Sunday, 25 March 2018

As An Apprentice,

whether it was in the field of,

 stone, wood, metal, leather or textiles, 

 as a final test the apprentice had to make his masterpiece, before he could become what in England we call a Journeyman

France has a similar system, “compagnons” have lived idiosyncratic existences, steeped in mystery, ritual, and a devotion to their trades, even today, these master craftsmen have certain quirks, as young people, they live in boarding houses together in towns across France, where they spend their days learning and training to become the country’s greatest tradespeople, after six months in one place, each tradesman will pack up and move on to another French town, and a new hostel, to learn more skills under a new master,

 the name “compagnon” translates to “companion,” relating to the brotherhood between members and the shared identity of a movement that today, encompasses around 12,000 permanent, active members, and with that in mind I had a look at some apprentice masterpieces, 

these are all from the Cooper Hewitt donated by Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, this is a collection of 18th- and 19th-century models of staircases and some significant architectural models, the work is absolutely stunning, the attention to detail has to be seen to be believed, for a look at other finished models of the same period have a look here.

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