Pamela Rucker grew up surrounded by the creative activity and influence of her parents. Her father, Gerald Cooper, is a well-known Berea woodworker and her mother, Joyce Cooper, a well-known fiber artist. As a young girl, Rucker was hired by her father to do the finish sanding of his candleholders. While earning money helping her father, she grew to love taking something rough and making it smooth – responding to the beauty of wood.
After earning a BA degree in Music and English at Hanover College in Indiana, Rucker went on to earn her divinity degree from the Presbyterian Seminary in Louisville, following her father’s footsteps into the ministry. Rucker currently serves as pastor of Nicholasville Presbyterian Church.
Moving back to Kentucky in 1998, Rucker began once again to work with wood. After her kids went to bed in the evenings and after her own pastoral duties were over, she would work at the lathe turning wood. Starting by making turned wooden gifts, Rucker eventually settled on smaller lathe work such as pocket watches, magnifying glasses, bottle stoppers and letter openers. She works on a “Mini-Jet” lathe, which can handle works up to 7 inches in diameter.
Works by this artisan can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.