When did you decide to work with wood?
It was not a conscious decision. My parents lived next to a carpentry. As a baby, I heard the hammering and sawing of wood. As a child, I was fascinated by the smell of wood, and the sound of chiselling. After school, I would watch our neighbour wood master working.
What do you love about the furniture you make?
The artistic accomplishment of transforming a simple fragment of wood into an art piece with its complex shapes, smells and textures. Historically inspired pieces enable elaborate techniques such as marquetry, inlay and gilding to really stand out.
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Which is a memorable piece built from scratch?
In 2017, I was asked to create a wooden desk in the form of the Royal Basilica of Mafra, one of Portugal’s most emblematic monuments and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It took 32 weeks to make, using noble woods, silver and gold leaf. It shows incredible wood work techniques and prowess.
Do you enjoy working with your children?
This is the most precious gift. I have had the opportunity to share my skills with younger generations but nothing beats teaching your own children, working on a piece together, sharing new ideas, and knowing that my workshop will continue beyond my time.