Design Masterworks  17 November 2016

Sido and François Thévenin

Born in France in 1934, François Thévenin was a designer that favored crafting detailed and organic pieces of furniture. As a teenager, Thévenin studied at the Ecole des-Beaux Arts in Paris, later working as both a furniture designer and an architect. Throughout his career, Thévenin would work on commissions with his friend and colleague Jacques Couëlle. Couëlle was known for creating houses that integrated into their natural surroundings, designing his buildings to nestle into the landscape. Particularly for Couëlle’s building Castellaras, which was a series of villas located in the heart of the Cote d’Azur, Thévenin created tables, chairs, and also smaller accents like door handles and banisters for the interiors. Thévenin mainly worked in metal, and he favored the labor-intensive method of hand-forging. This allowed him greater autonomy in the creation process, and it gave his designs a distinctly sculptural quality. He additionally employed the ancient technique of lost wax casting, which is a process of casting bronze from a model. Working in lost wax casting meant that Thévenin could achieve a greater range of artistic detailing, allowing him to design furniture with surrealist qualities. Always thinking creatively, Thévenin would additionally employ found objects like antique furniture or steel tanks to create his works. François collaborated with his wife, Sido, on many of his furniture designs, and the husband and wife team often co-signed their pieces. The pair often worked outside to fully integrate their designs with the landscape. This is evident in the earthly materials used in their work including rich sinuous leather, and the hand-forged metal legs.

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