Woodworking in America: Alma Villalobos

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We are interviewing producers from all 50 states. Today we present Alma Villalobos, carpenter and artist from Illinois.

How did you start the woodworking? Who were your mentors?

Ever since I remember I have always been a creator. My grandfather was a professional do-it-yourself. He always said he could do anything. So I guess I got it from him. When my son was born (he is now almost 7 years old!), That’s when I started to focus more on wood crafts. I wanted to build furniture and make wooden toys for him. And it was also a way to relax / learn / create when the baby was asleep. I really started enjoying the process and slowly updated most of my “warrior weekend” tools for more professional tools and brands. And now I’m trying to add more hand tools and try more complicated woodworking techniques. Always trying to learn more and improve in this profession.

What do you think is your best or favorite job? What kind of work do you do most?

My favorite work is probably the Cabinet Record Storage I made last year. It’s super simple with clean lines, the wow function is the way I made the drawers. I used common hardware to create a slider so that the records were always on the cutting edge. Much of the work I do is with my CNC. I have a relatively small machine, it’s an iconic CNC. I guess I’m known for making custom sticks for other manufacturers. And that guy poured into other in-store custom tools, like custom squares and custom clubs. It is a lot of fun to work with other manufacturers. I am a big supporter of the brand of all things.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start carpentry or pursue it as a profession?

I think the obvious answer is to say, try it and don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Which is true, but I would add that it is important to find a community where you can ask questions and learn. For me that was Instagram. The carpentry community on Instagram has always been so supportive.

What is your practical advice or the best woodworking technique?

I’m a big fan of using a story stick or creating a quick model, verse using a tape measure. I was able to get a little more accurate results that way. Plus math … sucks. Oh, and the meter should have Imperial and Metric on it. Discover the metric!

Is there anyone you would like to scream or recommend to follow? Who inspires you? (It doesn’t even have to be tied to carpentry.)

Oooh I love to see what Siosi Design is doing (@siosidesign). I am a female couple who makes beautiful furniture from Indiana.

I’d like to own one of their pieces one day, but I’d also like to learn how to design and build something similar to their style.

Recently I have also been very inspired by House of Esperanza (@ house.of.esperanza). I love what Monica shares in her stories and her decorative style is really bold and fresh. Monica and her husband make beautiful DIY creations.

See other works by Alma Villalobos on his website or on Instagram @pinksoulstudios


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