Born François Guillemin. I use the name le Corbeau as it relates to my professional career.
New Jersey artist François Guillemin, known affectionately as le Corbeau, was born in Houston Texas in 1954. As a 4 year old, François took art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and clearly remembers wandering around the Egyptian wing of the museum, enthralled with what seemed like a magic world with the larger than life sculptures and precious jewels. This seminal experience was the impetus leading François to pursue jewelry making and sculpture. At the age of but 14, the die was cast; in his heart François knew his future lay somewhere in the arts!
Moving to France with his family, in what could have been a difficult move for most children in having to make new friends and to learn a new language, François discovered a local park and entertained himself among the park’s 18th century sculpture, still in a state of disrepair following WWII.
After five years in France his family returned to Texas where François developed his skills with firearms, before again moving five years later to San Diego. By the end of high school François already had a jewelry bench and tools and readily accepted work. After a year at forestry school where all he took were art classes, François decided to transfer to art school and attended San Diego State, where he joined the community of artists and began to study jewelry, sculpture and more specifically surrealism. The academic and personal relationships combined to endow him with a continued confidence and with this determination he moved to Princeton New Jersey in 1976 to work at the Johnson Atelier Foundry.
Here at the foundry le Corbeau’s inner creative drive was able to fully manifest itself and he entered a prolific and creative period facilitated by awesome technical facilities and the liberated creative environment that the Atelier offered. In 1985 with nearly ten years under his belt at the Johnson Atelier and a child on the way François decided to strike out and establish his own business. For the last twenty years working out of his new home studio in Princeton, he has worked with world renowned architects to make furniture, lighting and railings burnishing his credentials for bringing to fruition magnificent ornamental metalwork projects.
In establishing the 15,000 square foot Firedance Studio and accompanying showroom in Hopewell in October 2007, this New Jersey artist now has the space and facilities to both freely execute and display his exquisitely crafted and wide ranging sculpture, jewelry, lighting, furniture and ornamental metalwork.