Do you have what it takes to be a real journeyman?
Patrick Moore is a Compagnon. Pat’s from Canada, where he did the standard apprenticeship and holds a “red seal” as a qualified journeyman carpenter. But Pat wasn’t content with bolting scaffolds together, he wanted to know more. He studied timber framing. And, in the course of his studies, he learned of the traditional carpenter’s guild in France, Les Compagnons. I’ve talked about the Compagnons before, they are true Master Carpenters and hold fast to the old methods of teaching and safeguarding the craft.
One who aspires to be accepted as a Compagnon must present an acceptance piece. If the aspirant is found worthy, both in skill and character, he or she begins a period of traveling and working throughout France with Master Carpenters, learning the secrets of the craft including L’art du Trait. Pat submitted his acceptance piece, was deemed acceptable and, began his journey, known as The Tour de France. The average tour is approximately seven years. At the end of the journey, Pat submitted his Masterpiece and was accepted as a “Compagnon Passant Charpentier” . After the Compagnon has undergone the St. Pierre Ritual/Ceremony (approximately one and a half years after being accepted as a Compagnon) he or she is given the further title of Bon Drilles de Tour-de-France” by the Compagnons. Pat is the first American (North or South) to have been accepted.
Here is Pat’s masterpiece:
Upon studying Pat’s work, the level of complexity quickly becomes apparent. The work itself is now on display at the Compagnons Museum in France. To see the development of the project, simply click on the image. You’ll also see his initial “aspirant” piece.
Pat is now back in North America, living in Canada and teaching in both Canada and the U.S.. As far as I know, Pat is the only one in this part of the world who is teaching L’art du Trait.
Pat’s website, historicalcarpentry.com, is absolutely fascinating. It’s loaded with information about the Compagnons, l’art du Trait (and Pat’s teaching schedule) and some of the most complex framing carpentry you’ll ever see. Even if you don’t plan to leave your “day job”, I’m sure you’ll be “glued to the monitor” for quite some time.
Along with offering hands-on seminars and classes, Pat offers courses in l’art du Trait online. You can sign up for online classes at http://www.shop.historicalcarpentry.com. And Pat has asked that anyone who might have questions about “le trait” or Les Compagnons, is free to contact him at email@example.com