Artist: Jeff Oestreich
Jeff Oestreich, MINNESOTA
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The subject matter of my work is function. Of concern to me is how my pottery operates in a domestic setting, both physically and aesthetically. Initially all work is thrown on a potter’s wheel, later to be altered using a variety of techniques. These techniques are often traditional ones modified to suit my ideas. My current firing method is soda firing, a contemporary version of a 16th century German process where a sodium compound is introduced into the kiln as it reaches 2300 degrees. The sodium interacts with the glaze and produces a varied surface, which is often unpredictable. It is this element of risk that drives my work.
For several decades my central source of inspiration came from historical pottery of the Far East, England, and Europe. A trip to New Zealand ten years ago reintroduced me to Art Deco architecture with its abundance of geometric and playful detail. This has become a central theme in my work. I have been to Napier, a predominately Art Deco village with over 100 commercial buildings of this style, on several occasions.
PERSONAL INFORMATION & EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
Born: December 7, 1947; St. Paul, Minnesota
Occupation: Studio Potter and Pottery Instructor
Education: 1965-1967, 1968-1969 Bemidji State University; B.A. (Studio Art)
1967-1968 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1969-1971 Apprenticeship, The Bernard Leach Pottery, St. Ives, England