Laurie Bartee was born in Rome, New York. Raised as an Air Force Brat, her first encounter with Ceramic Tile Art was while living in Tripoli, Libya at the age of eight. Ancient Roman ruins with inlaid mosaic tile walls and flooring were her playground, until the Six Day War (1968 forced evacuation to Spain). After living in Spain and Germany her family finally settled in Denver, Colorado. Laurie was fortunate to be accepted in the an exchange program which allowed her to study art in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Upon her return to the United States, she was attended the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri. Majoring in Fiber/Sculpture she earned a B.F.A. and Art Education Certification from Rockhurst College. Laurie married her husband Rob and together, for the next thirty years, they built a successful commercial photography business.
Wanting a new challenge in her thirties, Laurie worked towards and achieved becoming a Firefighter for a Metro Denver Fire Dept. Although the job was intensely demanding, it was during this time that she began creating large ceramic wall art. Having left the Fire Service behind and finished her work with the photo studio, Laurie is able to put all her energy into her new work. After having developed a large body of sizable figurative works,(flowers and animals), she now is continuing to explore combining ceramics and fused glass on abstract backgrounds.