You will notice  that all three master pieces have Guitardes throughout, a Twisted Steeple at the very top and some kind of complex French Trestle as a base support.


I hope the montage of pictures shown will give you inspiration and the courage to learn as much as you can. The world of carpentry has lots to teach for all professions. Thank you for taking the time and visiting this blog.


For those of you who are interested in having the capabilities and understanding of building these (or parts of these master pieces) consider taking an online Art du Trait course or a workshop.You will gain the knowledge that has been safe guarded for almost a millennium by true master craftsman.

This is the only reference we have. Built in 1816 or 1889? by the Compagnon E. Francois, Deblois, L'enfant du Genie

This master piece does not have a letter of reference with an explanation

Not sure what else to write other then it's amazing

Close up view from the front

This is the third and last master piece to be shown here

It reads;

Master piece of the `Soubises`, the Association Guild, studied from 1864 to 1866 and was executed from 1866 to 1878.


This collective work realized by a numerous Compagnon itinerants, they were paid 0.60 Frs/hour in 18972 and from 1882 to 1884 0.85Frs/hour


The wood was given by Compagnon employers and the individual subscription collection throughout the Tour de France have enabled the completion of the volume in 1884.


The height from the very bottom to the summit of the steeple is 4.38 meters. Every possible carpentry problem has been resolved.

Same staircase as above but looking straight on

One of the many staircases on the outside

Another view into the inside with a different staircase and handrail. Very intricate work!

View of the intricate details on the inside, including circular staircases, balustrades, and fine finish work.

Close up view of the outer handrail. They are extremely detailed.  The style of handrail seems to be that of Louis 13th.

If it's possible for one word to describe these master pieces - awesome.

Close up view looking up

Overall view of the "Mazerolle" master piece

The "Mazerolles" is the master piece on the far right.

It reads;

Master Piece of the "Indiens", now the Federation Guild, it was constructed under the decision of the General Assembly the 29th September 1887.

The C:. Matrat was invited to do a study on a unique project, approaching in form to a genuine temple.

The C:. Viannay was in charge of harmonizing the whole after a style well defined.

This Master Piece was finished in time for the exposition of 1900 where it obtained the highest reward.

Exposed at the headquarters of the Society of the Compagnon Charpentiers du Devoir de Liberte, 10 rue Mabillon Paris 6eme, it now maintains the admiration next to its rival the "Mazerolles" in the museum of both merged societies.

It's surreal to be apart of an organization that built such works of art

View of the bottom of the master piece with the Treteau a Devers and the vaulting supporting the rest of the master piece

Close up view looking up

The top of the master piece

It's difficult to get a good picture for two reasons, one - size of the room is small and two - the master piece is about 18 feet tall.

The greatest master piece of all is held in this Hall

Access to the Hall of Master Pieces, behind the restaurant

One of the many master pieces in the restaurant open to the public.

Inside view of restaurant area.  You can see behind the glass small models and pictures of famous Compagnons. Some pictures include C:. Louis Mazerolle and C:. Pierre-Francois Guillon.

Physical location of the restaurant

Inside view of the bar which is open to the public.

Front of the restaurant where the master pieces are held.  Above are rooms for the carpenters, members of the Federation guild.

Near the end of my stay in Paris, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Hall of Master Pieces of the Federation guild. This is where the most famous of all master pieces are held. It is closed off to the public and only accessible by presenting yourself. There are three main master pieces in this hall, one of which was built by the famous C:. Louis Mazerolle.

Details of the Corinthian capitals where the stone carvers are restoring and repairing any damages

Walking around the main structure.

The 'singe', or boss, explaining the raising process.

The working scaffolding was erected in sections and lifted into place with the crane.

The metallic carpentry designed by Paris Charpente

View from below

The interesting part of this job was the fact that the scaffolding cannot rest against the building for support. So an enormous metallic structure was erected to support the working scaffolding from below.

The conception for the metallic support. The hole in the middle is for the dome of the Pantheon. Height of each post is more then 18 meters.

During the patrimony course in Paris we received a private tour of the restoration work on the Paris Pantheon. The tour was given by one of our Compagnon's, owner of the company Paris Charpente. They are responsible for the main structure supporting more then 450 metric tons of scaffolding. 

A view of Paris atop of the Pantheon

This year we commemorated those who have passed 50 years of being a Compagnon. There are approximately 25 of them. Only 8 were present, standing in front.

During one of the 'round table' discussions

I decided to fly out and attend this years Congress, at the same time take a course on patrimony in Paris held by the guild, and to bring back the Compagnon's encyclopedia on masonry and stone carving (an amazing collaboration of work that took more then 10 years to realize).

Diner Hall

Conferance Hall

Main entrance

A general view of the building

This year's Congress was held in the town of Souppes-sur-Loing, an hour south from Paris, in the classified historical monument - Abby of Cercanceaux.  Click here for their official website and here for the wikipedia page.

You can see in the background placards made by the newly received Compagnons displaying their master pieces

The Congress for Compagnon carpenters take place every year near mid-May. This is where all Compagnon carpenters gather to examine current trends and events, future agendas, hold discussions in a `round table`format, and nonetheless to meet up with past comrades.  This is also the time where newly adopted and received carpenters present themselves to the community. All newly received showcase their master piece on a placard for others to see and admire.

Front panel for the 56th annual congress in 2015

Sejourn in Paris 2015