Interview with Casa Verónica Founder Veronica Ortuño
We connected with Mexican ceramicist and designer Veronica Ortuño to discuss all things inspiration, history, and future. Her line of ceramics made in Texas constantly delights us with bright colors and bold shapes. We are so honored to be a stockist of her incredible goods. We hope you love getting to know more about the designer as we have.
Read the full interview below!
We adore your designs - can you tell us about your sources of inspiration for your ceramics?
My inspirational appetite is preternatural, stemming from my ancestry & family traditions; my travels; immersing myself in other cultures; coming into contact with different perspectives, and observing how others live & do things; history; nature; space; architecture; folk art; reading; the juxtaposition of colors in a painting; patterns & wear on a textile; trash on the street; a scene in a movie; the swelling of feelings listening to music; the list goes on. I try to absorb everything I experience, borrow ideas, and relay that back into the work.
Tell us about you - your path as an artist, how you ended up in Austin and how your heritage is highlighted in your work.
I was born in Santa Ana, California, in 1985, where I lived until 1996 before my family relocated to Houston, Texas. As a kid, I recall one teacher saying my drawing wasn’t good because I drew noses as circles. That affected my ability to want to share any creativity, choosing instead to draw portraits of Selena and Mariah Carey in the privacy of my bedroom. My outlet was joining the school choir until high school when I picked up photography. I moved to Austin in 2003 to pursue Fashion Design but quickly pivoted to participate in the underground music & art scene. Being in bands was the best thing that could happen to me. It opened my world creatively and built up my confidence. After nearly ten years of playing shows, recording, and touring, I opened a hybrid store/gallery called Las Cruxes, which I then operated for ten years, organically shifting into interior design and now ceramics!
Keeping a connection to my roots is vital to my practice. An incredible thing I only recently found out; my Grandmother told me she would harvest clay with her Mom and aunts in the mountains just outside her small pueblo of Ixtlán, carrying pounds on their backs into town to sell to the artisans and clay workers and use the rest to make functional wares for the home. No one in my family had ever mentioned this. When I started working with clay, it vibrated with energy; I could feel my ancestors. It was a powerful reminder I am on the right path.
You do more than ceramics! What projects are you currently working on in addition to your ceramics and how do you weave together all you do in a complimentary way.
We just wrapped up hosting a lovely Solstice dinner and would like to continue collaborating with various restaurants, hotels, and businesses to offer more of these sporadically. In September, I am showing some ceramics works in a group exhibition at Cain Gallery in Corpus Christi, then beginning the process of outsourcing my pieces so I can focus on new designs.
Survival is an innate response for me, therefore making me a workaholic. And now, being a parent, I’m actively trying to unlearn this and practice not over-extending myself for the sake of my family. I’m making progress and feel I’ve been pretty successful with that this year! That said, I was never formally taught or trained in almost everything I do, and for me, a lot goes back to trial and error. If I feel called to do something, I give it an honest go and am, at the very least, open to & comfortable with failure. It may not feel the best, but there are always lessons to learn & new skill sets to gain. Perhaps that explains why I experiment with different mediums and avenues, and having passion behind it all allows for it to work seamlessly together.