We had the good fortune of connecting with Hector Kriete and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hector, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process is constantly evolving. Sometimes I have to move away from making art towards making money to survive for the sake of continuing to do what I love. Art school doesn’t emphasize enough how important business and marketing are to an artist’s living.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Tricky questions! Not sure just how honest I should really be, and not sure just how much to say, but here we go. I strive to give back something made by my hands: durable, functional, traditionally made, and as unique as the people we are. Minimizing everything to particles, I’m a Colombian immigrant, and that defines all aspects of my life, my personality, my art, and my decision making. I feel a constant battle between my ideals, and what is expected of me from family and society. I am always striving to break away from the defined limits of what I can accomplish with my time and resources. The reality is that I have two bodies of work: work that brings in enough money to continue and work that is fueled by my creative passion. My hand-crafted production work, like mugs, pipes, and other functional pieces, can be made more quickly and is accessible to more people. All this production work is still made personally by hand and as uniquely as possible. The work that most excites me are the pieces make for myself and for the occasional person who has the disposable income, and the appreciation for something unique with an even more unique taste lol. I work with clay, and in this work I strive to utilize my best, without restriction of time/money, functional pieces of ceramic stoneware. I make one of a kind sculptures, tea sets, pitchers, and smokeware. I forge this clay to leave something behind. It is not easy to make something out of nothing, literally money from mud, with the resources of a single Latino immigrant. You have to give up a lot to do this, and draw satisfaction only from the moment, ignoring the past, and the pressing future. What I want people to know is that there is a difference between the two types of “art work.” One is easily reproduced, scaled, and delivered, and the other is filled with blood, sweat, and tears that comes from taking risks and pouring out your heart.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Easy, I treasure nature. I would take them to Hamilton pool, Georgetown Lake, the state, county, and some of the city parks. To eat, I like small places away from crowds. Top three, Midori Sushi Austin, Mikado Ryotei, and Plaza Colombia Cafe.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There is a person!! Patrick Smith, my high school teacher from Palos Verdes Verdes Peninsula High School—the mentor of my art philosophy and much more. That said, everything I do I have learned from too many people to mention. My only contribution is my Latino personality. I also need to say, that you are your own mentor/motivator. After school it’s all about what you can give back.
Most images are taken by me, with the exception of the one of me holding a large planter— taken by William Thornton, and the one of me throwing on the wheel taken by Erick Anderson.