Life and works
Born in 1929, Choffat in his professional life had a job as a service technician in a factory in the neighboring town Sablé-sur-Charte. He retired in 1989, at age 60.
In the 1970's, so when he was in his forties, he began making replicas from concrete of buildings in his region, an activity he continued for some forty years. This resulted in a miniature village of some twelve various replicas, supplemented with over a hundred little characters.
In my opinion, to a large extent the charm of this art environment is in the black and white color scheme of the unadorned replicas.
But then, Choffat also offers visitors of the site the surprise that many parts of the site are animated.
Through a complex system of hidden ropes, pulleys and motors, all made with technical ingenuity from discarded home appliances, sails, vehicles and people come into motion if visitors throw a coin into an appropriate slot.
Currently in his 80's, Choffat no longer makes replicas. He maintains the site, and together with his wife, he is happy to receive visitors.
¹ To my knowledge Sophie Lepetit's weblog (see documentation) is the only source on the internet about this art environment, so with pleasure I acknowledge that the data in above entry were derived from Michel Leroux' text in that blog
2 Allée du petit village
72300 Courtillers, Sarthe, Pays de la Loire, France