"When I look at a finished piece, I discover how incredible it is. With only a saw, a file, a bore and a lathe, I can give life to something that seems almost real."
"I learned the art of woodcarving thanks to my brother Salvador Petzey, a Novica-featured artisan. He was always an artist with wood. My father was the caretaker of a vacation house where we had the opportunity to meet many foreigners who found our work fascinating. At first, we did beadwork crafts and later, wood. I remember my first pieces back in 2001 – they were pinewood quetzal birds, painted by hand. I've worked in this craft ever since.
"From the time I began, it took a lot of effort to become the kind of artisan I am today. Tourists who visit our town really like the way we can shape wood into any figure imaginable. For a very long time, this has been the way we bring food to our homes. I first sold my carvings in the markets until, after a lot of work, I built up a clientele.
"People who know me say they admire my talent. Sometimes I also work planting coffee, or as a brick mason; I paint houses and give them maintenance. I believe that we should take advantage of all that God gives us to get ahead in life. In my spare time, I like to cook for my wife, go to church and play soccer.
"The first step in creating a statue is selecting a piece of wood that's ideal for my design. Then I make a mold by sketching the figure I'm going to carve on the wood. Then I cut the wood and begin carving the shape. Finally, I sand it and adjust the fine details before painting my sculpture. When I look at the finished piece, I discover how incredible it is. With only a saw, a file, a bore and a lathe, I can give life to something that seems almost real.
"I'm a happy man who likes to joke. I really like talking with people I've just met because that's how I learn from them and I share my experiences, too. I have a lot of faith in God and I hope I can achieve my dreams. The most important thing for me is to be more successful day by day, to watch my children grow and to offer them better opportunities through my work. I want them to excel in what they enjoy. My son was born in 1996 and he's getting involved in the workshop. He helps me and he likes learning my craft. I hope that with the education he's receiving in school, one day he can make this workshop grow.
"Like everyone else, we have problems. For example, my wife has been a little sick lately. She usually weaves on a backstrap loom and looks after the home but, due to her illness, she hasn't been able to and often I do the housework. Putting on a happy face and smiling at adversities is an unfailing recipe to pull out of the tough times.
"Now that my woodcarvings are on Novica, I expect to make new friends who appreciate my work. In every single piece, you'll find an invitation to come and see the beauty of our country and the warmth of its people. Thank you for this lovely opportunity!"