Virginie works on stone with passion

As a child, Virginie collected pebbles, which she brought as souvenirs to the places where she stayed. In his parents’ house, a whole closet full of these “treasures”.

His passion for pebbles dates back to that time and has never waned. Evidence, Virginia became a mason. Her parents never discouraged this choice – her father also works in the construction industry – so at 40, she is still grateful to them.

Knowing that we are working on memorials standing today and that will stand still after us is rewarding.

Virginie, stones

So Virginie has been working with the stone for 20 years. She currently works in the choir of Saint-Étienne cathedral along with a team led by Fabien Remy that splits between the square and the workshop to create the new altarpiece for the venue. For two weeks and until the end of the month, the young woman was engaged in the construction of three levels of Euville stone paving, on which a stone altar would be erected, mounted on piles of colored glass. The task requires a great deal of precision, such as the delicate deposition of a black plaque reminiscent of the presence of Saint-Gerard’s tomb under the new altar. The operation carried out by Virginie with the greatest accuracy. This project is the first of its kind created by these professionals in such a building is not uncommon. Therefore, Virginie is delighted with the challenge: “It’s the future!”.

Finding her place as a woman

Rewinding the thread of her career, Quadra explains that she left her native Loire-et-Cher in 2001 to Lorraine where she was awaited by France-Lanord & Bichaton (FLB), which she trained as an apprentice to obtain her patent. professional. She then moved on to “roamers” – she says – to get back to her first love and employment with the FLB in 2006.

During her departure, Virginie had worked on the tops and gate of Amiens cathedral … because historical monuments are the lot of masons. It is up to them to clean it up and restore the damaged parts symmetrically over the years.

The site that stood out most was still the Basilica of Saint-Epvre, in Nancy, with the installation and removal of the tower that culminates at 95 metres, never working at a height. I also worked on almost all the facades surrounding Place Stanislas. “Knowing that we are working on memorials standing today and that will stand still after us, is rewarding!” admits the quartet, who takes turns preparing the stones in the workshop and posing.

So yes, the difficulty of the job is finding your place as a woman in a masculine world. “At first it was difficult. You have to have a personality,” the person in question admits. If she had no problem with her colleagues, the employees of other crafts were not always so gentle towards her. Undressed and her long hair locked in a scarf on workdays, she keeps her femininity for loved ones on weekends. The most difficult task of the job is to carry weights, and it is not easy for a female constitution. At this point, “Lifting means facilitating operations.” And what does it matter, for Virginie, that the love of the stone takes precedence over everything else.

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