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January 17, 2023

Artist Profile: Greg Kozatec

JUNE 7, 2021


January 10, 2023


January 10, 2023

Over this past holiday season, we teamed up with JCR WORK to create a series of backyard bird mobile kits that were the perfect size for tree ornaments. In the process, we got to know Julio, the man behind JCR. 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a designer and fabricator based in East Austin, TX. I’m a father of two beautiful children Aya and Maximo and husband to Portia, a locally cherished veterinarian. I love finding ways to connect with nature through exercise and exploration. I grew up spending my days in the creek behind my house, wading with snapping turtles and building bent bamboo shelters.

Why did you start JCR? How has it evolved over time? 

I started JCR WORK after finishing architecture school at UC Berkeley. It was started as an entity to contain all my creative output. The initial output from the label was a rudimentary version of the BIRDS as an extension of my research in digital fabrication. These initial designs grew in complexity when a neighboring screen printer saw the work and suggested that he could print on laser cut plywood to introduce color and patterns onto the designs. From there it was off to the races. I introduced a SEA LIFE line as well as a line of ARTHROPODS. All products utilize the same, plastic-free, birch ply + pigment material palette. 

Nature clearly inspires your work. What do you hope to communicate in your representations of different species?

The work is an extension of my own interests in animal morphologies, color, and materials. My goal is to render the natural beauty of a given species in such a way to draw the viewer into a renewed fascination with the natural world. To create a moment of pause and reflection on the astounding beauty that surrounds us everyday. 

Tell us a bit about your creative process. How do you design and develop your products? 

I begin by finding as many photos and illustrations I can of a given species. From there, I draft in 3D an initial set of shapes to assemble and check for stability and balance. After this step, I look at designing a screen print to capture patterning and coloration of the animals' morphology. Finally the parts are laser cut, finish sanded, screen printed, and packaged for retail. 

How do you like to enjoy the outdoors?

I enjoy trail running and hiking with my two rescue dogs. I take a daily walk in the green belt I grew up exploring, seeing a tremendous mix of great blue herons, cardinals, blue jays, mockingbirds, woodpeckers, and migratory species passing through. I also make time to camp outside the city, reset my neural network and reestablish my place in the natural world.

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