T.R. “Mudshark” Andrews grew up in Detroit and Flint, Michigan and moved to California in 1968 where he attended Rio Hondo College in Whittier, CA while working as a lab assistant mixing glazes, firing kilns, and beginning to make pottery. He then completed his B.F.A. in Pottery and Glass Blowing at Alfred University in New York.
Andrews taught pottery for The Mott Foundation before moving back to California and founding his own pottery studio, Mudshark Pottery while also teaching at The Art Center, UCSD, La Jolla, CA.
He moved to Maui in 1978 where he continued making pottery while also working as a fisherman, caretaker, and carpenter. After relocating to the Big Island in 1991, Andrews became interested in basket making which he pursued for 15 years before he was encouraged by fellow potter, Stephen Freedman, to return to his love of pottery and Andrews began combining the two arts of basket making and pottery.