Kathleen Crook: Potter & Collage Artist

 The Art Shoppe Interview:
short visits with amazing artists

Kathleen Crook is a potter (30 years) and a jewelry-maker (just last year).

Kathleen Crook

Kathleen Crook

When did you start making art? I started making pottery in college over 30 years ago.  Making jewelry? I began making collage earrings a year ago, inspired by my husband who collects boxes and magazines.

Who or What inspires you? My pottery influences are many. I am inspired by Warren McKenzie and his influence on Minnesota potters. I am not a McKenzie-influenced potter in my style, as I never studied with him.

The Minnesota style (I call it this. It is a high fire stoneware functional pottery) is very popular here. What I do is not as popular, I think, because people are not used to seeing my style of work here. I think my work would be popular in Florida, California and tropical and Mediterranean locations.

How do you select materials? I go to the clay store.

Tell me about your favorite clay store. 

You know that clay stores are not like art stores. There is one that everyone uses and another that I can’t figure out how they stay in business. I will give them a shout out. 

I’ve been going to Continental Clay since 1982. (They were called Minnesota Clay then.) I am a very teeny little fish in the ocean of big time potters who use that place. It’s family owned. Third generation is working there now. If I get Mike on the phone when placing an order, he always asks who is calling and when I tell him, he genuinely remembers me and says it’s nice to hear from me. I bought my first wheel there and my kiln.

Who is the customer you envision when you are making your work? Someone who wants to have a cheerful little piece of art to enjoy their food/drink in.

Did you go to art school? Do you have art training? I have a BA from the University of North Dakota in Studio Art. It is not technically an art school. I also took one community ed oil painting class and sometimes I paint. Painting on canvas is quite challenging to me.

What would you like your customers to know about you and your artistic processes. I began making low-fire pottery for the range of color it allows. Also, I fire a small electric kiln in my basement, which is suited to this type of firing.

Kathleen Crook

Kathleen Crook

I am self-taught in a glazing technique called maiolica.  This comes from Italy and the ceramics produced in factories that are intricate and colorful are maiolica glazed. I have travelled there and noted that the pottery produced on the Amalfi coast has a lot of folk art-like imagery.

Personally, I have not pursued learning to master representational painting on pottery. Rather, my brush strokes and lines are fast and I look for something to have as a focal point (sometimes) then I add on lines and then take away glaze.

My recent work that has a lot of a color of blue that I developed that is very rich. When I paint, it is sometimes very fast and some effects have come up that are very exciting to me. Some of the masters of maiolica would say there are flaws in my glazed pots, but these are textures that emerge from a free-flowing artistic process, which brings us all the way back centuries to the Japanese and Korean tea bowls where the hand of the potter can be seen in the imperfections.

Kathleen Crook Collage Earrings

Kathleen Crook Collage Earrings

What inspired you to make collage earrings?  After seeing an exhibit of a friend of mine who does a lot of collage art, my husband commented that he might be able to part with some of his enormous collection of magazines if he gave them to a collage artist. He also has a large collection of cardboard boxes. I have no idea where this light bulb idea came from but one day I was frustrated with no massage work and I decided to try to make earrings out of the cardboard boxes and magazines. I went out to bead Hive and bought a bunch of stuff hardly knowing what the hell I was doing.

More about Kathleen

She is a member of the Vine Arts Center and  she is a Certified Massage Therapist.

Art Shoppe Info

The Art Shoppe at Midtown Global Market has six owners and nearly 100 Minnesota artist consignors. Every piece is made in Minnesota by a Minnesota artist. We celebrate Monday (every Monday) with 10% off everything in the Shoppe.

Most Art Shoppe artists accept commissions.

Stay cool. Save 10%

Oh yes. It’s hot outside.

Feel better with a 10% discount on everything at the Art Shoppe.

Just a sample of 24 of 100 artists.


Ten percent off everything. Every Monday.

Monday. Monday. Ten Percent Off. Everything.

Just 8 of 100 artists.

Every Monday every item at The Art Shoppe is 10% off.  And you can enjoy some of the very best food in the Twin Cities — not, of course, in the Art Shoppe itself, but in Midtown Global Market.

