Woodworking Wizard

Victor Hill brings three-dimensional dreams to reality in his woodwork designs.

By Sylvia Forbes
Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton

 

Whack! Bzzzzzzz! Whish! Whirr! Are the sounds emanating behind the doors at V3 Studios due to Batman having it out with Penguin once again? No, in this case it’s Victor Hill, hard at work building a custom wooden lamp table, using a hammer, table saw, hand plane and various other pieces of equipment to make wooden furniture.

Victor’s studio is his creative space, where ideas are realized and thoughts become a three-dimensional reality. Daily he creates something out of wood: one-of-a-kind tables, bookshelves, bathroom vanities, walk-in pantries, fireplace mantels, bedroom sets, desks, bars and many other custom furniture pieces, including kitchen cabinetry. He even designs whole home libraries. Everything he does is custom, built after consultation with the customer. “When I have a new customer, I like to come out and view their space, see their style of home, discuss the project and talk about the direction they’d like to take,” Victor says.

V3 Studios, with a name that tells people he’s a third generation “Victor,” opened in 2003 after he received a BFA in design and illustration from the Kansas City Art Institute. While in school, Victor worked weekends as a technician in the campus woodshop, acquiring the skills and experience to make high-end furniture. He added to his skills by working in other woodshops, learning new techniques from several noted woodworkers in the business.

“I’ve always been the artist in the family,” says Victor. He credits his upbringing, which includes growing up in Saudi Arabia (due to his father’s aerospace industry job) and visiting a number of other countries at an early age, such as Thailand, Amsterdam, France and Italy, as the stimulus that taught him to see things from different perspectives. “It kept me open-minded, open to new ideas and places,” he explains.

One open-minded aspect of woodworking that Victor embraces is that of environmental responsibility. He is excited that he is able to offer his customers a variety of sustainable options and newer technologies. “If customers are interested, I have water-based finishes I can use, and glues that emit less fumes,” Victor says. “We can choose from a variety of woods, some more sustainably grown. We can use reclaimed doors, or other house parts. There are a whole range of products and ways to build furniture more sustainably and healthier for the environment.”

Victor enjoys the design process as much as the building of the piece. “As an artist, I’m still exploring styles,” he says. “When starting a project, there are endless possibilities. I like the continuous learning aspect of doing something different every time, of designing a unique piece and seeing my drawings come to reality.”