We first meet in front of a verdeau in the heart of the town of Fumay. For those who do not know this term, it is in fact a name used by the Scailleteaux (miners) to describe a mound of waste. Indeed, the extraction and manufacture of slate produced a lot of waste.
About 80% of the extracted slate was thus dumped on heaps, locally called "verdeaux".
Nel therefore joins me in front of this verdeau which is today part of the Fumaçien heritage and reminds us of the importance of slate in the XNUMXth century.
Megane "Hello Nel, how are you?"
Nel de Vlieger : "Very well thanks and you ?"
MD : "Yes very good thank you. So Nel, could you tell us where you get your slates from?
NDV “Oh, we find some here in Fumay, almost everywhere on the ground. Often I walk with my back down. Here, at verdeau, it is forbidden to pick up slates. Even on our land! We have had a little house here for almost 20 years and even there I find one from time to time.”
MD "How do you choose them? I imagine that not all slates are good to take. »
NDV “No, it has to be slates of two colors. This is what characterizes the slates of Fumay. Normally, the slates are gray, quite unrewarding, but look here, there are two colors (green and gray blue) and we can do something with them.
MD : "And how did you discover the town of Fumay?"
NDV “Well, we've always traveled…with a tent. And by chance we came here to the campsite 30 years ago, maybe 40 years ago. We immediately liked the region, the nature, the calm. And then we bought a vacation home in Fumay. The rest of the year we live in the city where there is a lot of noise, so here is perfect for us. And the Ardennes are nice! »
MD : “Ah! It is important to specify this. So, to come back to the slates… would you be willing to show us a bit of your know-how? »
NDV "Of course, let's go! »
The making of jewelry
Nel picks up some slates before taking the road to the Vireux-Wallerand tourist office. I set up a table for her on which she puts all her utensils.
Nel shows me how she makes, step by step, her Slate jewelry.
- She chooses the shape she will give to her jewelry
- Then saw, file and sand the edges of the slate.
- She then covers it with a protective varnish and surrounds it with a pewter ribbon.
These are the steps to follow for a simple jewel but Nel also makes more complex accessories such as thimbles, butterflies, matchboxes and much more.
If you want to get one of his magnificent jewels, know that they are on sale in our shop at the Val d'Ardenne tourist office. We have brooches and pendants.
It is an original and above all symbolic gift idea of the Fumaçian heritage that will please your loved ones. Enjoy!