"You just play," she tells me. Armed with flowers, feathers, linen, or old scraps of clothing, students gather around the "Queen Bee," Jan's printing press, like children on Christmas morning. "It's a fun process because you never know what's going to happen on the press. Everyone gathers around it and holds their breath when we peel back the paper to reveal the finished product," Jan Olsson informs me as we stand peering at Queen Bee inside her studio at La Ruche.
In French, "La Ruche" simply means "Beehive." Over time, more than 100 other studios were built to resemble it. What sets apart this hive from the others is its maker: La Ruche was designed by Gustave Eiffel. This artist's colony is a circular structure, three levels high with 24 studios that take the shape of wedges.