This video documents two ephemeral installations I created during my month long artist in residence at the Fish Factory Creative Centre in Stoovarfjordur Iceland. The first is from my Umbel Series and is based on Angelica flowers which grow native in the landscape of Iceland. The second is from my Bone Series and is based on radiolarian (single cell planktons) skeletal structures that live in all the oceans of the world.
Please join for an evening of celebrating sculptor Jenni Ward’s bespoke ceramic installation at Cin-Cin Winebar & Restaurant on October 24th from 6-8. Works from the artist’s Bone Series will be for sale.
Staying for dinner after the reception?
Mention Jenni Ward’s name when making your dinner reservation, and receive 20% off a bottle of wine to enjoy with your dinner. More info…
This week is the transition week for me. I stopped building with wet clay early in the week and gave everything a few days to dry out completely, then we loaded up the kiln. It’s still cooling off so you’ll have to wait for next weeks post to find out the results.
But, in the meantime, I took some time to work on some applications for future art events, catch up on office stuff, took the hour long ride to the closest grocery store to refill on supplies but most importantly I’ve started planning out what I’m going to do with all these pieces that I’ve made.
Assuming that everything comes out of the kiln ok…
I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do with the Angelica inspired flower forms. They will be assembled, attached to their metal stems and planted in the hills above the village where I’ve been hiking. I’ll document them in place and then find a permanent place to plant them at the studio. I think they will be too fragile to attempt bringing back home, but if any of you reading this are in Iceland and would like to purchase them- they will be available!
The radiolarian forms I’ve been making I would like to document in the fjord but I’m still figuring out how to photograph them in the water. The challenge mainly being that the water is just too damn cold to jump in their with them as I normally do for a water photoshoot but I’m sure that I’ll be able to figure it out by building some sort of armature and maybe borrowing a kayak or some hip waders? Once the ‘in the field’ photo shoot is done, I’ll be attaching some of these pieces to acrylic circles to give them their microscopic view and I’m going hang the circles. I’m not sure if these will come back to California with me or not yet, it sort of depends on how they can be packaged up. Fingers crossed that my ideas evolve into interesting results!
If things don’t come out of the kiln ok…
I’ll be telling you all about ‘plan b’ next week! Stay tuned!
Building really thin, fragile forms in clay is challenging but what if you’ve figured out how to do that with success, what’s next? You go big! That’s what!
But then, you fail. And really it shouldn’t be called a fail, because what is really happening is a learning experience without anything tangible to show for it in the end. It’s the art of trying. So I gave going big a try, here’s a few images of a basketball sized piece I attempted to make with the same building techniques I have been using on the smaller versions (see the smaller handheld sized one next to it for scale).
It sort of worked but there were some compromised spots that even if I tried to repair them, I’m pretty certain that they would of cracked in the firing process. So rather than waste the space in the kiln and the clay itself, I decided to toss the piece and recycle the clay for another attempt. A few of my studio mates were a little horrified to watch me do that, but the ability to let go is one of the most important lessons clay can teach you. Beyond knowing where the piece was failing, I also thought about how I could preempt those problems in future pieces and I think that I’ve figured it out. That’s not to say that they next one won’t fail too but hopefully I’ll be one step closer to a successful piece I can be proud of showing.
This piece was two full studio days to make and with nothing tangible to show in the end, it’s easy to look at it as a waste of time, but I think that is exactly what these residencies are for. There is time to experiment, time to try and time to fail. Feeling really grateful that I’ve got this time.
This is an experiment with a raw clay form returning to the earth. The piece settled on a bed of seaweed while the waves gently washed in and sped up the reclaiming process. I love the little bubbles and sound of the water permeating the clay. (sorry for the vertical format!)
In the midst of getting ready to leave for Iceland, prepping for Open Studios and having a slew of little pop up art events going on, I’ve also been getting ready for an installation at Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant in Los Gatos. This show will be up for about six months and includes work from the framed Bone Series pieces and a site specific installation of the Relic Series.
This space came with it’s own set of challenges but I think that I was able to over come them to create a really nice exhibit. Here’s a sneak peek of the work, but make sure to get down there and grab a glass of vino while you check out the art! And if you’re interested in purchasing any of these pieces for your own space, you can contact JCO’s Art Haus for details…
Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant
368 Village Lane | Los Gatos CA
Exhibit Reception: October 24th, 6-8pm
The Very Very Rare Affordable Art Fair!
You can pick some of my smaller works at JCO’s Art Haus in Los Gatos along with other notable bay area artists for their annual Affordable Art Fair!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2018
805 University Avenue #E • Los Gatos CA 95032
I work in series. It’s a way for me to use a concept, process or technique and experiment with all the possible variables of those working parts. Generally, I come to an end with a series when I feel satisfied in my exploration or when the series evolves and changes so much that it develops into something completely new, occasionally I revisit a series years later with new inspiration.
I’ve been working in my Bone Series taking inspiration from the forms, textures and structures of bones for many years now with many different results. I don’t think that I’m anywhere close to being done with this exploration but I do think that I’ve created a second generation of this series- which seems weird to me.
When I was at my residency at the Buffalo Creek Art Center and I was experimenting with porcelain, I wasn’t really trying to make something, I was just experimenting with new materials and seeing how far I could push them. What I ended up with was what I’m now nicknaming the Gen 2 of my Bone Series.
Take a look at these two pieces side by side. The one on the left is from 2015 and was used in an In the Field Installation on a shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean, it’s made from stoneware with a matte white glaze and has high temperature wire ‘tentacles’. The one on the right is from last month, made from extremely thin porcelain, no glaze and also has high temperature wire ‘tentacles’. The two are totally different and totally the same. I’ve never had this happen in a series before and I’m not sure where this will lead but I really like the way it’s going so I’m going to follow…
Being thankful for UPS is not part of my daily thoughts as I usually have more issues than gratefulness for the company but today I’m going to go out on a limb and say “Thank You UPS.”
You may remember earlier in the year there was a piece from the Bone Series that was on its way to NYC for an exhibit and it just never arrived, even though UPS said it did- it didn’t. It was a bummer to lose the piece, to not be able to be included in the show and to also have to battle the gauntlet of UPS claims department.
I processed the claim, dealt with multiple phone calls, emails, paperwork and random processing issues but after months passed, I pretty much considered it a loss. Much to my surprise, nearly 5 months later the battle has ended and I received my claim reimbursement check in the mail today. The irony is that it is for just shy of the same amount I still needed to help me cover my Iceland Residency fees. So, today I thank UPS for helping me get to the end of my fundraising needs and now my residency will be a reality. Wahoo!
All that said, if you still want to donate, you still can! Any extra funds will help me cover materials, getting artwork I make back to my studio and all the incidentals that I’m forgetting about but always add up. Thank you so much to everyone who has become a patron of the arts and made this happen for me. It takes a village to raise an artist and I’m so grateful for your support.
I look forward to sending out surprise gifts to all of you who contributed (and no, UPS isn’t getting one!).