Born in Lasi, Romania in 1919, he studied fine arts there and then moved to Bucharest in 1942 to study architecture. He moved to Brazil in 1956, founding Italma / Wood Art in 1958 designing and producing furniture and household objects from local Brazilian hardwoods, primarily rosewood.
The “Jangarda” chair of rosewood and leather was designed in the 1960’s. This modern chair made of locally used hardwoods from Brazil was part recliner/part chair and used the leather to add an area of cushioning to the seating. He designed creating an inventive use of woven cords as the support system for the leather cushions. This allowed the furniture owner to fully lounge back in the chair while sitting up, almost a precursor to today’s modern recliners and lounge chairs. His next lounge chair was also made from rosewood, and was luxurious in its modern design and similar to his other sofas and chairs, used the Brazilian hardwood, leather and ropes for a sturdy construction and modern, yet elegant design that were ultimately comfortable.
The Jean Gillon lounge chair was comfort and luxury well-made and this lounge chair is a prime example of modern contemporary design. Handmade, this portrays its naturalistic heritage and is complemented by the thick 100% full leather hide upholstery and strapping. The luxurious seat cushions and support straps held by hand carved pegs further add to the appeal of the exotic design.
During his time, Gillon extensively focused on making chairs, sofas, ottomas, recliners and more in this style. Gillon was also well known for his extensive work with textiles and color, creating totally unique tapestries for the home and he also made unique tobacco pipes. Gillon died in 2007.
These days, his unique pieces of modern furniture are in high demand since using those types of hardwood to design furniture has become almost illegal as the wood is now on an endangered species list and no longer used in furniture.