Close-up on a sculpting tool hitting stone
“Impact”, 2011.

A sculptor from the “Fondation de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame” (Our Lady Work, the cathedral builders’ guild in Strasbourg) sculpting a hook on a pinnacle intended to replace an old one on the top of the St-Catherine chapel of the cathedral of Strasbourg.

Pinnacle are pieces somewhat complicated to made: after being extracted from the quarry, the block of stone is first cut at the good dimensions, then a stonemason smooth down the general form of the pinnacle. The piece is finally handled to a sculptor, who carve all the non-geometrical parts. When completed, stonemasons take the piece to the construction site where it is laid and sealed in place. Most of this work is hand-made and the whole process can take up to 800 hours for each pinnacle.

Watching sculptors and stonemasons at work is something fascinating, there is wide variety of movements, depending which tool they’re using and the workshop is like a stage where craftsmen are performing a choreography on the music of the tools striking the stone.

Sculptor is using there a two teeth stone chisel (gradine in French and Zahneisen in German) and a hammer, two typical tools of the sculptors, while stonemasons use rather mallet.

Tools and exifs:

  • Canon EOS 450D + Canon 55-250mm IS
  • 250mm
  • 1/250 s.
  • f/5.6
  • ISO 400

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