Ten Percent Off Monday

Kip Shane Bella Looking Up

Kip Shane Bella Looking Up

Margie Weaver's Copper Mojo

Margie Weaver’s Copper Mojo

Ten Percent Off Monday

Pamela Kirton Barn Owl Digital Pieced Patchwork

Pamela Kirton Barn Owl Digital Pieced Patchwork

Allie Hafez Green Spectrolite, goldstone, crystals, copper

Allie Hafez Green Spectrolite, goldstone, crystals, copper

Ten Percent Off Monday

Diane May Cottage Drive-In

Diane May Cottage Drive-In

Tracie Thompson: Frick and Frack

Tracie Thompson: Frick and Frack

Ten Percent Off Monday

Bonnie Somdahl Needlefelted Love Bears

Bonnie Somdahl Needlefelted Love Bears

Tom Cornish: The Skally Line: Up the road & down the river

Tom Cornish: The Skally Line: Up the Road & Down the River

Ten Percent Monday

Ten Percent off Everything on Mondays

We could have a long and complicated conversation about why 10 percent and not 12 percent of 8 percent. Frankly, I don’t know the answer.

What’s important about 10 percent?

First, it’s an easy-to-remember number.

Second, it is a significant discount.

Third, art from the Art Shoppe is original and unique, and all made by Minnesota artists and we want to share it with you.  Here is a selection:

The Art Shoppe Celebrates Monday: 10% off

With the work of more than 90 Minnesota Artists, the Art Shoppe at Midtown Global Market is well-stocked with original and unique art. Come to Midtown Global Market, decide which among the many terrific food vendors for your lunch, and show for art at The Art Shoppe.

10% off everything at The Art Shoppe


It’s Monday, and The Art Shoppe at Midtown Global Market celebrate with 10% off everything. Every. Single. Item.

Eat. Shop. Cheer.

What better place to shop than the Art Shoppe because it is surrounded by wonderful food vendors. 

Holy Land, Safari Express, Taco Cat, Fresco’s Italian Market, Hot Indian, Kitchen in the Market, A La Salsa, El Burrito Mercado, La Loma Tamales, Fresco’s Market, Grand Italian Ice, Manny’s Tortas, Pham’s Deli, Andy’s Garage, The Salty Tart, Cafe Finspang, Grass Roots Gourmet,  Jakeeno’s Trattoria, Mapp’s Tea and Coffee, Panaderia El Mexicano,  Taqueria Los Ocampo, Rabbit Hole…


1-1/2 hours free parking in the ramp with a merchant’s stamp.

Allie Hafez Wearable Art: New Work

Some New Allie Hafez work in The Art Shoppe

Award-winning jewelry artist Allie Hafez’ work is branded OTIWA, which correctly stands for “Oh. That’s Interesting Wearable Art.” Some of her new work is now in the Art Shoppe.

Testing My Balance: brand new piece

Allie Hafez Testing My Balance

Allie Hafez Testing My Balance

She fell in love with the matte finish of this slab of red creek jasper. She writes,  “I didn’t want to use it predictably as a pendant. So I decided to make it the focal of an asymmetrical bracelet that can be attached to a necklace with similar components to make a longer and more interesting necklace.”

Noting its spiritual and metaphysical properties, she writes “Jasper is associated with
protection, nurturing, joy, awareness, relaxation, tranquility, wholeness, astral travel, Yin/Yang. It is said to calm a troubled mind.”

Laser Flash

Allie Hafez Laser Flash

Allie Hafez Laser Flash

Laser Flash has a compelling story, fully told in Allie’s blog. She explains how she found the central pendant and the graciousness of its makers to her notion of incorporating it into a necklace.

She shares the spiritual and metaphysical properties of the piece: “Labradorite is said to promote clarity and insight into one’s destiny. It is thought to be especially
helpful for recalling dreams and relating dreams to daily life. It has
a connection to love. It helps strengthen the will and one’s inner
strength and convictions. It’s believed to aid in combating addictions.”

An Allie Gallery

You Got Me, Copper

Allie Hafez Copper wrapped with beaded rope

Alllie Hafez Copper wrapped with beaded rope

“You Got me, Copper;” how it came to be

After several discarded ideas about how to use the chunk of melted copper, I realized I’d found a use for a length of beaded rope that I’d gotten bored with doing. I’d abandoned it when it was too short to be a bracelet; but it turned out to be perfect for creating a decorative bail that would turn the copper piece into an interesting pendant.

Art Shoppe Notes

10% off everything every Monday.
1-1/2 hours free parking in the ramp with a merchant’s stamp.