5th Annual Clay & Glass Exhibit Opens

5th Annual Clay & Glass Exhibit at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts opens

Saturday May 28th 5 – 7pm

I have two installations from my Bone Series in this show, one is suspended from the 20’ceilings and the other spread out over and 8′ wall, I’m really happy with both of these installations and hope that you get a chance to get there to see the show. It will be up until July 17th. Here’s a sneak peek…

5th Annual Clay & Glass Exhibit Opens | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Installation in Progress for Sculpture IS:

Sculpture IS: turns 10 and there are lots of events planned to celebrate!

Yesterday, I installed 3 pieces from the Vine Series at Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery for the “In the Gallery” exhibit of Sculpture IS, co-curated by the amazing and talented Susana Arias and Hedwig Heerschop. Ironically, made in 2006, these vines are also celebrating their 10 year anniversary too! I love the way these guys seem to crawl across the walls of the gallery.

This show is going to be incredible with over 80 unique sculptures making their way into the gallery. The show opens May 4 with a reception for the artists and demos on May 15th at the gallery.  But you don’t have to wait that long, come to the Artist Demos & Talks at Cabrillo Gallery on May 5th  12:30 – 3:30 to learn more about some of the incredible sculptors participating in this exhibit.

Demos by Jaime Abbott, Ingrid Marianne, Payson McNett, Cynthia Siegel, Victoria May, Angela Gleason and Beverly Rayner with artist talks by Rose Sellery, Cynthia Siegel, Roy Holmberg and myself. I’ll be giving a talk about my work, my inspiration and using nature as my gallery space. I hope to see you there!

Installation in Progress for Sculpture IS: | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

My Art, Your Home: Dalzell Family

So, full disclosure, I was a ‘Dalzell’. Yup, these are my parents and they are supporters of the arts (including my art!). I got to take a snapshot of one of my newest pieces in their home when I was back visiting a few weeks ago. This one is from the Rock Candy Series and while I designed these to be wall mounted, they look great as a centerpiece for a table too. My parents live along a waterway that leads out to the bay and they’ve decorated with lots of underwater themed art work and colors, so the driftwood in these pieces goes perfectly with the feel of their home.

My Art, Your Home: Dalzell Family | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

If you’d like to see the last few in this series, they are available in person at Good Life Ceramics Gallery or in the online shop.

I love seeing where my art ends up and hearing why you connect with a piece. If you have some of my work that you’d like to share, please email me! Thanks for sharing!



Kristen O’Neill answers “How long did it take to make that?”

The re-post below is from my sister-in-law, painter Kristen O’Neill. She is a fantastic contemporary landscape painter who paints portraits of places in nature. She finds the essence of those spaces and lets you into that world. I’m so lucky to have her paintings in my house and her skilled eye to critique me when I’ve lost my artistic way. The post below is her answer to the question every artist has heard at an exhibit, “How long did it take to make that?” I’ve thought about writing my own answer to this question but I really couldn’t say it any better…

By the way, you can commission or buy a painting from her here: Kristen O’ Neill Art    Enjoy!

How long did it take to paint that?

The most common question I hear at a gallery opening or a festival show is “how long did it take you to paint that?”

It is a fair question. It is also an easy and safe question. People ask this when they are interested in my work and my process. They may possibly be asking in relation to my price (is it really worth $800?).

I want to have an answer for you. But I don’t. Not because I haven’t tracked my hours spent at my easel (because I have). Not because I lost track of how many hours went to that particular painting (I may have, but could rough out an answer because I know my process). The truth lies in the fact that the question is too small for my answer.

Let’s pretend I spent 20 hours on it, in front of the easel time. That is probably the answer I should give, but it is an incomplete answer.

I spent 5 minutes mixing the gray for the rock.

I spent 15 minutes mixing an EXACT copy of that color when I realized I wanted to change the way the edge of that color interacted the next day and no longer had the color mixed on palette.

I spent 20 minutes on clean up (brush cleaning, palette scraping, general clean up tasks) every time I was interrupted for more than a few minutes, or at the end of each painting session. Or when the baby decided she really wasn’t going to take that nap.

I spent a lot more time just looking at it. There is a great scene in the Netflix show “Grace and Frankie” where Lily Tomlin’s character states that she and her painting “aren’t talking right now.” As I write this I am currently casting sidelong looks at an uncooperative painting. Earlier I was trying the silent treatment. The painting always wins these silent wars. I have kept works in progress in my bedroom. I stare at them as I fall asleep, and when I wake up I am looking again for some sort of answer I swear it must have in it. Often I find my answer. Sometimes I find that my answer is that I have a critical error and must start again.

This painting hangs in my bedroom. I’ve spent countless hours staring at it.“Amongst the Redwood Sorrel” from the Henry Cowell series.

My favorite painting is one that I hang in my bedroom in and find no areas that I want to fix.

