Jeff Nebeker was one of the first Funk ceramic artists to perfect the use of pastry tools in clay sculpture. Finding the formula to adhere the wet clay squeezed from pastry tools onto the sculptural, hand-built clay body of his form, and an interest in food subjects from 1970's Pop Art, have led him to produce an amazing array of life-like cakes, confections, and portraits of artists as pastry chefs and apprentices.
Nebeker is both an accomplished ceramist and a pastry chef. He draws visual parallels between frosting, decorating, and baking a cake to hand building, glazing, and firing a clay piece, as far as patience, creativity, and technical skill are involved. His work acknowledges the fine art involved with being a professional pastry chef and cake decorator, as well as references Pop Artists, Claes Oldenburg and Wayne Thiebaud, among others. His figurative works are ceramic.
Nebeker studied ceramics at the University of California at Davis with Robert Arneson and David Gilhooly, and he studied art history with Wayne Thiebaud. In integrating his clay, and often even his painting experiences, in his work, he often includes the tracings of the process of making pastry as a foundation to the subject matter and idea. Wax paper, baking grounds, and cellophane are often included in the finished piece.