Sunday, January 27, 2013

We make Portland awesome: Laura Cooke Ceramics

"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: Laura Cooke Ceramics

Who are you?
My name is Laura Cooke, and I'm a potter. My business is called Laura Cooke Ceramics.

What do you make?
I make porcelain dishware for everyday use. I strive for clean, simple, modern designs, incorporating thin black lines and a color palette of soft greens, blues, and yellows. I also collaborate with illustrator Jon Wagner to produce a line called Treehouse Ceramics, which features pottery decorated with hand-drawn creatures—everything from whales to river otters to buffalo.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I love to be active outdoors, whether it hiking, running, biking, or backpacking. I recently relocated to Asheville, North Carolina, closer to where I'm from originally, and though I miss Portland, I'm having a lot of fun exploring the mountain town. My new studio is couple blocks from the best brewery and barbeque joint in town. I'm finding that really convenient.

What inspires you?
I find inspiration in everything—in nature, in fabrics, in design. Also, I keep the work of potters I respect in my kitchen cabinets and enjoy being able to admire their shapes, colors, handle forms, etc., as I drink my morning coffee.

Where can your work be found?
In Portland:
Queen Bee
Oregon College of Art and Craft


Shops around the country:
Mary Lou Zeek Gallery: Salem, OR
The Feather's Edge Finery: Bend, OR
Blue Alchemy: Sisters, OR
Crow Valley Pottery: Orcas Island, WA
The Workshop: Jackson Hole, WY
Tyler White Gallery: Greensboro, NC

What do you love about Portland?
Portland is a vibrant, creative city in which I found a strong, supportive community and a lot of inspiration. I love the natural areas within the city, especially Mount Tabor and Forest Park, and how quickly you can reach beautiful places, like the Columbia Gorge and the Cascades, outside of town. The amazing selection of restaurants and the thriving music scene are also things I value about PDX. I plan to make frequent trips back.

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