Always a student of history, in 1997 Doug Van Beek wrote the article, "Preliminary Analysis of the Qollqa Valley Collection," a study of terrace irrigation in Peru, published by the Museums of Beloit College in Wisconsin.
He is a potter, historian, and archaeologist. His studio work sits at the intersection of material culture, cooking, and fire. His pots are used in the cross-cultural exploration of cooking and one may find his pots in use in Australia, North America, and Europe. His ceramic education began at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis and his current studio is at Caufield Clayworks in St. Paul, Minnesota. As a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Van Beek was awarded a Laurel, signifying mastery in pottery and research. At the 2019 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference in Minneapolis, Van Beek led a discussion on the history of medieval pottery and cooking.