Did you learn from a master?
I inherited this trade from my father, the master Darío Agudelo, the eldest guarnilero in Colombia. I observed him in his workshop cutting the leather and sewing. One day, he invited me and my siblings, and he taught us, with love and patience, the techniques of this craft.
When and how did you actually start?
First, I learned to sew the riatas (straps), then to spread glue, and as I grew older, to cut and sew leather. At 17 I discovered the secrets of guarnielería and since then, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to this traditional craft.
©Artesanías de Colombia
How do you plan to preserve the craft?
Like my father, I have also made an effort to instill in my brothers, nephews and sons the techniques that I am passionate about: carving, painting and embossing on leather, so that my family tradition endures over time.
What do people not know about your craft?
My father has always been my source of inspiration, that's why when he won the Craftsmanship Mastery Medal, in 1987, I wanted to win it one day too. With effort and dedication, I obtained it: the highest recognition that exists in Colombia for artisans.