Jeff de Boer was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1963, the fourth child of Dutch immigrants Andy and Maria de Boer. Being that his father was a professional tin smith, Jeff grew up exposed to the endless possibilities of metal. From the age of five, he knew that he wanted to be an artist. He spent his growing years painting and drawing, but just as importantly, he made objects. During his last years of high school, he started to take a serious interest in metal work and during this time built his first suit of armour. After graduating, he spent the next few years independently developing his craft, as well as learning techniques from a blacksmith. In 1984, he enrolled at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), where he majored in jewellery design. In the fall of 1986, while a student at ACAD, he combined his new skills in jewellery construction with his knowledge of armour-making to produce the world's first and only suit of armour for a mouse.
Jeff graduated from ACAD in 1988, and by the fall of 1989, managed to establish himself as a professional artist. From his parents' garage, he worked continuously on his art, developing four distinct bodies of work: armour for cats and mice, armour for executives, exoforms, and space objects including rocket lamps. In the fall of 1994, Jeff opened "Articulation", a solo exhibition of some 140 works, showcasing his efforts over a period of eight years. The exhibition opened at the Muttart Gallery in Calgary, accompanied by a fantastic full-colour book about the work which was also entitled Articulation. This exhibition then went on to travel around western Canada for two years, finishing as a blockbuster show at the Canadian Craft Museum in Vancouver in the fall of 1996.
Since that time, Jeff has continued to work and grow, developing new and fantastic ideas. He has also gone back to ACAD, this time as an instructor teaching a Jewellery Design and Presentation class. He currently has a wonderful studio in south-east Calgary, where he now works with his wife Debbie.