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News Articles

Iconoplast conserves the past as it carves its way into the future

Daily Commercial News July 27, 2018

Its studio in an industrial building in Toronto maybe small, but Iconoplast Design has a large, impressive resume and very deep roots.

Restoring Historic Theaters in the 21st Century

Jersey City, NJ | February 1, 2019

Plasterwork is one of the most character-defining interior features of America’s historic theaters.

The Restoration, Preservation and Conservation of Architectural Ornamental Plaster

Jean-Francois D. Furieri, President and Founder of Iconoplast

Jean-Francois D. Furieri, a third generation master plasterer, is President of Iconoplast, one of the few companies still specializing in restoration, preservation and conservation of architectural ornamental plaster.

The Restoration, Preservation and Conservation of Architectural Ornamental Plaster

Jean-Francois D. Furieri, President and Founder of Iconoplast

Jean-Francois D. Furieri, a third generation master plasterer, is President of Iconoplast, one of the few companies still specializing in restoration, preservation and conservation of architectural ornamental plaster.

2019 Labor, Literature and Landmark Lecture Series Landmark Lectures Public Programs

The General Society Landmark Lectures are presented in partnership with the New York Landmarks Conservancy

The Landmark lectures focus on the origin, development, and restoration of New York City’s built environment, and celebrate the art and architecture of the City.

Impressive Victorian restoration for Brampton’s Alderlea house

Daily Commercial News: October 30, 2015

Third-generation master plasterer Jean-Francois Furieri considers his restoration of the long-hidden ornate plasterwork in an iconic Brampton mansion, “one of my best Victorian restorations.”


The Heritage Canada Foundation — 35 Years of Celebrating Heritage Day

Heritage 2008 – Work that Endures: Careers in Built Heritage
Extensive profiles on the careers and expertise of skilled tradespeople
Iconoplast & Jean-Francois Furieri among those highlighted (Introduction, page six)

“The analytical mind of a detective. Strong in math. Artistic. Willing to work at least 10 years to perfect your skill. Master plaster worker Jean-François Furieri has all these attributes and more.”

Canadian Wall and Ceiling Journal

The Art of Plaster: Jan/Feb 2007

“While his skills are generations old, going back to his grandfather Dominique in Italy, and his father Jean-Dominique in France, Furieri’s work combines them with new technologies, such as using rubber silicone for mould making. ‘Creations are only limited by the imagination,’ he says.”

The Trowel

The Art of Plaster: Oct/Nov 2006

“Furieri says he received his ‘master’ designation (a term he says comes from a long tradition of European apprenticeship) after his work on the Egyptian Theatre in Montreal and the Pantages Theatre in Toronto – his personal masterpieces.”


Jean-Francois Furieri: A Votre Rencontre: 2006
Iconoplast: La Demeure de L’Iconoclasme

Canadian Wall & Ceiling Journal

Profile of the One King West Project & Iconoplast: May/June 2005

“Furieri’s contract has not been easy. ‘This project represents all the challenges of a plaster restoration project. We have a lot of complicated interventions that require the greatest precision. We have to make our work inconspicuous and that is tricky on such a large scale.’”

Globe & Mail

Last of the Master Craftsmen: December 2005

“The number of artisans like Mr. Furieri who can work on preserving the city’s 19th and early 20th-century buildings is dwindling. The work is as much an art as a trade. Mr. Furieri says master plasterers have to be dedicated. ‘It takes a long apprenticeship to be able to create a Corinthian capital from scratch….so many tradesmen have died with their secrets. A lot of techniques have disappeared.’”

The New York Times

Arts & Leisure: December 1997
With a Lavish Bow to the Past, a Broadway Palace is Built
The role of Iconoplast in restoration of Times Square theatres, New York City

Wall (And) Curtain Going Up

Transformation of the Ford Center for Performing Arts: December 1997
Featuring restoration work under the direction of Jean-Francois Furieri

“Virtually nothing was salvageable from the interior of the Lyric, abandoned in 1922, but there were….’historic elements’ still intact within the Apollo: boxes, the ceiling dome, columns, arches and decorative motifs that could be – if not restored – re-created.”

Toronto Star

Toronto Plaster Expert Wins Broadway Gig: June 1997
On the Ford Center for Performing Arts: the making and restoring of fine works of plaster, from the smallest rosette to the largest haut relief or column, the most challenging and unique Iconoplast project

“There is a loving care for what he does. It is old-fashioned craftsmanship and it is wonderful.” Richard Blinder, Architect

New York Post

Restoration Plays to Broadway Acclaim: September 1997
Short descriptor of the work of Iconoplast

“Beginning in the spring of last year, the old theatres were essentially gutted. But most of the design details and decorative motifs of the Apollo were salvaged and are being incorporated into the $30-million Ford Center.”

This Old House Magazine

Renovation in Savannah: March/April 1996
Ornamental Plaster: With techniques from the Italian Renaissance, a ceiling becomes an eye-catching canvas for three-dimensional artistry
Beautifully illustrated profile of Master Plasterer Jean-Francois Furieri, compared to the skilled craftsmen of the 15th century known as stuccotori.

