One of the most influential potters on the West Coast, Laura Andreson is known for her organic forms, experimental glazes, mastery of porcelain, and prolific teaching career. Born in San Bernadino, California, she began working with clay in the education department at the University of California, Los Angeles while pursuing a degree in teaching. After graduating, UCLA invited her to establish one of the first academic ceramics programs on the West Coast in 1933. Andreson led the ceramics department—traininghundreds of students—until her retirement in 1970.
Andreson believed clay was the most versatile material available to artists and responded to the character and personality of the individual who formed it. Andreson was a daring figure for time. For the entirety of her career at the University of California, Los Angeles, Andreson lived publicly as a lesbian with her partner, the painter Polly Blank. This was virtually unheard of during the early and mid-twentieth century, when individuals who were public about their sexual orientation were often fired from their jobs. Andreson was a prolific teacher and mentor to hundreds ofstudents. She is a model both as an exceptional potter and human being living true to her character.