Another French lesson

In most of the English speaking world a dormer is a covered opening into a sloped roof surface.  These features are generally fitted with a window that allows light to penetrate into attic areas.  In some older commercial, industrial or institutional buildings, a dormer would be fitted with a door which would allow outside access into an attic area for the storage of goods.

Dormer - Elk Weathered Wood 30 year_large

In France the dormer is referred to as a lucarne.   There are lucarnes for letting in light and air.




There are lucarnes built to allow exterior access to attics for storage.



Then there are lucarnes (dormers) created by Master Carpenters of the Compagnons that are called Guitardes.  They are true masterworks in their beauty and complexity.  It seems that no two are the same.  But all are amazing demonstrations of woodworking mastery.


Compagnon Patrick Moore has recently created a page about Guitardes on his site,  The example above is a wonderful piece of work, but in comparison to some of the ones shown on Pat’s Guitarde page, it is fairly simple and straightforward.  Also, the page features a video of the design and construction of the guitarde.

If you’re interested in challenging joinery, you need to visit this site.  But be prepared, after viewing the Guitardes page, you may have to discuss significant feelings of inadequacy with your therapist.


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2 Comments on “Another French lesson”

  1. Tico Vogt Says:

    That was great. Patrick’s site is impressive. thanks for sharing.

  2. Nice article!

    As an additional note, Guitardes were, at one time, a sign used to signal any traveling journeyman (of the same rite or faction) that the building with the guitarde is of an elder Compagnon. An elder is a Compagnon that is done the Tour-de-France and trains the younger journeyman, both in work and life. Most often, the elder owns a shop and employs journeyman that are on their Tour-de-France.



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