Richard Krentz, whose name is kwátám-us in the Coast Salish language of the Sechelt nation, was a man of two worlds: he was one of Canada's most renowned Indigenous artists; he was also a natural entrepreneur who long ago met the mainstream economy on its own terms.
As the artist kwátám-us, Richard Krentz specialized in the creation of beautiful silver and gold jewelry featuring Coast Salish designs. He won an international reputation as a leading carver of totem poles and other major pieces, as well as masks and his signature line of bentwood boxes. Richard was the instigator and organizer of a unique collaborative project that saw the world's tallest totem pole erected at the Victoria Commonwealth Games.
Richard passed away suddenly in 2014.
Richard Krentz’s apprentice has been making some of Richard's engraved jewellery since 2008. Long before Richard passed away, he had passed on the rights to make this jewellery to his apprentice, who continues to make this jewellery in the same way Richard had made it and Richard had taught him how to make it. In honour of Richard, the jewellery is signed with an A for “Apprentice”.
Even though he has the rights to make it, the apprentice feels that since the design, the engraving technique and the process of making it was created and perfected by Richard, he should not take credit for it.