Readers respond to last issue's
"My Unusually Small Workshop"

Our illustrated article by Dilo Marcio Fernandino (pictured at right) in the January 2009 issue of Wood News generated far more reader response than any other article we've ever published. Woodworkers from around the world identified with Dilo's small shop dilemma and lauded his craftsmanship. Here is a sampling:

You are a Master out of time! It looks as if you were a Renaissance or Baroque Master in a previous life!! I found your account of your woodworking activities very moving. You are bringing pieces into existence which spring from your warm heart and your remarkable eye. My pity on those who think you are foolish. You are an artist and I salute you. — D.G.

I read your recent article in the Highland Wood News . This was a most inspiring piece. The photos of your work were most magnificent. While I do not make anything (for the time being) in the styles you describe, I was most impressed by the perfection and detail of your work. It is most gratifying to see that this level of greatness can be achieved when the heart and the hands marry. It will inspire me to do a better job myself (also no woodworking education other than elementary school). I, too, buy the wood as trees that have fallen in storms, etc. locally. Thanks for sharing your inspiring comments and best of luck in your work. — P.P., Veysslieu, France

I am a cabinet maker in South Africa, have been one for 17 years now. I own a small workshop (a little bigger than yours) and employ 3 staff to help me. I am writing to you to say that your work is possibly the most impressive I have ever seen. Your attention to detail is staggering, and your patience to work on a piece for 3 years is something I'll never have! You are truly a master and I wish you nothing but the best. Really well done and never stop what you're doing! — S.W.

I truly enjoyed your article and was inspired by it. I've been to Belo Horizonte a couple of times where I made some good friends. Anyhow, I know in Brasil that such handwork is not generally considered acceptable for a college educated person and I admire that you persisted and achieved what I consider incredible results. — D.R.

Your work is beautiful. An artist that can do such magnificent work need never be discouraged. I am reading "Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" by Ross King. King tells of Michelangelo's experiences as an artist, particularly the emotional highs and many more lows he experienced doing the Sistine Chapel. The emotions you describe are similar. Keep up the fine work. — H.B.

I just had to write to you and tell you that I sure do not think you are nuts. You are a very accomplished artisan and I admire your determination and your creativeness. I have a little one man shop where I build unique one of a kind pieces of furniture and they are not nearly as ornate as what you build. I for sure will not look at my shop in the same way ever again. Thank you for sharing your extraordinary story with us. — D.H.

Your work is incredible. You also made me feel better about the small workshop I have. I hope to someday reach your level of craftsmanship. (But I have a LONG way to go to catch you!) — E.R.

Just finished reading your article in Highland's newsletter. I must admit that I never truly appreciated baroque woodworking. Your illustrations have made it clear to me that I had never before experienced the work of a true craftsman in the baroque style. Thank you for sharing your magnificent art work. — S.B.

I just finished reading your article on the Internet and viewing your beautiful works of art and noticed you work in a very small place. I thought my small garage shop was small, but you have managed to do beautiful work in a much smaller place. I love rosewood and my first ever wood project in high school was made from rosewood. I only hope that since I now have my own shop I can find some rosewood to build with. — T.J.

You are an artist of nearly sublime talent I have been carving for 3 years and couldn't begin to approach you. I too work in small spaces. My workshop is a small office which holds my pool table, desk and 2x2 worktable. The table holds my scrollsaw and 2 small vises. My carving is done on my lap in the sitting room (my wife is very forgiving). Thank you for your story. — M.L.

Bravo! Excellent work in such a small place. Not only are you bothering your wife, you are no doubt making her proud. — G.Y.

Dilo can be reached via email at

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