A lover of the visual arts since early childhood and thinking of enrolling at the School of Fine Arts, he discovered something that would change his life, thanks to his mother's work in a souvenir shop in the old town of Toledo: damascene work.


His interest aroused by damascene work, he became a frequent visitor to the shop, where he got to know craftsmen from the local guild. His attention was particularly drawn to the work of the artisan who would later became his teacher and one of the most influential people in his career, Mariano San Félix, Master Damascener of Toledo.


He began his training in 1993 at barely 18 years of age, when he was admitted to the Toledo Trades Centre course on damascene work. Shortly afterwards, he was accepted as an apprentice in the workshop of Master Craftsman San Felix, and his time was now shared between both activities. He completed his academic education a few years later, enrolling as a student and at the same time working as an assistant on the advanced course in damascene work given by Master Craftsman San Félix at the Garcilaso de la Vega workshop-school in Toledo.


In 2000 he embarked on his first business venture, founding the company Tres Culturas, jointly with Mariano San Félix and Carlos María San Félix. This was geared towards designing and producing their own products and teaching specialised courses in damascene work, such as for the Urban Initiative Programme and various social reintegration courses run by Toledo City Council.


From 2004 he began to take his first solo steps, simultaneously working on exhibitions and selling creations from his own workshop in various shops in Toledo, and this would later encourage him to set up the craft business De Cuatro.


Meanwhile, he has been an active participant in various socio-cultural events, either giving his work directly or giving demonstrations of the technique of damascene work. He is involved locally and on an almost continuous basis in the Castile-La Mancha Crafts Fair (FARCAMA), which is held annually in the city of Toledo, and internationally, attending the Spanish Trade Fair in Japan and at Euro Disney in Paris on several occasions.


In 2010, jointly with the designer Isabel Canedo, he was awarded the first prize for Craft Design in Castile-La Mancha, as well as being a national finalist in the La City Project.


His work is clearly Renaissance in style and his pieces are stamped with great individuality. His religious artwork and decorative plates, Quixotes, bullfighting scenes, landscapes and views of Toledo are highly valued and ensure that this beautiful craft, which gave us other notable and illustrious masters such as Mariano Moragón and Luís Serrano, lives on.


Oscar Martín Garrido

Master Damascener



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