Luis Prieto is dedicated to the elaboration of artisanal gypsum stuccos and traditional finishings made of lime putty – which has been elaborated in wood-fired ovens – for façades and interior walls with special emphasis on decoration. These finishing coatings can be applied directly or be developed using mouldings, therefore, being manufactured in the workshop and then, after, implemented on-site. Stuccos are generally applied on large spaces, but also on objects such as tables, chimneys, inscriptions, incrustations and statues. He also carries out copies and restorations of them all, and manufactures trabadillos made out of a combination of gypsum and lime.
Another type of work he is well-known for is painting of a decorative nature among which it is worth mentioning, those imitating marble and wood with his oil technique coming from the Flemish school. The traditional paints he uses are manufactured by himself in an artisan way with pigments of natural origin, especially those of mineral origin known as earths. He has a historic storage space where he keeps earths he’s brought from different parts of the world.
He’s got a great interest in research and the retrieval of lost techniques or those which have been forgotten about, including its implementation and adaptation to contemporaneity. He is also an advocate – and promotes – the purity of the materials and their ways of use. He is strongly against the proliferation of new materials linked to workability and badly-understood contemporaneity, with the aggravating factor of lack of artisanal knowledge, especially in the university and aesthetic environments. He is a great advocate of the idea that the greatest modernity is found when we work taking into account our immense heritage, with the ancestral techniques and materials which have already been tested, investigating more deeply in the “natural” chemistry coming from artisanal empiricism.
Taking this principle as his starting point, he incorporates the historic knowledge of the real framework where these arts had its peak: a little bit of chemistry and a lot of aesthetics. All with the aim of creating artisanal groups which deepen into restoration solutions close to the original chemistry and physics of those ancient techniques. He retrieves coloured mines, lime, gypsum, rubbers, resins, oils, starches, etc. He always tries to talk with his client about these methods and take these principles to the new constructions which he then carries out.
Born in León in 1960, Luis Prieto started in the craft because of his family. His grandfather, Amador Prieto, ran his own business Droguería Prieto León, where he elaborated paints and all sorts of basic chemical products. His father, Agustín Prieto, was a painter in his own painting workshop Agustín Prieto (“El Botas”).
Moreover, he has a diploma in ceramic painting by the Governing Council of Castilla y León (1986), a diploma in aerography and advertisement painting by the Industrial Design School in Madrid (1989), a diploma by the Royal Van Der Kelen Institute of Painting in Brussels and Logelain (1992) and a diploma in old stuccos by the international training centre in Les Ateliers du Beaucet, in France (1994). He has also completed his training with courses regarding Valentine industrial colorimetry (1988), the course in manufacturing of colours and industrial paints belonging to the B.A.S.F. group, in Munster (Germany), in 1989 and the international restoration course regarding bricks in Sahagún de Campos, León, all among other courses and lectures he has attended.
He has carried out many study trips where he was able to soak in the artisanal traditions of multiple countries in different continents such as Portugal, Morocco, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Cuba, Brazil, India, Israel, etc. Other great European artisans such as Vincent Tripard, with whom he worked in the retrieval and application of soil earths and other natural pigments in the Roussillon, France, and with the great expert in those arts linked to lime and gypsum Ignacio Gárate Rojas, with whom he collaborated for 16 years in the development of his well-known manuals.
Today he continues to learn from his day to day work at the workshop.
Historically, artisans didn’t write too much on their works. The written documents on artisanal topics tend to be short and told by others, not the artisans themselves. The XXI century artisans must write. This activity must become widespread in order to be able to enhance the dignity of the craft and for there to be a debate around it.
He has been a lecturer and master in different workshops and lectures such as the III International Course regarding the Conservation and Restoration of Heritage “Plasterworks and stuccos” taken place at the University in Alcalá de Henares (1995); the Materiais workshop (stuccos) within the framework of the First International Salon Exhibition of Cultural Heritage in Santiago de Compostela. SIPAC (1997); Stuccos Workshop at the International Congress “Heritage and the XXI century” in Zamora (1998), the Stuccos Workshop at the Symposium on Fortifications and Heritage in the Autonomous City of Melilla (1999); Practical workshop in marble stucco for the Fundación Camuñas and for the former Universidad de Madrid; the Course on Imitation –Marble- Techniques at the training centre Cristo de la Cruz in Ávila (2003); decorative painting courses for the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción in Valladolid (2007), or the Encontro de Arquitectura Tradicional e Sustentabilidade in UVA, Portugal (2014, 2015, 2016).
He has been a teacher in several MA’s like the International Master in Restoration of Heritage M.R.R.P. of the University in Alcalá de Henares (1995); the Master in Interior Design of the University of Salamanca (1995-2012); the Master in Conservation and Restoration of Architectural and Urban Heritage imparted by the School of Architecture in Madrid (1994-2007), the Master in Conservacio i Gestio del Patrimoni Cultural of the University of Valencia (1997); the Master in Restoration of the University Alfonso X el Sabio (2008-2012) and the Master in Rehabilitation and Restoration of the Escuela de la Edificación of the Colegio de Aparejadores in Madrid.
He was a master within the Gremio de Maestros Pintores de Madrid (Guild of Master Painters, Madrid) in the Official Courses linked to the continuous training for practicing professionals of the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción: imitating marble and painted mouldings, imitating wood, trompe-l’œil paintings, stone, bricks, finishings and stuccos, colour, etc… (2003-2011 annual 60 hour courses each).
