Jean-François Furieri

Jean-François Furieri

Master plasterer – Plaster Conservator
C.A.H.P-A.C.E.C.P., I.N.T.B.A.U., I.C.O.M.O.S.
Iconoplast Designs, Inc.

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. 

Profile

Third generation of master plasterer and architectural sculptor, while training the fourth generation (Magali Furieri).

Professional Skills

  • Drawing, drafting, model making, sculpting ornamentation, mould-making, plaster conservation, preservation and restoration.
  • Working with plaster, acoustic plaster, Venetian plaster, cement, concrete, silicones and resins for custom fabrication, production and installation.
  • HPCS systems applicator.

Recent Projects

  • Heritage plaster consultant for the New Victory Theatre – NYC, NY
  • Times Square Theatre, lead plaster consultant, means and methods for the removal of historic plaster, salvage historic plaster, and re installation of historic plaster (heritage plaster consultant) – NYC, NY
  • Kodak Theatre, Metrolinx, recreation of proscenium arch – Toronto, ON
  • Massey hall plaster conservation, re-creation of disappeared ornamentation, plaster
    consolidation and restoration – Toronto, ON
  • Kings Theatre Brooklyn (heritage plaster consultant) – NYC, NY
  • Lyric theatre, historic plaster removal to accommodate Harry Potter musical.YC,NY
  • Plaster preservation and restoration in the West Block, PMO office – Ottawa, ON
  • Expert witness in a landmark case (Ansonia building) – NYC, NY
  • Historic plaster removal to prepare for the: “Harry Potter Musical”, (heritage plaster consultant) – NYC, NY
  • Plaster preservation and conservation in St Joseph, Catholic Church – Stratford, ON
  • Plaster preservation and restoration at the King Edward’s hotel ballroom – Toronto, ON
  • Plaster preservation and restoration at Union station – Toronto, ON
  • Plaster removal of historic elements to accommodate Broadway larger set; Spiderman, proscenium, private boxes, sail vaults, and re installed at the end of the show.
  • Plaster consultant for the Times Square Theatre – NY, NY
  • Restoration and preservation of St Joseph Catholic Church, in River canard, winner: ACO
    JD Strachan for “outstanding craftsmanship” – Windsor, ON
  • Plaster repairs at Glanmore Museum – Belleville, ON
  • Fort Malden, plaster stabilization – Amherstburg, ON
  • Plaster stabilization at St Anthony, church – Toronto, ON
  • Plaster stabilization and restoration at Knox church – Toronto, ON
  • The re-installation of the Historical plaster at the Lyric Theatre after the production of Spiderman was completed on Broadway – NYC, NY
  • Bank of Montreal, cleaning historical painted ceiling, plaster stabilization and conservation, restoration, and creation of new armorial bearings – Ottawa, ON
  • National art gallery of Canada; commission for Shary Boyle’s participation at the Venice Biennale 2013 – Toronto, ON / Venice, Italy
  • The dismantling of a Historical Theatre to accommodate the production of Spiderman the Musical (for storage and re-installation) – NYC, NY
  • The restoration and duplication of XIX century cement cast for the St Joseph hospital – Toronto, ON
  • Consultant for plaster conservation, Brooklyn Brown Memorial Church – NYC, NY

Past Projects

  • Toronto, ON: Union Station; Fort York; Todmorden Mills Heritage Site; Four Seasons Hotel (sculptures); Osgoode Hall; Spadina Museum; Ed Mirvish Theater; Royal Alexandra “Yale Simpsons lounge”; CNE (restoration / duplication); Barnum House; Colborne Lodge; and Glanmore Museum.
  • NYC, NY: Empire Theatre NYC (AKA AMC 25); Selwyn Theatre; American Airline Theater; Lyric Theater; Virginia Theater; Music Box Theater; Bartow Bell Mansion, Victoria secret store on Prince; Tiffany and Christian Dior

Career Related Experience

  • President and owner of Iconoplast Designs Inc. (1987-present)
  • Balmer Architectural Art, Inc (1980-1987)
  • Enterprise Furieri (1968-1980)

Education

  • Fluent in French, English, and Spanish
  • Pratt Institute NY Cad Vector works – NYC, NY (1999)
  • Central Technical School (clay modeling, life drawing and working with bronze) – Toronto, ON (1980-1983)
  • Faculte de Droit et de Sciences Economiques – Nice, France (1974-1976)
  • Baccalaureate (Philosophy) – France (1974)
  • Institut Stanislas – France (1962-1974)

Awards

  • 2019: New York City Landmarks Conservancy for the projects done in NYC landmark Theatre
  • 2016: ACO JD Strachan for “outstanding craftsmanship” for the St Joseph’s River Canard project
  • 1997: New York Landmark Conservancy, Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award
  • 1972: Diploma of honor of Cannes France, for sports results (Judo national champion and champion of Provence)