From an early age Rigoberti Santos was fascinated with the idea of working
with wood. The different varieties, the colors, grains and textures appealed
to his creative nature. He was also intrigued by archeology specifically
ancient civilizations. The shapes and forms of ceremonial vessels depicted in
Egyptian reliefs and the Southwestern designs shown on utilitarian pottery
were especially resonant for him. The Egyptian style opened up a world of art
deco sensibility, while the Southwestern designs took him in the direction of
Frank Lloyd Wright.
It was during a visit to an exhibition of segmented wood turnings that Rigo found his inspiration. Using segments of wood tiled together enabled him to create the shapes he had envisioned. This technique gave him much more freedom of expression than utilizing one solid piece of wood. He would be able to use many different varieties in one piece. An added effect that the segmented tiles gave to his art was the unique way the light reflects from the wood grain. Holding one of his pieces in front of a light source and slowly turning it in your hand scatters the light creating a shimmering effect caused by the varying grain directions. Growing up in Northern California Rigo was no stranger to the aromatic Eucalyptus, the rich grain textures of Walnut, and Redwood with it's various hues of red orange and cream. With a new enthusiasm Rigo's research revealed an array of exotic and tropical woods he realized could be used to create the effects he had imagined. He was particularly taken with exotic woods such as Ebony, Rosewood, Maple, Holly, Cherry, Mahogany, Walnut, and Wenge. Tropical woods like Cocobolo, Bocote, Goncalo Alves, Ipe, Satine and Vermillion, added another dimension.
For Rigo, the joys of working with these natural raw materials lies in the colors textures and aromas. Satine is a red colored wood that has the aroma of chocolate. Kwila, a tropical hardwood has a strong peppery smell. Honduran Rosewood is aromatic with the scent of roses.
Rigo uses the different woods to create a color palette for each piece. Such as Goncalo Alves for the color of orange flames, the chocolate brown hues of Wenge, Satine with its lustrous redness and Maple's soft vanilla tones. The varying grain patterns add visual texture, the smooth dark bold lines of Ebony contrast with the undulating grain of Curly Maple. The end result is a piece of art who's elegance lies within the historical shapes and form inspired by ancient civilizations and the materials gathered from all corners of the globe. A thing of beauty that appeals on the levels of sight and touch. The natural organic colors and graceful curves of each creation coupled with the silk smooth texture of its finish composed of oils and lacquers make for a unique hand made objet d'art to be admired and cherished for generations to come.