Master Craftsmen in Nicaragua

 “You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.”
― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

I am an adventurer always in search of treasure. The Pre-Columbian pottery shards and pieces I find on my daily walks along the beach sit in piles on my bookcase and on my porch forever gathering dirt and dust and harboring tiny colonies of insects. Yet, more than protecting my pottery, I found a greater treasure in the master craftsmen in Nicaragua.

The time was long overdue to protect my treasures! I designed a wooden display cabinet, then I had to find a master woodworker to build the cabinet to my specifications. Marina recommended Herman, her door maker. When I saw the quality of his work, I knew he would be perfect.

I visited Herman’s workshop to see the progress on my display cabinet.
IMG_0083The wood he used is called Cedro or cedar. Herman said that the cedar has to age and dry for many years before he can use it to make furniture.

It is illegal to cut trees on Ometepe Island. Herman said that these cedar trees were cut, stored, and dried years before the law took effect. The cedar trees grow on the steep slopes of Concepcion volcano. Today, if one is caught harvesting trees, the police confiscate the wood, the truck used to transport the wood, and the driver is jailed and fined.
IMG_0084It’s here! If you read my post on time management in Nicaragua, you understand that I have learned to wait patiently for my treasures.

Herman said there was a small problem when transporting my display case. An overhanging limb brushed against the side of the cabinet. You can see the slight damage to the varnish in the upper left side of the case.

But, no worries. Herman came back later that same night, hauling his equipment in a cart behind his motorcycle, to repair the damage.

IMG_9007They carefully position the cabinet into its new resting place.
IMG_9011My mini-museum is open! I need to make some small metal stands for my little pieces so that they display better.
IMG_9015My treasures are protected against the elements in the tropics. Next, Ron will install lights in the top of the display case.
IMG_9017It has been a challenge buying furniture in Nicaragua. I’ve found that if I want quality furniture, it requires the work of master craftsmen. Herman is certainly a master craftsman.

If you are wondering how much this cabinet cost, it was approximately 1/4 of the cost of a similar handmade display cabinet made by the Amish in the states. In fact, almost everything I buy in Nicaragua is about 1/4 of the cost of items purchased in the states.

Here are some links to another master craftsman on Ometepe Island.

Raising the Water Tower

He’s Baaack.

My Iron Man

I am an adventurer always in search of treasures. I found my treasures in the master craftsmen in Nicaragua.

Where do you find your treasures?

12 thoughts on “Master Craftsmen in Nicaragua

  1. Beautiful cabinet for your collection. It must be a thrill finding treasures from a life long gone and wondering who used that pottery all those years ago.

    I don’t think any insects or weather will bother the cedar. That was a good choice. And a good thing it was cut and aged years ago, due to today’s law concerns.


    • Susan, it took 3 weeks for him to build it. I wanted the natural cedar, so he used a spray gun with transparent varnish. I wanted the grain of the wood to show. Herman told us that he started working with his grandfather and father when he was a little boy. He is now a master craftsman. Thanks for asking.

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