Good morning Peke! First of all, thank you for accepting my invitation to talk and do this little interview.
We discovered your work a few years ago and since then you haven’t stopped surprising us. I especially like your way of modernizing and enhancing such an ancient (and sometimes unknown) profession as a glassmaker. Where does your passion for this profession come from? How do you get into this exciting world?
Thank you for your words, I have always been moved to face my profession from the perspective of a contemporary man. It is not necessary to lose the traditional techniques when you adapt them to the design and current uses, I think that is really the challenge.
In my family, there is a tradition of craftsmanship and I got close to the world of glass thanks to the sculptor Felix Reyes, director of the School of Arts and Crafts in Logroño.
But, do you know when you discover your vocation? Well, that happened to me during a privileged walk around the cathedral of León, with Master Fernando Vicent, in a beautiful sunset on the outer balcony over the rose window on the western façade. I did not know it yet but there I understood how wonderful this work could be.
Reviewing your long career, we love many of your works, but which one would you say is the one you liked the most or the one that made the biggest impression on you? Can you tell us a little more about it?
After 30 years of working it is difficult to take a single one. I try to put the same enthusiasm as if is always the first one, letting myself be surprised and learning new things.
I have always preferred the works that are in public spaces because they can be enjoyed by more people. If I have to choose one, I will mention ‘El Café de la Luna’, one of my first works when I returned to Logroño, my hometown, after studying out of town. I thought that I would not be able to do any interesting work there and then appeared the opportunity to make one stained glass window that allowed me to incorporate a female nude into an abstraction that spoke of the feminine, of the night, of the Moon; something that would later become a constant in my work.
With the current situation, we are living a delicate moment for the crafts as well as for the small artists and the retail trade, and we know that you are aware of this fact. As handmade lovers, we would like you to send a message to design lovers about the value of handmade goods and the importance of making a local purchase to help boost that economy.
Fully aware. We have launched a campaign with some fellow artisans so that instead of shopping on the big online platforms, we look for the artisan in our city or province. The relationship is much closer and we also reduce the carbon footprint and promote the economy of our country.
As for the value of what is handmade, I will say that it is a matter of soul since it is much easier to find part of the heart of someone who has spent years preparing and who is going to spend hours, even days, thinking about and designing that object.
As we mentioned, we have been following you for years and it has been such a crush that we are currently launching a decoration collection together. After all the creative process and not a few headaches, which is your favorite piece of all those that form the GIO collection?
The attraction is mutual, I have admired your work for years and this collection has allowed me to know first-hand how you face each of your projects.
After researching what has been designed to this day in the world of flat glass and stained glass, together with my technical knowledge, it has been possible to develop a unique and exquisite collection. In addition, the great demand in the finishes in spite of the imperfection of the handcrafted elaboration has given rise to pieces of amazing aesthetics and quality.
Again it is difficult to take one of the pieces, but probably the lamp is my favorite because of its complexity in the elaboration and technical requirements.
To wrap up and since we are about to close the year 2020 that has been unforgettable and unexpected in many ways, what do you wish for the year that is about to begin?
Obviously, health is the first condition for any other desire. But I would like and wish that everything we have experienced this year makes us reflect on the role of the human being on this planet.
Something has to remain beyond the discussion of who has done it better or worse and the shameful fight of our politicians. Even if it is only those who have discovered that the fruit from the local grocery store tastes better than the fruit from the supermarket, just to give you an example.
My wish is that from this crisis, as from all of them, opportunities may arise to do it better and to take more care of the only planet we have to live on at the moment.
Thank you very much for your time. We wish you continue to experience success and create incredible pieces as you have done so far.
Thank you very much for trusting in my work, for supporting the craftsmanship and for believing that another way of doing things is possible and worthwhile.