What is a mysterious skilled craftsman group 'compagnion' that creates elaborate miniature stairs?
byCourtesy Cooper Hewitt Museum
From the Middle Ages to the present, France has a super skilled craftsman group called "companion". An article that summarizes the history and life of a mysterious companionAtlas ObscuraIt is published in.
Marvel at Tiny, Perfect Staircases Made by a Secret Society of French Woodworkers - Atlas Obscura
It is said that 12 thousand artisans belong to the French craftsman group "Compagnon". The companion is divided into groups of five materials, wood, metal, stone, leather, and fabric, and it is characterized by a strong fellow consciousness among members. The young people who want to become members of companion will stay together in a dormitory located in a town in various parts of France and learn skills on skilled craftworkers who live in the land. After completing about 6 months of training per place, I will move to the next place, learn the technology about another craftworker, gradually acquire skilled skills. Since it takes at least 5 years of training to become a member of the companion, a very long way is required to be recognized as a member of the companion.
In history, woodworking companion has made many small and very elaborate miniature staircases. Although the size is only about a few tens of centimeters, it is solidly independent and its appearance is very elegant and delicate.
Companion craftsmen are pears as a material for making miniature stairsebony· Walnut ·mahoganyWe used various types of wood, such as bone and brass for the decoration of small handrails and balustrades. All of the miniature staircases are carved, handmade, combined, decorated with inlays and so on, and most of them are made very gorgeous. Compagnon's apprentices compete to raise their reputation to make these elaborate miniature staircases, sometimes cooperate with the group to make a slightly larger staircase and parade the city seeking praise by people It was said that there was.
When it was recognized that it became a member of companion, it seems that it was prescribed to receive a secret ceremony, and the craftsmen of companion were named after the place name and individuality like "wise men of Draguignan" "flowers of bagnolet" I got a nickname. In addition to the secret nickname, the companion craftsmen were given a shoulder belt dyed in a specific color, a long wooden stick, etc. They said that consciousness of solidarity among companions was very strong.
Compagnon had its own patron saint, took part in a party where only members of Compagnon could participate, and had a unique tradition in funeral methods as well. However, the secretive tendency of Compagnon also became the cause of doubts about surrounding people often.
In 1839,Agricole · PardiggerA writer who was a craftsman of former companion called Mr. "Book of companion"The book on the part of the life of compagnon, which has been considered secret, was revealed. Mr. Puldigger says about this book, "This book was written for members of the companion who have almost no books", prejudice against companion was diminished by "companion's book", their work It is said that it was once again appreciated again.
Even now, the people of the companion continue to convey skilled skills, and in recent years we have also produced a variety of things outside of France. For example, in the 1980s, we created a torch part of the Statue of Liberty in the United States, and in 1990 we carried out repair work of antique furniture in South Carolina State hit by Hurricane.
There is no difference that the system of Compagnon is still being handed over, but it seems that changes are starting to appear little by little in internal circumstances. In the past, men were able to become companion, but since 2005 they have begun to accept women's companion. In addition, the internationalization of companion is also progressing, and now it seems that you can also train in Germany and Poland.
Although it is a companion system where there are some changes, there is no change in passion and dedication to their work. The word "Glory is in work and despising laziness" was written in a deed sent to a person who became a companion in the 19th century, but even in the 21st century the same spirit inherited to the companion It is.