But if we put what I’ll call “skill development” aside there is still research and inspiration. I am currently working on a series centered around the beautiful Umpqua National Forest. It takes time to drive there, and hike to the spots that I am painting. I took over 850 photos on my last hike. It would have been more, but I ran my battery completely down from a full charge. Sometimes when I take a photo I know I will be painting that scene. Something feels right. Sometimes I spend a couple of hours pouring over the images figuring out which  are the closest that show what I felt from the place.I have painted since my first watercolor set in preschool. But lets discount the first 15 years of painting and go with college level and beyond. When I make a painting now, it isn’t a stand alone moment. It is years of practice and learning and experimentation poured into it. It is a slow development of techniques. Hours of practice mixed with hours of research. Hours of time spent in museums, galleries, festivals and fairs looking at art.

More then once I have had to return to the very spot to solve a problem. What does it look like with more sunlight? Was that a far away tree or a close up branch? What happened in that dark spot there? Often the issue is color. The camera decisions and my decisions are not the same. It likes to turn the whole world blue when I’m not looking.

So when you ask me how long it took, I’ll say 20 hours. But feel free to ask me more because that isn’t the real answer.

Little River at Wolf Creek Trailhead

“Little River at Wolf Creek Trailhead” is an example of my Umpqua National Forest series.

In this painting you can see the smooth yet contoured river bed rocks that are normally under several feet of water. During the drought they became visible and made these interesting and graphic patterns. It was fun to explore them with painterly brushstrokes. I also loved the way the late afternoon sun broke apart as it fell across them. Like it was hopping across the river rock.

This painting is available for sale here and took 5 hours to paint, a 3 hour hike, and 3 hours in the car round trip, not including bathroom breaks for the kids.

My Art, Your Space: Gilson Family

I love seeing where my art ends up and hearing why you connect with a piece. If you have some of my work that you’d like to share, please email me! Thanks for sharing!  This share is from the Gilson Family, whom I have known my whole life. My parents welcomed them into their new home with a piece from my Nest Series. I love how my abstract, rustic style work still blends so well on the mantle with their ceramic figurines. Here’s what they have to say about this piece…
My Art, Your Space: Gilson Family | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

We are enjoying your sculpture that we received as a house warming present from our very dear friends, your parents.  We read on your website that this creation is part of your nest series depicting the balance between protecting and trapping.
We’ve always felt that art can be interpreted so many ways and at times different than how the artist sees it.  We’re taking some liberty with our interpretation of this art sculpture to share with you: “when we look at your sculpture we see a new life form beginning in the nest sprouting a vibrant aqua stem which we visualize as the beginning of life and growth which correlates to our new journey involving moving into a new nest sprouting growth and vibrant new beginnings”.   Life is a wonderful journey…  Thank you for creating such unique art!!!
Patty and Ed Gilson

Last Reminder: Free Shipping February Ends Soon!

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | Last reminder: Free shipping February Ends Soon!This is it! The final week of Free Shipping February! This offer ends on Monday February 29th, so get your orders in before next Monday to take advantage. Nearly all the work in the shop qualifies for this offer if you are shipping within the US. Enter code LOVEFREESHIPPING at checkout and the shipping fees are on me!


Free Shipping Reminder!

Just a reminder that it’s Free Shipping February so be sure to take advantage of it and explore our online shop! Enter LOVEFREESHIPPING at checkout and the shipping fees are on me. Here’s a selection of pieces available to bring intrigue to your creative place…

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | new work available
Rock Candy Series
Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | relics of the tide opening
Bone Series
Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | life imitates art
Nest Series

“My mission is to create abstract interpretations of nature through thoughtfully crafted ceramic sculptures that reconnect you with the natural world.” -jw

Repost: The Potter’s Cast Interview

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | repost: The Potter's Cast Interview

In case you missed it or would like to revisit an interview I did with Paul Blais; host of The Potter’s Cast, way back in October of 2014, here’s the link: Episode 48 | Jenni Ward | Art as a Business

About The Potter’s Cast:
My name is Paul Blais. I am the founder and host of The Potters Cast. I am what I call a functional hobbyist. In other words, I am a potter that makes and sells functional pottery, but more as a hobby than as my main source of income. My main goal with The Potters Cast is to serve the community of ceramic artists and potters around the world by bringing interviews of other ceramicists straight to you. My hope is that while these shows are listened to that you will be challenged, encouraged, and inspired for your own creative endeavors.

Art to Go Video

Take Aways: Art to Go opened this Sunday at the Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery in Watsonville. If you were at the opening, you know it was swamped with artists and art supporters and work was flying off the walls. I took a quick video walk through of the exhibit but I think I captured more people than art- so you’ll have to check the show out for yourself. Remember that this exhibit is constantly changing as work is sold, new work replaces it, so check it out – often!