Architectural Master Craftsman Jean-Francois Furieri is as seasoned as they come; with over 45 years experience, he is respected by architects, conservators, designers and public officials from all over the world. Like the skilled stuccotori in Renaissance Italy, his superb European craftsmanship is matched only by his acumen as diagnostician: swift, astute and razor-sharp. A consummate professional, his global experience extends above and beyond; he has learned from the best in France, England, Italy, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Poland and North America. He is the lead craftsman, president and founder of Iconoplast.
Francois was raised in Spain and the south of France; he began working in his grandfather’s studio when at ten when he was going to school. His father, uncle and grandfather were all accomplished sculptors and master plasterers, so he learned his trade the old fashioned way. Those methods are still with him. Reputed for his prowess in working from scratch, he often starts with a blank page and develops the concept as he goes, using the barest of raw materials. A true architectural visionary, his unique designs and interpretations speak for themselves. “I can build a whole theatre with the tools in two suitcases,” he has said.
His multilingual intelligence and status as a former French judo champion could be credited, in part, for his deft and nimble faculties. His inimitable expertise is energized by pure passion and loving care for the work. An art historian with in-depth knowledge of Roman, Greek and North American art, he is versed in the evolution of his architectural craft, beginning with the Egyptians, and he has lectured widely on the history of plaster and plaster conservation. His devotion to the ethos in ornamentation is clear. A nomadic plasterer to the core, he has traveled far and wide to keep his craft alive.
His independent nature is bolstered by sheer audacity. Iconoplast was the only company with enough nerve to bid on the plaster repairs for the Pantages Theatre project; the work that resulted made an indelible mark on the city. Since being here, he has created the lobby of the Cinemas Egyptian in downtown Montreal, the Yale Simpson lounge at the Royal Alex Theatre in Toronto and been featured on television programs such as This Old House and the Antiques Roadshow. His most unusual commission was to duplicate the frame surrounding Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.