“The secret of plasterwork is in the gauging. You need a perfectly intimate mix…You could build a whole theater with the tools in two suitcases.” Jean-Francois Furieri

The New Brunswick Reader Magazine

The Imperial’s Master Plasterer: January 1994
Jean-Francois Furieri Brings European Craftsmanship to the Renovations at Saint John’s Venerable Theatre

“I think it’s very good, His [Furieri] reproductions are very accurate. We can see photographs of the original work and viewing the work that the expert has done, up close, it’s very, very true, very good.” Gary Hughes, Chief Curator, New Brunswick Museum

New Brunswick Telegraph Journal

Plaster Perfect: February 1994
Photo of Master plasterer Jean-François Furieri working on “The Ancanthus Leaf” on the balcony of the Imperial Theatre in Saint John

Globe and Mail Final

Imperial Theatre Restoration Project Coverage: July, 1994

“Elaborate scallops, up to 15 centimeters thick and formed of Mexican sisal fibre imbued with plaster, run the whole height of the balcony front and constitute its principal decoration. At their base they are linked by curling ocean waves; floral swags complete the plasterwork (gold on dark green), which restorer Jean-François Furieri has said is deeper and more sculptural than the plaster he restored at Toronto’s Pantages Theatre.”

Canadian House and Home

Plaster Master: Iconoplast Puts a New Face on the Old World Tradition: May/June 92

“Plaster runs in Jean-Francois Furieri’s veins. ‘The applications of plaster mouldings are endless,’ says Furieri. ‘They are used for ceilings, crown mouldings, friezes, columns, pilasters, niches, sconces – anywhere you want to add some architectural detail, or a sense of the past.’”

Toronto Star

Plaster Lends a 3-D Look: November 1990

“At the workshop at Iconoplast, skilled craftsmen use the same methods as used in plaster casting 100 years ago. Molds are made in silicon from original pieces and filled with plaster that dries in the shape of the mold.”

The Toronto Star

Home Section: November 1990
Feature on Iconoplast Designs Residential products

“From Egyptian to Art Nouveau to Art Deco – name your favorite period and you can get the architectural pieces.”

The Canadian Architect

Pantages Theatre, Toronto: October 1989
Details of the restoration of this iconic theatre back to its historic grandeur; Iconoplast commissioned

“Mezzanine lobby. The medallions and detailing in the ceiling were recovered from under thick layers of paint. Over 800 plaster casts and 1,500 paint samples were taken in the restoration program overall.”

Toronto Star

On Your Own: 1989
Furieri & Co Brings Modern Approach to an Art Form That Began in 4,000 BC

“Dominique Furieri originated the family business in Italy in the early 1900s and then moved it to Algiers. Dominique’s son expanded the business when it moved to France. With access to new technology, Jean-Francois is bringing a modern approach to traditional art.”

Maclean’s Magazine

On Toronto’s Pantages Theatre: October 1989

“Jean-François Furieri, head of Iconoplast Designs Inc., the firm that did the plastering estimates that the building would have taken three years to restore if work had proceeded at a normal pace. Said Furieri: ‘I didn’t have a day off in seven months.’”

The Toronto Star

Poet in Plaster is helping to restore the Pantages: 1989

“Hung on the rafters are bits of history, molds and patterns that are part of the 40 tons of archives he brought from his father’s studio in France.”

Preservation Technology – Architecture

Reclamation on 42nd Street, New York: March 1988
Two Times Square Theatres combined to create the Ford Center for the Performing Arts
Large scale restoration project in which Iconoplast played a key role; three months alone were spent removing monumental plaster ornament from the Apollo.

“Though much ornament was water and fire damaged and, around the box seats, had weathered the ravages of rock-concert foot stompers, Furieri salvaged 100% of the dismantled material.”

Real Estate News, Toronto

Plasterer Maintains Family Tradition: 1988

“Iconoplast Designs was involved in the $17-million historical restoration of Cineplex-Odeon’s Pantages Theatre . Furieri’s work on the project included restoring the great dome over the theatre, the entrance foyer, the ceiling under the balcony and two huge grilles on each side of the stage.”

Plaster Dust to Dreams Fulfilled

Savannah News: 1995
Photos / images of the work on Thomas Lamb Theatre
Also featured in This Old House television special

“Endless details in the dome, a new marquee, our resident angel, a restored ceiling cameo and a visit from the PBS television series “This Old House” (their first ever to a theatre restoration site.) All part of the ongoing Lucas success story.”


This Old House

PBS Series: Iconoplast in Savannah, Georgia
Details of Master Precision: 1996

Antiques Roadshow

Rebuilding an Eastlake Victorian in Cabbagetown, Toronto
Emmy Award nominated series with feature on Iconoplast Designs: 2005

Radio Canada Television, CBC

Interview with Jean-Francois Furieri (French): 2004

Radio Canada Television, CBC

Interview with Jean-Francois Furieri (French): 1989

General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York

Restoration, Preservation and Conservation of Architectural Ornamental Plaster by Master Craftman Jean-François D. Furieri: May 21st, 2019.

Behind the scenes of the massive renovations at Massey Hall

As the historic Massey Hall marks its 125th anniversary, it is deep into its restoration project. Ian recently went back to check in on things, and he brought along a major figure from Canada’s music scene: Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy. 6:32

Other Noteworthy Material

Imperial Theatre (Souvenir Program)

Saint-John, New Brunswick: 1994
Detailed feature on the massive restoration project for this illustrious theatre. Master Plasterer Jean-Francois Furieri commissioned for decorative plaster work and specialty painting reproduced from the original ornamentation with plaster molds.

“The original is one of the best examples of plaster work we’ve seen,” he says. “The old style pieces are quite unique. It’s of the calibre of an opera house in Italy. This is the quality we’re talking about.”

Canadian Interiors

Special Supplement: Designer’s Weekend ‘92
Profiles of featured speakers, including Jean-Francois Furieri

“Jean-François is devoted to the fine art of decorative plastering. An art historian and master craftsman with an intimate knowledge of Roman, Greek and North American art, this European expert will trace the evolution of this architectural craft.”

ACT Architectural Conservancy

The Plaster Palace: Restoration of Plaster Decorations at Pantages Theatre
Memorial Lecture: September 1989

“Jean-Francois Furieri’s clientele has included a variety of international luminaries and institutions.”