Course on stuccos for the training of professors at the School of Arts and Crafts of La Palma, Madrid, 2009 and 2010.
He was a technological advisor at the National Institute of Qualifications, where he collaborated in the wording of the qualification and the national rules and regulations (2009), and technological advisor representing the guild of painters within the Framework of the Labour Reform (2010).
In-company training, collaboration between the School of Arts and Crafts of La Palma and the business Luis Prieto Prieto, agreement number 28021355/84. Year 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Workshop regarding restoration with lime mortars at the School of Architects in Toledo, 2014.
Training on natural colours and natural extraction of them in the regions of Douro and Tras os Montes (Portugal), and their transformation in colours for painting or finishings with traditional techniques with the collaboration of Mónica Bujalance.
UVA. Portugal, February 2015, Asociaçao Palombar, Museum of Popular Arts of Porto.
Workshop and collaboration for the project Comunes Villaverde, 2015.
Gesso Stucco in Vila de Rei, Torres Novas (Portugal), 2015, promoted by Aldeias de Pedra (Luis Domingos) and organized by Catarina Pereira (architect), with the collaboration of Mónica Bujalance.
Lecture and practical workshop given at the School/Workshop in Toledo, 2016.
Course in Barcelona on the elaboration of lime mortars, gypsum and trabadillo for the Association Terram, 2016, with the collaboration of Mónica Bujalance.
Lecturer at the technical sessions on lime, international congress FICAL, at the School of Architecture in Madrid, 2014.
Course on gypsum stucco techniques, Instituto da Construção in Oporto, Asociación Res da Rúa, Faculdade de Engenharia do Porto, Asociaçao Palombar, 2016
Course on continuous gypsum floors, Ores, Zaragoza, organized by the Asociación Ores, 2016.
Several courses in his own workshop with the collaboration of Mónica Bujalance.
Workshop on the use of gypsum in stuccoes in cultural heritage, Institute of Andalusian Historic Heritage, organized by the Museo de la Cal in Moron, 2017.
Blog: Artes de las cales, los yesos y el colorir (The arts of lime, gypsum and colour).
Casa del Greco, Toledo. Collaboration with Ignacio Gárate in the polychromy of its Mudejar wooden ceiling, elaboration of the artisanal finishings of several rooms.
Museo Romántico, Madrid. Restoration of the decorative paintings, wall paintings, copy of old tempera processes, stuccoes, finishings, floors and restoration of painted paper.
Creation of the decorative wall painting at the Main Headquarters of the Banco Santander, Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid.
Restoration of the pilasters imitating marble stone in the portal of the Lázaro Galdiano Museum.
Restoration and reintegration of the imitation wood designs in the gala dining room of the Cerralbo Museum, Madrid.
Lime stuccoes, bright plastering (new works) and restoration of gildings and wooden imitations of the Military Chamber within the Court of Justice, Madrid.
Restoration of façades. Retacado, mortars for Mudejar joints, general protection glaze with coloured lime water and fake bricks, fresco painted, in the Church of Nuestra Señora de los Santos, Móstoles, Madrid.
Restoration of the stuccoes of the Assembly Hall of the School of Mining, Madrid.
Reintegration of the stuccoes located in the Spanish Parliament, Madrid.
Restoration, reintegration and copy of the façades and inside rooms and restoration of the main staircase of the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, National Ceramics Museum, Valencia.
Advisory, sampling and technical direction of the finishing works at the Monasterio de Yuste, Cáceres.
Copy of marble-like elements in the main hall of the BBVA bank in its main headquarters in Madrid
Reintegration of areas of the frescoes of San Antonio de los Alemanes, Madrid.
Retrieval and execution of former techniques of renderings, grouts, fresco paintings and artisanal paintings, interior and exterior of the former train stop in Carabaña, in Madrid.
Original sgraffito carried out in the façade of Calle Villalar, in Madrid.
Restoration of the courtyard, stone, vertical walls, marble imitations, stuccoes, patinas, etc. From 1992 until 2006 at the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, in Madrid.
Repair and reproduction of marble imitations in the Medicine Academy, in Madrid.
Restoration, replacement and reintegration of stuccoes, plaster elements and decorative paintings at the Clara Eugenia Theatre, Madrid.
Copy of the finishings of the staircase and portal – previously analysed – using the same materials and techniques of the modernist paintings of the Casa Mathet (Sede de La Colonial), in Madrid.
Restoration of the façade of the Casa Gaudiana, Valladolid.
Restoration of wall paintings (fresco paintings), copy of original ones, renderings, plastering and putty-and-sand renders, integration of the new ones with the remains of the former in the Patio de Moradillo and copy of the exterior renders of the drum, cupola, towers, narthex and vertical walls of the Church of the Convent of the Comendadoras de Santiago, Madrid.
Reproduction via plaster moulding and casting of the original portal of the property located in Calle Don Pedro 7 and the plasterwork of the façade located in Calle Verónica, Madrid.
Restoration of the main staircase of the Instituto de España, Madrid.
Restoration of the corrala located in Calle del Oso 9, Madrid
Façade in Calle Costanilla de San Andrés 6, Madrid.
Restoration of historic wallpapers, Real Fábrica de Papeles pintados de España, within the chapter hall of the Monasterio de las madres Comendadoras de Santiago in Madrid.
Restoration and consolidation of the wall coverings, Monasterio de Santa Catalina, Talavera de la Reina, Toledo.