lauren Smith


When I was little, I would play in the creek beds behind our house in Rockwall, Texas, fishing for crawdads and making mud sculptures. I have always loved making things, no matter what the material. Growing up, I knew I wanted to be an artist so I would practice drawing. I took a drawing and painting class during high school and community college; but it wasn't until I transferred to the University of North Texas in 2002 that I took my first ceramics class. It did not take long before I fell in love with the process, the environment, and clay. I had only made a few hand-built sculptures before I declared myself a ceramics major and in 2005, I graduated with a BFA.

In 2011, I completed a MFA in Ceramics at UNT. I was a resident artist at Center Street Clay in Sandwich, Illinois one summer during my graduate studies, where I worked with Steven Hill, who is a renowned artist known for his spraying techniques; whiche I've adopted and incorporated in to my glazing process. 

In August 2011, I moved to Riverside, California. I have set up a studio in the garage where I continue to make work and show nationally. In May 2012, I was invited to Art of the Pot in Austin, Texas for their 9th Annual Mother's Day Studio Tour and Sale. I have taught classes at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, in Pomona, CA as well as, Ceramic Services in Ontario, CA.

During the summer of 2014, we relocated to Butte, Montana. My husband teaches at Montana Tech and I work in my studio basement. I have since been a short-term summer resident at the Archie Bray Foundation as well as Red Lodge Clay Center. For the past year, I’ve been a production potter for Emily Free-Wilson of Free Ceramics and I am teaching a community ceramics class at the Archie Bray. I continue to pursue teaching workshops, showing nationally, and networking with local Montana Clay artists.

artist statement

"I love making functional pottery. I want to share my work and create daily rituals amongst my collectors and admirers. I am constantly fulfilled every day that I can turn a ball of clay into something that someone can treasure. As I work at my wheel, I imagine my pots being used at a fancy dinner party with cake stands and flower vases decorating the table; or perhaps a favorite mug being filled with hot, steaming coffee or warm tea. My inspiration comes from nature, specifically flowers and the way their petals unfold and the infinite patterns they make. I always have a camera with me in case I see an interesting flower or beautiful bird. I look at antique and historical pottery, glassware and other current potter’s work to inspire and energize my own work. I am very lucky to be able to wake up every morning and do what I love to do. I have always been a maker and I will always be one."