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Luis Alberto Gutierrez

Artisan Organization: Luis Alberto Gutierrez

Country: Central America

"I was born in 1978 in a small Costa Rican community and grew up in a lovely family although we didn't have the income we needed. Even so, thanks to the efforts of my parents, we always had the basic necessities.

"As a boy, I had a lot of fun. Life was happy. We always went out to play soccer and every afternoon was a moment to remember. We loved to watch the sunsets.

"I've always loved the pre-Hispanic ceramics of the Nicoya peninsula — its different shapes and the diversity of colors obtained from natural materials. I found it fascinating! By the time I was ten, I knew I wanted to be a part of this world.

"Even though I was still in school, I divided my time so that I could work in ceramic after I'd finished my homework. I couldn't spend a lot of time on my pottery, but I gave it my best effort and this was a very valuable experience.

"Little by little, I was able to start working on my own and I thank God for this. I began crafting very small pieces, as I lacked the confidence to try something big. However, this uncertainty forced me to keep trying harder and overcome any obstacle.

"To improve my technique, I had the help of many people in my own family who gave me advice and coached me to achieve better finishes. Painting the motifs was quite a challenge. I wasn't good at it and my patterns weren't pretty. It took a lot of patience and practice but I finally mastered this art.

"I am completely sure that with time and dedication, a person can achieve success and this is what I advise others.

"Thanks to many people, I am who you see today. I have many dreams and goals yet to reach but, with God's help, I will. Thank you for the opportunity to show you my work. This will help me continue growing and working even harder.""