Thursday, September 28, 2006

Stone cutters in the middle of Paris


Not very far from yesterday's photo there is a famous tower, called the Tour Saint Jacques . This tower was originally a bell tower that belonged to a church built between 1509 and 1522 then destroyed after the French revolution. The Tour Saint Jacques is currently being renovated and, to do so, they use several stone cutters, exactly like in the ancient times. This guy, for instance, was currently cutting this block of stone to make it look like this. Amazing.

32 comments:

  1. Nahal, where are you? Guess I beat you to it today, lol!

    I love pictures of men (and women) working, just like this one! Thanks Eric! What that guy is doing takes incredible skill, doesn't it?

    I can't say it enough ... I'm just so impressed with all the renovations having taken place in Paris over the last 10-15 years... Incredible.

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  2. I have great respect for stone carvers, my grandfather was one - a pretty good tumbstone maker too.

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  3. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful tower. I totally respect this guy, stone carving takes skills that I'll never possess. With guys (and gals!) like him on the job the renovation is gonna be a huge success!

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  4. The Tour Saint Jacques is totally covered with a canvas-cover since long, and will still be for a long time.
    The stone cutter on Eric's pic has a secure job for at least the 5 years to come!

    As Eric said, the church was destroyed during the revolution, except the tower.
    There is a reason why they kept the tower:

    The tower was used at that time by the "Révolutionnaires" to produce lead shot for their guns: hot lead was let down from the top of the tower, and felt into a grille/bars put on the ground, above cold water.

    That way, the lead was automatically dispatched into many small pieces used a lead shot.

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  5. What an amazing job!
    I can only imagine the skills and patience you must have to carve a stone like that one!
    I've always thought how frustrating it must be if, when carving something, you cut too much and ruin the stone... You'd have to start over!

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  6. Great capture Eric and not something you see every day. We always see these renovations in progress, but never the people actually doing the work.

    Haxo, as always you bring us even more information to digest and learn. Thanks.

    Did you know that in many societies/civilizations, the stone cutters used to mark their stones with a number or symbol so that at the end of the day they could be paid for the number of stones they cut?

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  7. P.S. For Susan, compliments of Percy's investigative talents:

    (insert open bracket)a href="INSERT THE LINK YOU WANT HERE">insert the word(s) you want to underline as a link here(insert open bracket)/a(insert closed bracket)

    brackets = < or >

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  8. Aw, he looks like Gilligan from 'Gilligan's Island".

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  9. Belle photo.
    Et la tour st jacques en ce moment fait penser a une oeuvre de Christo. Photo prise un matin

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  10. Hey Sadia,

    He does look like Gilligan. One could imagine that he is carving a figurehead for the Minnow. Hmm, a figurehead of stone. Quite useful if they wanted to make of the little boat an artificial reef.

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  11. It is amazing that this is still the only way to re-create the old buildings. Those carvers are impressive.

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  12. Seems like anything and everything goes on in Paris every day.

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  13. Is this the tower with the lovely bell ringing?

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  14. Was this in the open? This picture really highlights a difference between London and Paris. In London, the HEalth & Safety inspectors would be down on this like a ton of ... stone.

    Michael, you've reminded me, I have a brilliant stonemason story. Need to go take a picture, so watch out for Monday's post on LDP.

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  15. hm...
    The guy must be careful and patient...
    :)

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  16. > ladyjicky :"Is this the tower with the lovely bell ringing?"
    I might make a mistake but coult it be that you think to the belfry of St Germain l'Auxerrois, just in front of le Louvre ?

    Thank you Haxo for the very interesting information. Another one about the church : its full name was St Jacques de la Boucherie, for there gathered pilgrims to St Jacques de Compostelle (Spain), and it was located in the area of the butchers' market (we're very close to Les Halles).

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  17. I love the photos on this site. Eric does a terrific job. Now I have another place to visit next Spring.

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  18. Wonderful to see skilled professional at work! The before/after effect is staggering.
    Cheers from Sydney,
    Nathalie

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  19. A true artisan - very humbling. Nice shot Eric.

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  20. That really looks rock hard!

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  21. I could send this photo to my relatives and they would think it is a photo of me. The only giveaway is the dark hair...mine is now salt and pepper...mostly salt. LOL

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  22. Another amazing photo with an unusual subject. Those red, white and blue colors really give it punch. Thanks,Eric!

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  23. I see everybody was impressed. I was too when I saw that. I forgot to tell you how long it will take : 3 years from now.

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  24. haha yes Tomate, you did beat me....by a lot....

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  25. haha yes Tomate, you did beat me....by a lot....

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  26. Eric, the lighting in this shot is wonderful, as are the colors. A great photo in every respect, and especially interesting to see this artist in action.
    -Kim

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  27. ParisBreakfasts said...
    This is a wonderful image Eric. I love it!

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  29. The stone masons' marks and symbols are visible in most medieval structures throughout Europe. I took photos of a few last year whilst walking el camino de Santiago.
    You can view some of them here:
    http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll245/Silvianilsen/masonsigns/

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