The Portland creative and serial entrepreneur is forging a new path making sculptures. And they’re perfect for fall tablescapes.
Portrait photographs by Fawn DeViney
Hana Rucker is juggling all the things. She’s wife to restaurateur Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon fame, mother of three young children, urban homesteader, event host, ceramicist, and decorative metal artist. And like the rest of us these days, she’s doing it all from home. “Since COVID, we’ve been able to grow our hobby farm, including getting creative with hosting smaller gatherings and events,” Rucker explained. But all this hasn’t stopped her from squeezing in art when she can. “I find time for art whenever possible — it’s how I keep my sanity.”
From Hobby to Passion
Rucker discovered a passion for welding after being invited to a class taught by a neighbor. What started out as a cool new hobby quickly became even more necessary after she found her way into a welding program at Clackamas Community College. “I immediately fell in love with it,” says Rucker. There, she got some time to herself and tons of stress relief from her life as a working mom.
Simple Materials, Sublime Shapes
Rucker’s sculptural work is both inspired and practical. Using a basic welding machine in her home studio, she crafts pieces from found and foraged scrap metal. “The exciting part for me is discovering shapes that work together to express an idea or fulfill an inspiration I have for a new series,” says Rucker. Her works evolve from meditations on organic forms and color, and formal arts like Japanese ikebana. She is currently working on a series that combines a specific blue with circular shapes she says become a “visual wayfinder.”
Heavy Metal for All
Rucker’s sculptural pieces grace gardens to mantels to tabletops, and show up often at the Ruckers’ farm-to-table backyard events. She is determined that her works are up for endless interpretation. “I want metal sculpture to be accessible to, and enjoyed by, everyone,” says Rucker. “By adding flowers and other organic elements, they become the design focal point for entertaining.”