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Laura Andreson



7.75 x 7.625 in. (19.685 x 19.368 cm)
Museum Permanent Collection

Ever an experimentalist, Laura Andreson began working with porcelain in 1957—one of the first Americans on the West Coast to do so. Porcelain forced Andreson to simplify her process and learn to work with the plasticity of the difficult medium. The concave walls of Vase is daring and speaks to both the fragility and strength of the material. This form demonstrates her control and mastery of the material—the grey Indian sand glaze further emphasizes the unusual structure of the vase’s form. Andreson was unusual among studio potters in that she began with the glaze and surface design before selecting the form. This was the inverse of most potter’s practices and showcases Andreson’s devotion to the beauty of the surface.

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 of students. She is a model both as an exceptional potter and human being living true to her character.

Matthew Limb

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