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Meet Lenny Larson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lenny Larson.

Lenny, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up in Laguna Beach, CA, I was exposed to fine art at a very young age. My father was a first-generation Swedish carpenter and craftsman. My mother had a love for drawing and painting with pastels. This is where I acquired my work ethic and love for working with my hands. I earned my AA degree from Orange Coast College and then I went to Otis Art Institute and earned my BFA and MFA, majoring in Ceramics. I began working as a production potter in various commercial potteries for more than 18 years.

Eventually, I managed a large ceramic lamp manufacture in Los Angeles. I then became the head of equipment sales for Laguna Clay Company. I also ran their mold shop, export sales manager and designed a line of gas fired kilns. In 1999, I became the plant manager for a large ceramic tile manufacture, Jeffrey Court Inc. I designed new efficient production manufacturing methods as well as setting up a new production facility. Today, I continue my love for ceramics by teaching and managing the ceramic studio at The American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA). I teach specialized workshops, consult for the ceramic industry, produce my ceramic art in my studio and exhibit my work at various galleries and art shows.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s never a smooth road to make a living in the arts. I had to compromise and separate making art to making a living. When I began my master’s work at Otis, I got married. When I was completing my thesis, we found out that we were pregnant with my son. So after graduating, I went right to work as a production potter. At that time, 1975, there were a number of production potteries in Southern California. We were paid by the piece, piece work. So you were able to make a decent wage if you could throw a lot of pots. The work was mainly different sizes of flower pots. I eventually learned all the “tricks” to throwing fast form other potters and I was able to by our first home in 1988. We raised our son and daughter and now have three beautiful grandchildren. We just celebrated 46 years of marriage.

Please tell us more about your art.
In addition to working full time, I started a Kiln Manufacturing Company in 1995. I had a business partner and we both ran this company until 2012. I designed a line of Gas Fired Kilns, Down-Draft Kilns, Raku Kilns and electronic control systems.

In 2012, I decided to retire and concentrate on my art and working in the studio. I joined AMOCA’s ceramic studio and love working there. It is a 12,000 sq. ft. studio space that is fully equipped and there are a number of resident artists all share ideas creative expression.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The ceramic industry has changed over the years. There is not very many manufactures in Southern California anymore. As and ceramic artist, the shift is to small private studios or community studios. There is a trend to explore different types of firing processes. Like wood fired kilns, introducing salt into the atmosphere of gas fired kilns and or soda ash. These techniques all give the fired pieces (pottery, sculpture, etc.) very unique surface quality, color and design. Each piece is one of a kind. A true artistic process.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 9092387367
  • Email:
  • Instagram: lenny.larson

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