Ornamentalist A Craftsman's Art, A Rare Trade

Header par default si pas de header

An Exceptional Job

The Ornamentalist is a true artist who reproduces identically, invents, designs and creates ornaments that range from architectural decoration to the embellishment of decorations or objects. Thus, his creations are addressed as well to the painter as to the stucco maker, the cabinet maker and the goldsmith. We therefore meet ornamanists in typography, cabinet making, sculpture and painting.


Ornamentalist image

A Rare Profession, A Historical Profession

The profession of ornamentalist was born 200 years ago with the advent of lead, a material that has been transformed into malleable sheets. This profession has an ancient know-how, which was modernised in the 19th century, during the industrialisation with the appearance of embossing lathes and many other tools.
Also in the 19th century, the urbanization plan of Paris undertaken by Georges Eugène Haussmann saw the roofs of the city dressed in zinc and equipped with many ox-eyes and dormer windows due to the development of attic space.



L’activité de l’ornemaniste ne se limite pas aux seuls toits parisiens et les besoins et commandes émanent de toutes les régions de France mais également de l'international. L’ornemaniste crée également des épis de faitage, des girouettes, pots à feu, et bien d’autres ornements.
Un grand nombre de châteaux, d’édifices religieux et de monuments historiques comportent des ornements datant des XIVe et XVe siècles, période durant laquelle les ornements de toiture se sont multipliés. Le marché de la restauration du patrimoine architectural concerne aujourd’hui l’Europe ainsi que quelques autres pays notamment les Etats-Unis, le Canada et la Nouvelle Zealand.


Ornament photo

Who is the Ornamentalist for?

The Ornamentalist Roofer responds to multiple and varied requests. They come from the State, local authorities, private individuals, suppliers of metal roofing products and roofers who order various ornaments or metal elements such as gutters, finials, membranes etc.

The Atelier Auder d'Ornements has, for this reason, reproduced (creation according to a model made by Stéphane a few years ago for the Assembly) identical basins (boxes for rainwater recovery) for the National Assembly.




The Skills of the Ornamentalist


The practice of the profession requires several years of apprenticeship in a company with a master ornamentalist craftsman, as this profession is not taught in training centres. Stéphane Auder has been practicing this trade for 24 years, having spent 16 previous years as a Compagnon du Devoir Couvreur. A career crowned by the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France received in 2011.
Mastery of the following techniques is essential to the practice of this rare trade and the realization of quality ornaments.


  • Drawing, today in CAD
  • Metal pusher
  • Founder
  • Welder
  • Knowledge of fine boiler making




The Tools of the Ornamentalist

A fairly large number of machines is also necessary for the good practice of this trade: stamping press, spinning lathe, bending machine, guillotine, rolling machine, roller, molleteuse, baguette machine.
The main materials used are : zinc (natural, quatrz, anthracite ...), copper and lead.




The Atelier Auder d'Ornements is also a Living Heritage Company, thus perpetuating French know-how.

Stéphane Auder shares this ancestral know-how and mastery of different techniques with his apprentices, to whom he passes on his knowledge and experience and thus contributes to the transmission of this knowledge to future generations.


Photo de Stéphane Auder