Master craftsmen are made, not born: Hilario makes the case.
Even Mozart must have started by pecking out a few piano chords. When Hilario joined us ten years ago, his woodworking knowledge was limited to the hammer-and-nail nitty-gritty of construction carpentry. Then he came to work in The Joinery’s finish department, and over a number of years accumulated the skills and demonstrated the aptitude for the million-and-one details required to build incredible handcrafted furniture — the idiosyncrasies of each wood species, the tools, the joints, cut lists, custom design . . . .
. . . Cut to 2010, when Hilario became a full-time, full-fledged woodworker in our shop; then to today, when he is one of the go-to masters for many of our most complicated case pieces, as well as a trainer of new hires and apprentices. From our Pacific and Dunning dressers — his favorite standard project — to challenging work like a recent Pacific Hutch with tricky custom wine racks, Hilario’s skilled craftsmanship is matched only by his enthusiasm for the collaborative work environment and the guarantee that even after all this time he’ll learn something new here every day.
The Maud Desk we’ve debuted this month: That has Hilario’s name on it. And he’s always an inventive participant in our Metamortise Awards contest (photo below features his winning piece from 2011), which annually challenges our master woodworkers to turn lumber leftovers into original objects of beauty.
When he’s not creating symphonies in wood, you may find Hilario teaching soccer to one of his three young children, joining his brother-in-law in a carpentry project, or — because you can’t take the craft out of the craftsman — building fine furniture for himself.