He served as an army medic during World War II and began to pursue a career in art upon returning to the United States. He earned degrees in art education and art administration from Bluffton College and the University of Colorado, then turned his attention to ceramics. He focused first on functional pottery.
In 1954, Soldner became Peter Voulkos' first student in the nascent ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis College of Art and Design). As Soldner helped his teacher establish the program, he made several changes to the studio pottery equipment, which led to him founding Soldner Pottery Equipment Corp. in 1955, to market his inventions. He eventually held seven patents related to pottery equipment.
After receiving his MFA in ceramics in 1956, Soldner began teaching at Scripps College.
He developed a type of low-temperature salt firing.Along with Voulkos, Soldner has been credited with creating the "California School" of ceramic arts by combining Western materials and technology with Japanese techniques and aesthetics.
While teaching at Scripps College, he organized the Scripps Ceramics Annual - a nationally recognized ceramic exhibition. In addition, as a result of his lifelong friendship with ceramic collectors Fred and Mary Marer, Scripps became the fortunate recipient of the extensive Marer Collection of Contemporary Ceramics. In 1990, Scripps received an NEA Grant to research and organize and exhibition titled, "Paul Soldner:A Retrospective'" that travelled throughout the United States.
Soldner retired from Scripps in 1991. He lived and maintained studios in Aspen, Colorado and Claremont, California.Wikipedia