It’s a Small World

Recently, I visited the Compagnonnage Museum in Tours.  Compagnonnage is when artisans travel around the country, learning regional techniques and honing their abilities before becoming masters of their trades.  After this, they complete a chef d’oeuvre, showing off their talent in a creative way.  Tours has a museum with a vast collection of such works, ranging from ornately carved sabots to sugar pagodas.  Although there were some works that were completed at a normal scale or bigger than normal, most of them were miniatures. 

The museum housed pieces created by artisans of all kinds, but my favorite section was definitely the one on carpentry.  Many of their chefs d’oeuvre incorporated unusual architectural forms, such as cones intersecting with spheres or other cones.  There was something graceful yet oddly whimsical about many of the works.  This was a chance for the artisans to show off their skill, so the results were often incredibly striking.


A carpenter’s chef d’oeuvre

Today was my last day of class.  I can’t believe my time in Tours is already practically over.  My five weeks went by far too fast, but at the same time I’ve come to feel very much at home here.  I’m leaving this weekend, so I’ll be putting up my last post shortly after that.  A la prochaine!


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