Born in Madrid, Nebraska, Mason began his education at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. He left to work with Susan Peterson at Chouinard Art Institute, where he was her lab technician. A year later, in 1955, he returned to Otis to work alongside Voulkos, joining the cohort of ceramists who would redefine the field, including Paul Soldner, Ken Price, and Billy Al Bengston. Mason’s teaching career was wide-ranging. He taught at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and the University of California, Berkeley, before being hired by the newly established University of California, Irvine, in 19w67. In 1974, he left Irvine to replace Susan Peterson at Hunter College in New York.