exciting studio news!

Our exhibition proposal for the next NCECA was accepted! The NCECA (National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts) conference will be held in Sacramento in March of 2022. If you are unfamiliar with the conference, the 3 day event hosts lectures, panels, demos and exhibitions all related to the field of ceramics. This will be the first time in 2 years that the conference is planned to be in person once again – so exciting to have this happening in our backyard.

Cynthia Siegel, Jenni Ward
Shannon Sullivan, Wesley Wright, Sue Whitmore

NCECA accepts proposals for concurrent exhibits to happen during the conference at neighboring galleries and art spaces and this year I’m thrilled to be co-curating and exhibiting my own work in one of those exhibits. Fellow ceramic artist Cynthia Siegel and I proposed an exhibit entitled, ‘This Is The Anthropocene.’ which aims to discuss the environmental crisis we are currently in through a variety of styles and approaches all using clay as the primary medium. We invited three other artists; Shannon Sullivan, Wesley Wright and Sue Whitmore to join us in exploring this concept. All of our work is so different in style, but will be tied together with the common thread of the status of our environment, I can’t wait to see it all in the same space.

More details about the conference, these artists and this exhibition will be coming as things get closer, so stay tuned!

video: work in progress: Spore Patterns Installation

I ~think~ I have enough parts for my site specific Spore Patterns installation at the Price Sculpture Forest on Whidbey Island in Washington. I’ve lost the official count of parts but there’s definitely more than 300 pieces here, some are still raw clay, some glazed but not fired and most are finished. Next steps are to start working on the steel rods that will support the ceramic pieces to get them floating off the ground. Getting excited!


Will you marry me???

These fun, oversized rings were a collaboration with Lucia Bruer & Franco DiMajo and they have officially landed at Sierra Azul Sculpture Garden for the annual SCULPTURE IS: exhibit. Each ceramic gemstone is set in a steel bezel and mounted to the steel rings designed with shapes that mimic the planes of the gems. Be sure to check out Bling! 1 and Bling! 2 at Sierra Azul Gardens in Watsonville!

Sierra Azul Nursery 2660 East Lake Ave (Hwy 152) Watsonville California 95076 | June 7 – October 31 2021 | Open Daily 10 – 5

For more information: Pajaro Valley Arts

Put Open Studios 2021 on the Calendar!

February Studio News | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been accepted into the 2021 Santa Cruz County Open Studios Art Tour!

It’s been two years since participating in the tour for me and I’m thrilled to welcome you back into my studio again! I’ll have lots of new work to share with you.

Join me October 9th, 10th, 16th & 17th at the Studio

For more information about the Art Tour visit:

The Arts Council of Santa Cruz County

updates from baja…

updates from baja... | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

As much as I love my studio in Santa Cruz, it has been such a calming and restorative experience to spend a few weeks at our property in Baja Sur by myself. I’ve been sleeping outside under the stars and waking with the sun and the birds.

I’ve been able to take care of some projects like getting out solar system up and running and have been organizing and upgrading our glamping situation here. As a bonus, I’ve had visits with my friends and clay people down here and am making plans for some clay workshops and studio time here in the future.

I was even able to get my little Umbel flower which was fired in the last multi-fuel firing at Taller de Terreno and planted it in my cactus garden where it seems very much at home.

I’ll return to my studio soon, but until then, I’m very much enjoying some time in the desert finding inspiration through exploration.

Artists Sharing Artists: Ruth Ju-Shih Li

I met Ruth when she and I were both artists-in-residence in Taiwan and I was so lucky to have her as my studio mate for those three months! Being Taiwanese-Australian, and having had spent time in Taiwan, she knew all the fun places to go and could speak and read the language; without her, I would of missed a lot of cultural opportunities that I’m so grateful I was able to experience. Even simply ordering dinner at a restaurant would of been a different (read: challenging!) experience without her.

In addition to being studio mates for those three months, she happened to also have a solo exhibition during our residency. I was able to help her install her works, learning more about her concepts and process along the way. Her fired porcelain works with imagined flower forms and bird parts are intimidatingly delicate and alluringly gorgeous all at the same time. But I really loved watching her build her ephemeral flower arrangements on antique planter tables over the course of a few days, after which they had water slowly dripping on them for the course of the exhibition, slowly letting them disintegrate. Her work is all about life, time and death taking inspiration from the natural world and the Garden of Eden. I really encourage you to watch the video below about her process of creating these time based pieces, it’s simply beautiful.

Artists Sharing Artists: Ruth Ju-Shih Li | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

About Ruth Ju-Shih Li’s Work: Autobiographical in nature, Li’s ephemeral installations act as a metaphorical meditation on the fragile paradox of life and death in relation to the self, extending onwards to consider the transitory nature of the human condition. Drawing on her personal narrative, diverse cultural and spiritual heritage, Li’s creations partake in the very living creative thought that underlies nature itself and sounds a note of the metaphysical, linking the individual and the universal on the bridge of the spiritual.

You can follow Ruth on Instagram and Facebook or visit May Space Gallery to view more of her work.

Artists Sharing Artists: is a series of posts where I share some of my favorite artists who are also inspired by nature and use their art to protect what they love. More artists coming soon…

closing up shop…but just for a little bit!

Just a heads up that the studio will be closed for just a few weeks!

I’ll be heading south to work on some projects on our property in Baja. Looking forward to some desert adventures, warm ocean waters and catching up with my south of the border friends.

I’ll still be available via email if you need me, the online shop is open 24/7 (shipments will go out when I return but local pickup can be arranged sooner) and all in process projects will still finish on time- promise! I’ll post here on the dirt occasionally to keep you updated.

hasta luego amigos!

Picking Flowers!

umbel series | shop


These fun and funky flowers have been flying out of the studio, but there are just a few left in the online shop, order yours today!


use coupon code: FLOWERPOWER for 30% off discount on your order