Taf Schaefer was born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was here that she developed her affinity for the natural world. In 1979, she earned her B.F.A. in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. Schaefer has taught at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. She also taught at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, Maryland, where she received Massachusetts Arts Council Grants and was an Artist-in-Education.
Schaefer designed figurative and functional pieces for Steuben Glass from 1997 to 2011. In 2011, Schaefer was featured as guest artist for a week of hot glass shows aboard Celebrity Cruise’s premier vessel the “Eclipse” sponsored by The Corning Museum of Glass. Also in 2011, Schaefer was a guest instructor at GlassRoots, an afterschool program in Newark, New Jersey, where she led discussions and workshops to foster creativity and confidence to the underserved youth of Newark.
Schaefer’s work can be found in the permanent collections of The Corning Museum of Glass in New York, the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Massachusetts, the Seattle Aquarium in Washington, the Vero Beach Environmental Learning Center in Florida, and in numerous private, corporate and academic collections.
Schaefer has also designed jewelry and sculpture to help raise funds for endangered animals. These works have included jewelry for the Jane Goodall Institute, The Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund, and sculpture for the World Wildlife Fund’s Faces in the Wild Auction. Schaefer conceived of and spearheaded a collaborative project between the African Wildlife Foundation and Steuben Glass to support the conservation of the African Wildlife Foundation's African Heartlands.