Our Traditional Artisans of France in Australia: Webinar Replay

Watch our business partners, Laurent and Thomas, as they discuss their journey to become master craftsmen from world-renowned French trades university, Les Compagnon du Devoir.

For more than nine centuries Les Compagnons du Devoir “The Companions of Duty” have been providing high quality training for young people in a variety of manual trades. Training offers both apprenticeships and higher-level skills training for traditional and modern techniques. Trainees move between workplaces all over France and abroad, learning a trade but also about themselves, through experience of different people and cultures.

Training helps students achieve high intellect in one of 30 trades from initial qualifications through to Masters degree (Australian equivalent).

Les Compagnons du Devoir are one of two schools in the world recognised under UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage safe-guarding program.

Watch Thomas (a blacksmith and metal fabricator) and Laurent (a furniture maker) with fellow Compagnons, Anthony (a joiner) and Bertrand (a pastry chef) as they discuss our 800-year old legacy, rigorous study pathway, French traditions, their completed major works, through to life now in Australia.

This is the last webinar episode of the first series which discusses French culture by a panel of experts mostly living in Australia, and all speaking English. These free events have been curated by Le Festival Brisbane.

Click play below

Key Presentation Takeaways

This type of study is not available in Australia in the trades sector. Australian tradies achieve a Certificate 3 to obtain their qualifications.

The level of training and intellect Compagnons achieve is equivalent to a Masters Degree.

Some Australians seeking further education can apply for grants like the Churchill Fellowship program, to learn these skills in Europe. If they are studying in France, there is a good chance their teachers are also Compagnons.

Compagnonnage has unique and strict education system.

To start the journey to become a Compagnon, the first step is to complete a two-year apprenticeship.

To then start your “Tour de France”, with the approval of Compagnon Elders, each student is then required to make an Adoption Piece for assessment. If passed, students may start their Tour and will then become known as an “Aspirant”.

It takes up to five years to complete the Aspirant level to gain enough experience. The assessment to formally graduate as a Compagnon is a process in itself. Each Aspirant must again ask the Elders if they are technically and spiritually ready to start the process of making a “Masterpiece” for final assessment.

There is no monetary exchange for tuition as Compagnons are not-for-profit association. When Compagnons complete their Masterpieces they are required to pay their skills forward to the next generation of Aspirants by serving in a management or teaching role for 2-3 years within the association.

One aspect within the unique philosophies of Compagnons is focussing studies on balancing the hard and soft skills. It has been a fundamental process they have used for centuries.

The first years of study are completed manually – only hand tools – to ensure they have the right mindset to manoeuvre their hands precisely and safely during manual labour.

In current times it is not commercially viable for Compagnons to do all their work by hand and often use power tools.

In 2010, Les Compagnons du Devoir were recognised by UNESCO under their “Intangible Cultural Heritage” safe-guarding program for their “network for the transmission of knowledge and identities by the profession”.

Les Compagnon du Devoir is one of two education facilities in the world to achieve this recognition.

Unfortunately, no aspects of Australian culture have been recognised and safeguarded under this program yet.

The webinars for other topics will soon be available. Please contact us if you’d like to know more.


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Most frequent questions and answers

Steel Joinery Design


Customised designs are the only style of steel door we make. We are a small business and focus on tailored solutions for individual needs.

You are introducing yourself because you adore the look of our steel doors and windows. You captured our interest with your thoughtful conversation starter in the form of architectural plans. This could be the start of a great relationship because our steel joinery is the perfect pairing of sexy and smart.

Specified architectural plans are preferred as they are already set out with information for our tailor-made products:

  1. top and side views
  2. layout and configurations
  3. door and window schedules specifying types of:
    • glass
    • paints
    • hardware, locks, handles, and
    • when required: BASIX and building code requirements
Door schedule
Door schedule example


Don’t despair! If your job is too small to warrant using an architect or designer, it is attainable for you to have a bit of fun doing your homework to gather most of this same information. Additionally, send a reference image you found on the net – a picture paints a thousand words.

There are limited bi-fold hardware products available in the Australian marketplace in which we are confident to endorse.

We are currently researching and prototyping a small sample of hardware brands for bi-fold steel door configurations.  

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Yes, we can.

If you are budget-conscious, we recommend using steel joinery for the featured areas of your home and consider other options for the utilitarian areas.  

Steel Joinery delivery and installation

Our first step in our quoting process is to use your provided measurements using our request form (below).

Once you have confirmed the job and paid the deposit:

  1. if we are installing the job: we have already allowed in our pricing for travel time to measure up accurately onsite.
  2. if we are not installing the job: we rely on accurate final measurements from your builder or carpenter. If your site is in the Byron Shire, we may be able to measure up onsite depending on the scale of the job and our workload.

Due to the incredibly high demand of this product, it is highly recommended you contact us as soon as you receive your architectural plans.

We do not mass produce nor pre-fabricate our joinery. We manufacture everything from scratch so lead times may take 2+ months from point of accepting the quote, however this may be negotiated upon and subject to product selections, scale, our workload and your own deadline.

Best practice is confirming your job by paying a deposit during the first stage of construction which will lock in your job.

Read more: our COVID business update

If you do not require installation, we can offer an Australia-wide third-party freight company to transport goods or you can organise your own collection from our Mullumbimby workshop.

Delivery is included our installation estimates.

Our workshop is in Mullumbimby, near Byron Bay, Northern NSW.

Our staff can travel to install within a two-hour drive from our workshop. All delivery and installation by our staff may incur fees that relate to:

  • vehicle expenses
  • staff/contractor time charged on an hourly rate, and/or
  • accommodation and meal expenses (subject to installation duration and distance from our workshop)

We do not recommend DIY or handyman installation.

You can arrange your own experienced and qualified builder or carpenter to install on your behalf. A minimum of two people is required for installation. 


  • Bolts, screws and all accessories will come with your frames
  • Ancillary supporting frames and packaging may be included where deemed appropriate
  • Glazing is optional. Clients may have access to their own local glass shop. Please specify this upon quoting


  • Installation tools
  • Installation instructions are not included but we can give your experienced tradesman advice, if required

Steel Joinery FINANCIALS

Why is your price different to other quotes?

We find that pricing against others is often a case of not comparing apples with apples. Please consider if other quotes detail:

  • Custom manufacturing vs mass production
  • Steel vs aluminium glazing beads
  • Australian made
  • Reputation and eye of details
  • Freight
  • Glazing and hardware inclusions
  • Technical levels of frames

We offer competitive pricing for steel doors and windows and will soon be offering three different framing options within our steel joinery range to suit every clients’ needs.

If you are not sure 100% sure about the details in your quotes, please email them to us for comparison.

Information is key. The more information we have, the more definitive we are in our pricing for our customised products.

We will provide a quote with a firm price once all information is at hand.

We will provide an estimate if we have most of the information yet still lacks minor details. Estimates may present as a price range as we are making a budgetary allowance for variations which still need to be confirmed at a later point.

If you still do not have enough information for us to do estimate, we will postpone pricing until enough information is gathered.

Customised steel doors and windows are to most tastes but not necessarily to all budgets.

We are here to have an open conversation about finding solutions for each clients’ requirements. Fitting into budget ranges is a critical part of the equation. We offer a range of product options and if we do not know how much has been allowed (or not allowed) in budgets, we will not know how to find the right solution.

All our products are currently tailored to suit individual requirements. Values can be aligned with bespoke quality timber joinery.

We aim to release our catalogue price guide in 2021. Sign up to our newsletter for updates.

Please fill in the form below and we will follow up with an estimate price range based off your own requirements.