Greg Schmidt hasn’t always been keen on interior design and decor. As a cement finisher by trade and having spent the last 35 years on swimming pool construction job sites, he’s equally at ease sitting on a five gallon bucket as he is sitting on a living room couch.
Greg’s introduction to interior design came by way of his younger brother Michael Schmidt, who for many years was partners with top-shelf Washington D.C. designer Barry Dixon. Greg spent countless hours perusing their homes looking at everything they had. One particular item in their home struck a chord with him. It was a conical shaped cement side table that he fell in love with. Having all that experience with cement, Michael encouraged Greg to construct them.
“At first I didn’t understand it. They had a lot of cool stuff that they had purchased from traveling around the world; I knew what I liked, but I had no real knowledge about their business. It took a while but over the years it sort of rubbed off on me. Because of that I understand why a lot of my friends don’t fully “get” what I make, and I won’t hold that against them”.
One thing he did not want to do was copy someone else’s work. After painstakingly developing his own shape and forms, he began experimenting using a variety of materials, aggregates, tile and stone inlays, sealers, dyes, and acid stains to create functional pieces of art. The small garden and patio stools he started with gradually became larger and more complex interior pieces. What is particularly satisfying is how the original vision of a finished Kruk Stone can turn into something completely different, and yet still be wonderful. Many stones get partially redone creating combinations that are impossible to duplicate. This uniqueness is a goal.
“My favorite part of all this is the actual work that goes into making a Kruk. I really enjoy the physical process. Next best is the satisfaction of creating something that looks like it was dug up from ancient ruins, and it’s only a week old!”
Tragically, his brother Michael passed away before he could sell a single one. To this day, Barry Dixon Inc. is the largest reseller of Kruk Stones.
“Michael said, ‘If you make these, we will sell them. His inspiration and spiritual presence is very instrumental in this entire process. I never feel alone when I make them”.