The Maison d’Ourscamp

44-46, rue François Miron 75004 Paris

During an exceptionally hot Paris weekend in June 2019, I was in a sweater and hard hat, assisting in the restoration of a chilly 13th century cellar in the heart of the Marais district in Paris.

I have no business handling power tools

Taken under the bearded wing of the coolest medieval expert stone mason David Poiron, I spent all weekend in heavy-duty gloves chiseling away at limestone blocks and destroying chunks of a vaulted archway that was to be restored. I probably inhaled a whole lot of 700-year-old gravel, but being in the company of other like-minded fans of history for an entire weekend was pretty incredible.

Stone Maison Extraordinaire David

Armed with blunt and heavy tools I have no business handling, my mission that weekend consisted mostly of Bitch Work I was happy to be delegated due to my lack of stone cutting skills, like chiseling ridges in heavy blocks. These cumbersome but necessary ridges, made using iron wide toothed chisels, served to help the paint stick better to the stone it was placed against. Each of these blocks had a particular shape carved into each side; also to help the bonding agent to adhere better than being up against solid smooth stone.

And because the cellar is a historically protected site, you can’t just throw these guys in a machine to be spat out 30 seconds later perfectly shaped. Any work done here has to be done the same way it was originally done, with the same tools, materials, and methods. This is one reason why rebuilding Notre Dame cathedral is so complicated; much of the wood used to create the roof doesn’t exist anymore. The block I worked with that day will eventually be used to create a new identical rib for a damaged vault.

AND GUYS GUESS WHAT, as destiny would have it, the first stone I chose to shape already had been touched by a former cheeky stone mason who might have been my soul mate. In addition to a borderline perverse and immature sense of humor, this mysterious personage was also mathematically correct. Because this design will be fitted against an exact replica on another block and filled with glue it won’t be seen, so anyone clutching their peals can just relax.

As David pointed out to me in between my sporadique giggling fits, the phallus was carved using the Golden Ratio. So what is that? Well its super fucking cool that’s what. A mix of science and evolutionary psychology, the GR is the comparison of any two aspects, often using body parts that have the same ratios, on EVERYONE, that leads us to proportion them in the ideal way.

PERFECTION

Try to follow as I explain while being as politically correct as possible. The measurements from lower nut sac to dick hole were identical to the distance between my pinky finger tip and thumb finger tip. From exterior left ball to the right ball, my index finger was an exact match. One could say deez nuts are perfect, in the eyes of God.

If you are in Paris, you can check out the cellar and its building for yourself at l’Association Paris Historique 44-46 rue François-Miron in the 4th arrondisement. They have been in the process of restoring this cellar since the 60’s, which was once part of a building belonging to 13th Cistercian monks before that building was demolished, and the current one put in place in the 15th century, right on top of the old one, leaving the cellar in need of some TLC but intact.

To join as a member costs only 40 euro per year and they host a ton of interesting events like historical tours (which you get a discounted rate) and discussions with historical experts. Link here Association Paris Historique – Sauvegarde et mise en valeur (paris-historique.org)

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