Born in Vienna, Austria, Gertrud Natzler graduated from the Vienna Handelsakademie in 1926 and later took classes in drawing, painting, and ceramics. Also born in Vienna, Otto Natzler graduated from the Bundeslehranstalt fur Textile-Industrie in 1927 and worked as a textile designer. Both of them studied ceramics with Franz Iskra in Vienna in 1934 before organizing their own workshop in 1935. Married in 1938, the Natzlers fled Nazi-occupied Austria and immigrated to the United States, where they settled in Los Angeles.
During their thirty-six years of collaboration Gertrud threw the clay and formed it into simple pristine vessels, while her husband glazed and fired the vessels. Their objects are distinguished by the varied glazes on the surface, each glaze tested carefully by Otto and applied with consideration of the clay form with which it is paired.
Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard Risatti Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998)