Born in 1956, Jeff was raised in the country outside of Detroit, where his stepfather taught him woodworking. He further learned precision craftsman skills in the industrial shops of the motor city. As a self-taught airbrush artist, Jeff worked his way through art college in Baltimore, painting his visions on the curved metal of show cars and motorcycles. While in college, he was recognized for his craftsmanship and was awarded a scholarship to become a craft major.
Metal, wood, and clay were a familiar way for him to express his sculptural ideas. Jeff put a good collection of sculptural furniture together and showed extensively. “When I would do sculptural furniture, I would build a model out of clay first. I started to enjoy the freedom of working in clay and took on commissions sculpting architectural ornament. These skills would serve him well as he worked for eleven years beside Frederick Hart, one of today’s premier figure sculptors, until Hart’s passing in 1999. Hart was best known for the “Three soldiers” at the Vietnam memorial and the seven-figure “Creation” sculpture on the National Cathedral. Mr. Hart once wrote of Jeff’s sculpture: “Whose quality of work rivals any in history.” They often talked about the decline of classical figure sculpture, the deterioration of beauty in art, and the unseen craftsmanship. These conversations influenced the development of Jeff’s architectural brick figure series. As Hart’s assistant, Jeff helped to complete many larger than life-size figurative monuments and Mr. Hart’s reverse Lucite pieces. After Hart’s passing, Jeff continued to realize Mr. Hart’s work until 2007, working for the Hart estate.
Here are a few examples of his work.