Federico Armijo

Type
Individual
Role
Artist
Identifier
ArmijoFederico
Lifespan
after 1946
Functions, Occupations, and Activities
>Wood carver
Heritage
Hispanic
Medium
Wood
Biography
During World War II Armijo's family was living in a one room adobe house in Albuquerque, in the San Jose neighborhood. While his father was overseas in the war, his mother and grandmother made adobes. When his dad returned, he added a new room. Federico was born in 1946. The family lived in those two rooms until Federico was 13. They added more rooms during the 1970's. Federico started recounting how he first got interested in carving wood. He talked about Andy Anderson who used to whittle at the Alvarado Station when Armijo was a little boy. And he talked about his very first project. He had been a Boy Scout. Working for a merit badge Armijo carved a small key chain out of a three inch piece of elm. He recalled how after the war Mayor Tingley gave away elm trees and his family had planted 17 of them around their property in San Jose. Later, "I entered this little neckerchief slide in a contest at a Jamboree and won second place. I won a real nice 'Old-Timer' jackknife and a hatchet." Winning that prize inspired the boy to work at it even harder. Federico mentioned Jane Mabry's name often...and with genuine affection and gratitude. She hired him to mow her lawn. She took an interest in his carving. In fact, she bought him a complete set of carving tools when he was 10 or 11. He still has that set today. In 1959, when he was just 13 years old, Jane Mabry and Federico Armijo had a show together. But he started carving larger pieces when he was in Vietnam. He pointed again at the figure of Christ. "That was part of the main beam of a sampan that was blown out of the water." He said that someone had stolen the arms. I could tell that the figure meant a lot to him. It hung right in his living room next to the kitchen door. Even without arms, it was so powerful, so moving, it was hard to look away. [Retrieved 9/27/2017 from http://www.dukecityfix.com/profiles/blogs/the-cubero-adventures-hello-im]
Geographic names
Cubero
Related people/organizations
Andy Anderson (influenced by)
Jane Mabry (influenced by)