Originally from Madison, Wisconsin; ceramic artist Dean Leeper currently lives in Missoula, Montana where he is a Masters of Fine Arts Candidate at the University of Montana. Introduced to clay at an early age, Leeper was active and interested in art and clay throughout his childhood. Leeper received his Bachelor of Arts from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky with a concentration in ceramics. While at Berea College, Leeper worked as a ceramic apprentice for the school and participated in extra curricular actives including studying art abroad in Florence, Italy as well as a studio internship at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After graduation, Leeper spent a year completing his Post-Baccalaureate studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
Leeper has assisted numerous of ceramic artists including Gerit Grimm, Linda Christianson, David Dahlquist, Trey Hill and Julia Galloway in workshops and studio practices. Leeper’s teaching experiences include teaching foundational ceramic and drawing classes at the University of Montana, as well as teaching ceramic workshops at Adamah Clay Studio in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.
Currently, Leeper works with iron rich stoneware clay primarily fired in anagama wood kilns. The process of making clay, creating the work, as well as the long intensive wood firings are all important steps in the production of Leeper’s final works which speak to concepts of local material, time, labor and attention to ones interaction and experience of place.