Figueroa woodworkers

Ramon Nicholas Figueroa Castro with one of his carved doors, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

To have a wood door built and carved by Ramon Figueroa was a big deal.

Ramon Nicholas Figueroa Castro was one of the most respected artists-craftsmen in Alamos. Members of the North American community spoke of him in hushed tones reserved for masters and maestros. Any visitor that asked about local creative talent would learn about Ramon and his growing reputation outside of Alamos. Many locals recognized a Ramon carved door as a collectable piece of art, hard to come by for a variety of reasons: he works slow, he is busy with a growing client waiting list, needed materials were hard to find, he is expensive because of his rising profile and, or… If one managed to purchase a Ramon it became the opening to countless conversations.

The Ramon I met was quiet spoken with a soft smile and simple gestures. It seemed he did what he did because it was what he did, there was a simplicity to his movement. Everything else surrounding his work was what other people did because it was what they did. Ramon hoped they would pay him what they had agreed to pay him and he would be left to his work, after-all, it is what he does.

Figueroa brothers, master wood workers, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Ramon together with his wood working brothers at their shop.

The brothers Figueroa all worked with wood on their family property on Calle de las Delicias.
Manuel, Emir Yonolan, Wilson, Paul, David and Ramon, not in the other of the above photo, shared a sprawling work space both open air and under roof. There were few walls: nature came in and their wood creations went out. Trees provided shade for craftsmen making tables, chairs, windows, doors… On this day Ramon was finishing a beautiful bureau. Its elegant turnings and graceful details stood out in sharp contrast to the dirt floor.

Ramon Figueroa with his work.    Photo by Humberto Enríquez

Ramon Figueroa with his work. Photo by Humberto Enríquez

Humberto Enríquez sent this photo of Ramon Fiqueroa. Ramon stands proud amongst his tools, materials and hand crafted objects. Is he finding comfort in his skills and artistry? Could it be that part of Ramon’s journey was his last work would be one of his best works?
This is a path many artists follow.

©2014 Alamos-Sonora-Mexico, all rights reserved by respective photographers.

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