Sunday, July 15, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Denise Krueger

"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Denise Krueger

Who are you?
Hi, I’m Denise Krueger, pod maker. I am obsessed with color, shapes and textures.

What do you make?
I make small ceramic sculptures inspired by plants, seeds, and ocean creatures. Sometimes they come out as functional objects like salt and peppers shakers and tiny jars but mostly they end up being non-functional pod forms. To me, these natural forms mimic life at the cellular level, which looks very like the shapes and forms that I see every day in animal and plant life.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I walk everywhere. And I work as an office assistant at a local CPA firm, which is fun and exciting but takes a lot of my time and energy. It’s a good balance – getting me out of my studio and actually interacting with other people.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by colors, dreams, music with interesting rhythms, and mossy orange and green lichen-covered tree branches. I also draw inspiration from geology and volcanoes, the ever-changing local weather, cacti, seed pods, tide pools, One of my more satisfying inspirations is collaborating and making art with friends and family, especially my ten-year-old niece.

Where can your work be found?
Right now, my Etsy shop, dkruegerbotanicart, is the only place I have work. Etsy is so awesome! It’s a perfect venue for someone like me, who doesn’t have much time or patience to learn website maintenance, and I can market directly to customers looking for hand crafted items. It leaves me more time to make art.

What do you love about Portland?
The weather! The overcast skies, the impossibly beautiful sunny days and the way the rain makes everyone’s garden so lush and green. The amazing way that it can be pouring rain one moment and then dazzlingly bright the next. And the dramatic towers of puffy, grey and white clouds, like huge cities or George Washington’s profile in the sky. It makes walking through the city new every day. Also, I love the different neighborhoods and charming streets of full fascinating shops, restaurants and businesses. And I love that Portland is known for the creativity of its’ residents. It’s a city full of talented, intelligent, and real people and I can't imagine living anywhere else!


  1. love, love, LOVE denise's work! those bluey green with scarlet orange ones are so yummy...
    great interview -- this weather is all in the perspective... i'll work on taking yours on those soggy days! ;)

  2. What beautiful little pieces. It's amazing what detail can go into such a little piece of pottery. Keep up the great work!


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