Tom Krueger

Tom Krueger

Tom has been an artist for 50 years, during which time he has gained national renown. He claims that in January of 2006 he entered the third trimester of life and uses all the days of his life to accomplish something.

At age 23, Tom went to school to find out what he would enjoy doing. He studied theater, dance and pottery. He especially enjoyed the balance and endurance he gained from ballet. He also became an avid x-country skier.

Tom’s evolution in clay started in 1970. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay where he also spent many hours with other pottery students at The Warehouse. While at the university he learned functional high-fire, crystalline glazes and high-fire salt glazes. He also invented a low-fire process to go into decorative pottery.

Tom moved into creating sculptural pottery, in particular, esso-terra-cotta landscapes. He has coined his own term for his pottery, calling it “foku” pottery.

Tom chose clay as his medium of choice after the first 30 minutes of using it. With clay he “manipulates materials”, finds the clay to be an incredible material, gained instant affinity for it, and likes to change it and grow with it. Tom gets much of his inspiration for color and scenery from his experience in Viet Nam. The Viet Nam sunrises were part of that experience, as was the end of day at twilight in the mountains. Recreating those scenes was a cathartic evolution.

After 50 years as an evolving artist, Tom is now “airbrushing the illusion of light.” He custom mixes acrylic paint from a paste to a fluid airbrushing consistency, and often adds gold acrylic paint to do his painted skies and landscapes. His ceramic forms are wheel-thrown and altered by paddling or “spanking” his pots. At one point, Tom resided with and witnessed the well-known glass artist, Tom Yelvington at work. The fluidity of glass being formed and then morphed is a constant influence in Tom’s art to this day. Mixed media artist best describes Tom’s approach.


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