Heinrich was born in Tubingen Germany but was raised in Missouri, first in St. Louis and then in Columbia. The third youngest of four boys, Heinrich was a highly creative, imaginative and active child. Growing up in the rich culture of the Midwest, Heinrich formed a great love for history and geology. As a boy he spent a lot of time exploring the countryside and having adventures.
Heinrich received a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Missouri, but spent most of his college years painting watercolors and playing Old Time music on his Martin guitar. He excelled at both but still has a deep love of geology and regularly explores the countryside collecting rocks, as anyone who looks at his garden can see. He plays a number of instruments including the guitar and penny whistle, but can play just about anything he picks up. He currently plays weekly with a traditional Irish band, as well as preforming Old Time music for local dances.
After college Heinrich worked on several archaeological digs across North America and Europe before returning to Missouri, getting married to his wife Aimee in 1982, and beginning to collaborate with his mother on what would become Tannenbaum Ceramics. Since then he has been making ceramic ornaments, sculptures, tiles and murals and traveling all across the Midwest to craft shows. Drawing on his love of watercolor painting, Heinrich works primarily with under-glazes in his ceramic work. This allows him to create washes and clean bright colors.
Heinrich and his wife Aimee have collaborated together on several projects, including three children and two sets of tableware. Heinrich was featured in Women's World Magazine for his Cow Bell piece and he has won numerous awards over the years at different art and fine craft shows.
- In 1995 Heinrich created a "Fish Mural" with Grant Elementary third graders.
- In 1998 the Columbia Art League sponsored the "Tree of Life Mural" project where Heinrich collaborated with the children at the Boys and Girls Club.
- In 1999 Heinrich and Grant Elementary fourth graders created the "Missouri History Mural."
- In 2000 Heinrich and the Grant Elementary fourth graders created the "Literacy Mural."
- From 2004-2007 Heinrich and successive classes of Grant Elementary fourth graders created the "Missouri Wildlife Bench."
- In 2008 Missouri History Mural for the Columbia Public Library with Grant Elementary fourth graders.
- In 2009 Heinrich worked with Grant Elementary fourth graders to create a Media inspired mural for the schools Media Center.
- In 2010 Heinrich created a Nature Mural with fourth graders at Grant Elementary.
- In 2011 Heinrich worked with Grant Elementary fourth graders to create a special mural commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the school.
In 1995 Heinrich offered to share his artistic skills with his oldest sons class at Grant Elementary. Since then, the fourth grade teachers have had Heinrich return, allowing their students to explore different curriculum units through art. Heinrich has led artistic investigations of Missouri history, literacy, and Missouri wildlife. He has also worked with the Boys and Girls club and the Columbia Public Library.
- First Visit- Heinrich introduces the project. Each child draws an image on a square of paper the size of the clay tile.
- Second Visit- Heinrich brings the clay tiles (one for each child) and extra clay for sculpting. The children sculpt in low relief the images they drew.
- Third Visit- Heinrich brings back the now fired tiles, and the children paint their tiles with colored glazes.
Each mural was made over a series of weeks. Before meeting with the children, Heinrich measures the alloted space and builds a frame for the project, and the students and their teachers explore their topic. Then, Heinrich visits each class three times.
After the students are done with their work, Heinrich fires the clay tiles a second time, attaches the tiles to the wall with mortar, and unveils the finished project to the students and their families.
Visit the gallery for more images of both in process and completed mural projects.
- In 1992 the Fall Smithsonian catalog offered Heinrich's Wedding Couple bells.
- In 1997 Heinrich designed and created a privately owned "Kitchen Mural" of Missouri river scenes.
- In 2001 Heinrich was chosen to create an ornament for the White House Christmas tree.
- In 2004 Heinrich created specialty fish for the Pasadena, CA Showcase House's garden.
- In 2007 Heinrich designed the 50th anniversary bell for St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Columbia, MO.
- In 2010 Heinrich created four commemorative tiles for retiring teachers at Grant Elementary.
If you are interested in having special artwork commissioned from Heinrich, please use the form located under the 'Contact' link above.
Heinrich Around the Web
- Library Mural Celebrates Young Talent in the Columbia Daily Tribune November 30, 2008
- Columbia Library Unveils Mural on KOMU November 13, 2008
- Students Work with Artist to Create Missouri-themed Mural in the Columbia Missourian on November 13, 2008
- Telling Missouri's Tale One Tile at a Time in the Columbia Missourian May 20, 2008
- Artist Reaps Rewards of Ceramic Craft in the Columbia Daily Tribune August 21, 2004
- Festival features assortment of art in the Columbia Daily Tribune June 2, 2003.
- There’s a little bit of Mid-Missouri on the White House Christmas tree in the Columbia Daily Tribune December 9, 2001. (Scroll down to the article's second section.)
- Grant School Mural in the Columbia Daily Tribune April 13, 2001.
- Fired up: Project to create ceramic mural inspires kids in the Columbia Daily Tribune October, 21 1998.