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tennessee technological university

Appalachian Center for Craft

Artist in Residence / Clay

Shasta Krueger

Artist Statement

I am a maker; rolling, pinching, and pressing the clay to explore the subtle asymmetry and structure of a form. In working with both coil and slabs, I use defined lines balanced with my touch to create dynamic forms. Cellular structures of plants and the odd brief glimpse of a great accumulation of similar objects inspire the repeated shapes and patterns. I gravitate to small details that when compiled together begin to create a larger composition; the marks are subtle and hopefully discovered by thorough inspection. Ridged structure balanced with the seemingly spontaneous especially draws my attention, such as cells, the systems they compose, and the organism they create. I am interested in the calculated and the casual as seen in the building up of units.

I am fascinated with the tactility of clay; my touch becomes the narrative of the form, unit by unit shaping the object. Like the calculated and intuitive nature of the woodfiring process, these units create a structure that is not figured to fine measurements. Imagine the cook who diligently weighs each gram and levels each scoop versus the one who measures in dollops and globs. Woodfiring is a calculated and strategic process imbedded with the spontaneity of the many variables and uncontrollable elements. Within this process I adapt and problem solve, which is also reflected in the search for patterns within the rhythm of repeated units. The patterns I find lead to conclusions shaping my actions and directing my thoughts.


Originally from Washington state, Shasta Krueger spent many of her early years exploring the outdoors. She earned her degree in biology from Willamette University in Oregon, always with one foot in the ceramics studio. Having spent the first 22 years of her life in the Pacific Northwest, Shasta moved east to further develop her skills through residencies and craft schools. Living and working in Virginia, she fired her first wood kiln at the Cub Creek Foundation and fell in love with the process. After two and half intense years at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee, she moved to Utah to research woodfired ceramics, where she recently earned her MFA. Her interest in biology and her surroundings continues to influence her work. Never idle for too long, she has recently traveled to Denmark and China to further her knowledge in ceramics. Whether working in the studio, hiking a trail or cooking in the kitchen, she is eager to create and share a new experience with those around her.