Born and raised in Houston Texas, my journey into furniture making has been very unique. I found my way to furniture through a long apprenticeship in pool cue making. During this transformative phase of my life I found my way to North Bennet Street School’s Cabinet and Furniture Making program. My time at the school really allowed me to grow in furniture making from a fledgling hobbyist to a capable and confident young furniture maker. It truly informed me of what the definition of real craftsmanship is, and what I should strive for everyday in the work that I do.
Since graduating the program early, I have completed a traditional apprenticeship in Japan with Tokunaga Furniture, allowing me the opportunity to experience and absorb the woodworking culture of the country that influences so much of my work — and cultivate the mastery of the nation’s traditional hand tools, specifically kanna, and techniques. Without a doubt, my time in Japan has been the most important part of my furniture making career.
My inspirations in furniture making comes primarily from my Mexican American heritage. That is to say, in the style and materials of my works, I express the complexity of the modern mestizo identity — the Spanish colonization of my homeland and the search for the “authentic” and “traditional” in the increasingly globalized world we find ourselves living today. A conscious rejection of the romantic nationalism that drove the intrusion and exploitation in the Americas, my unique style melds the distinct material cultures of the East and West — and the Worlds, Old and New — erasing the arbitrary borders between modern nation-states with furniture that seamlessly incorporates “disparate” motifs and materials of “distinct” cultures, and challenging those founding myths of “uncorrupted” or “pure” social histories responsible for the dangerous rise of nationalism across the globe.
This, to me, means that I can inject the Japanese tools, techniques, and design sensibilities into natural forms of Mexico, something my native predecessors could never do.
If you would like to commission a piece or learn more about me and the work I do, contact me here.