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Teri Fahrendorf the Brewer
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Artists on Amherst

Artist Guild Links:
Oregon Potters Assoc.
Pacific NW Sculptors
Local Clay, Eugene
ClayFolk Southern Oregon
Three Rivers Artist Guild
Guardino Gallery, Portland
Art at the Cave, Vancouver
Visual Art Center, Newport

My mom took up painting after her 80th birthday. She is proof you can be creative at any age.

My sister loves tiny pinch pots.

Rain Dragon Studio
Located in fabulous NoPo (north Portland)
Portland, Oregon

About the Artist

The day I hung up my shingle: March 3, 2022.

My name is Teri Fahrendorf. I was a craft beer Brewmaster 1988-2022, when I switched careers to become a full-time ceramic artist. I am still an international beer judge, and I continue to occasionally judge beer professionally. I grew up in a small farm town north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and went to university in western Wisconsin. After college, I moved to northern California, but missed the seasons and the big trees and ferns that Oregon's rains produce. I moved to Oregon in 1990, got married to a fellow Midwesterner in 2004, and couldn't imagine living a better life than I've had. I feel blessed to live in the great Pacific Northwest. I live in the last funky neighborhood in Portland, called St Johns, and I love it there.

My ceramic art is inspired by the things in Oregon that I love: The many shades of green, the wild untamed ocean and cliffs, our famous rain, the astounding colors and textures of plants, mosses, rocks, mountains and rushing rivers. All my work is hand-built from slabs or extrusions. I have recently expanded my practice to include American-style raku, which I love for its unpredictable shiny copper and matte peacock colors.

I love walking through my north Portland neighborhood. I love texture and explore the texture of the leaves I find on my walks, and all variety of impressions on clay. My whimsical Mother Mud People sculptures were inspired by a small statue I found "purposefully abandoned" below a larch tree in Hoyt Arboretum during the pandemic. I was enchanted and created my own little people, adding textured "tattoos" all over their heads, which I create using wooden stamps and leather embossing tools.

I love color, so most of my work has a bright and cheerful tone. All of my pieces are hand-built from clay slabs, extrusions, coils or pinched. I'm inspired by Art Nouveau (1887-1918) and its near worship of nature-in-art. My favorite museum is the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art in Denver, Colorado, and if you love Art Nouveau or Art Deco it is well worth a visit.

I am still in the process of shaking out what kind of work I will focus on. For years I made hand-built dishes and platterbowls, but now I find myself wroking larger and moving into sculpture. Nearly every piece is a prototype or "maquette," as I determine which creative options work well.

All my pottery is created in my backyard studio. I work in both red and white stoneware. I source my clay and glazes locally at Georgies Ceramic & Clay. I also buy clay from Clay Art Center (Tacoma) and Seattle Pottery Supply. I recently upgraded from a mini slab-roller to a huge commercial slab roller. These help me roll out evenly thick clay slabs for a cleaner look. I spend a lot of time on the details, because art should look beautiful from any angle, whether viewed from afar or close up.

In other creative endeavors, I also paint abstracts with alcohol inks, and I "paint" moons with sand and acrylic paint. But mostly I make functional and sculptural ceramic art with stoneware clay.

In my former life I was a craft beer brewmaster, and before that a computer programmer.

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One of my favorite pieces: my blue-black abstract platterbowl.

My husband has a canoe with outriggers. He repurposed and installed an old door for Studio Tours. My parents and I visiting Long Beach, Washington Never let the rain or a pandemic stop you from hiking!