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Jeff Forster

What clay body do you use?

"I use many different clays depending on what I am making but most often prefer a high iron groggy stoneware or reclaim of various clays."

Primary forming method?

" I use just about every process I am familiar with.  A lot of my sculpture is soft-slabs in found press molds but recently I have been doing more wheel work. "

Primary firing temperature?

"High fire, cone 10. "

Favorite surface treatment?

"Wood-fired and cooled in reduction with high iron clays."

Favorite Tools?

"Torch, variety of knifes, metal rib."

Describe your studio environment.

"Chaotic, ha ha.  Usually three bodies of work happening simultaneously with my wife throwing pots nearby."

How/Where do you market and sell your artwork?

"Don’t really market my work outside of Instagram a little, mostly word of mouth.  I don’t have a regular commercial space but prefer showing at non-profit institutions such as art centers and schools.  They are usually less concerned about the sale and more interested in the idea behind the object. "

What sparks your creativity? What drives you to work with clay?

"Everything.  Especially entropy, decay and other natural cycles but also architecture, plants, other art, conversations, etc."             

Did you come to ceramics from a different career? Tell us about your journey to a ceramics career.

      "I knew in middle school already I wanted to be an artist and by high school an art teacher.  For a short time I was interested in the sciences and especially chemistry.  I taught high school art for three years knowing I was going to leave for graduate school.  I started doing more painting and photography but at the end of my undergraduate career found clay.  Now my creative research focuses on clay but implements all of those things."

      How have you have taken your experience as a well-established maker in the field and passed that knowledge along to your other artists?

      " Teaching full time, being a guest artist in other places to give lectures, workshops, engaging with other communities at different residencies."

        What’s the best advice you’ve been given by a fellow maker, mentor, or teacher?

          If you don’t have a life outside of art you will likely not having anything to make art about."

          Website URL and other social media platforms:

          Instagram:  @jeffsthings


          Currently the Department Head of Ceramics at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston/Glassell School of Art, Jeff Forster has participated in exhibitions both nationally and internationally.  His work has won awards in a number of these exhibitions including a Juror’s Choice Award in “Ceramic Object/Conceptual Material” and the Luis Jimenez Award for First Place in the “Sculpture on Campus Exhibition” at Southern Illinois University.  Additionally, Jeff was awarded the Helen Drutt Studio Fellowship in conjunction with his residency at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.  Besides this residency, Jeff has completed residencies at Atelierhaus Hilmsen in Germany, Lone Star College-North Harris, the Armory Arts Center in West Palm Beach Florida and most recently at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Skaelskor Denmark.

          Besides over-seeing the Glassell Ceramics studio and maintaining an active studio practice Jeff has contributed on several boards and committees.  He currently sits on the A.I.R. Committee at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, has served on the Fresh Arts Artist Advisory Committee in Houston, was the President of the ClayHouston organization and served on the NCECA board for two years as the On-Site Conference Liaison for the 2013 Houston Conference.  Jeff received a BA in Art from Saint John’s University in 1998 and a M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville in 2007.


            PO Box 667401
            Houston, TX 77266

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