Torrey is a Wisconsin native; born and raised in the Milwaukee area (Shorewood). She attended Lawrence University, the University of Wisconsin/Madison, and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.
It was while living in Austin that she discovered clay. She was not a fine arts major, so she couldn’t take ceramics classes at the university, but classes were offered through Laguna Gloria, Austin’s fine arts museum.
After leaving Austin she was able to use the ceramics studio at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where she taught for the next four years.
They moved to the Washington, DC, area, where she apprenticed herself to a potter for a year, learning to mix glazes from raw chemicals, fire kilns and pack pots for shipping. They used electric and gas kilns, raku barrels and mounds built into hillsides for firing their pots.
They returned to Wisconsin in 1989, and she has been involved in the arts community in the Rhinelander area, serving as vice president of the Northern Arts Council, Supporting ArtStart as a founding member and exhibitor, teaching at the University of Wisconsin/Madison School of the Arts at Rhinelander, and showing her pottery in local stores and galleries.