Artisan Organization: Julio Molina
"I am Guatemalan and was born toward the end of the 1960s. I lived in a house in the city that had a road that led toward the countryside. In the afternoons, I'd ride my bicycle down that road to an area filled with trees and flowers. These were hours when I could escape from city life, to experience the forest and be mischievous.
"I studied, I grew and I undertook my own business. Then I had the opportunity to invest my capital in a financial business and I lost everything. This was a very tough experience for me, since I didn't have money to continue working and, for a moment, I felt as though my hands were tied. But this opened the doors to a new world for me – the world of artistic creativity.
"I began to work in carpentry. My first design was a base for flowerpots that, of course, I had to sell. With time and experience, I have created new designs and expanded the line that I offer to shoppers. I began in 1982 and I still love this work!
"It gives me freedom to mobilize myself and organize my schedule. It also gives me creative freedom. It gives me the opportunity to use scraps of wood that would otherwise be discarded, so this is my contribution to the environment and my creativity. Because when I see these pieces of wood, my imagination begins to discover their potential to be used.
"I don't really know exactly when I decided to devote my time to this. Nor am I aware of a specific reason. In the beginning, I worked in wood out of necessity. But little by little, I began discovering myself through this art, developing the artist inside me that I hadn't been aware of. No one taught me, but all this knowledge was there inside. Now woodworking is my form of expressing my feelings and my thoughts.
"Getting established as an artisan hasn't been easy, but I know that it was the best decision in my life. My dream is to be able to create designs that beautify and simplify the life of those who buy them. I want them to bring a touch of warmth to any and every setting.
"I also dream of being able to buy a sailboat one day and creating my artistic pieces there while, at the same time, helping people I meet along the way.
"Thank you for your interest in my designs, pieces that I make with my own hands, and with much love and effort.""