Making Progress…

These are just studio shots of my work-in-progress public art project, so please pardon the dirty walls! I wanted to share all of the progress I’ve made on this project, dare I say that I’m in the home stretch!?! …well, with the building and assembling part of the project anyway… there’s still crating, shipping AND installing to go!

I start on the floor laying out the ceramic discs in a composition that I think will work best for the space, then I start connecting all the pieces together with the steel cables. Once I have a good idea of where the connection points to the wall will be, I will group a few tails together and assign them an anchor point. Then the paper template goes up on the studio wall and I place the anchors. For now I’m just using screws in the wall, the final installation will have some really nice eyebolts for anchor hardware. Then I start to hang the crazy web of parts, it’s a little tricky since everything is moving and could break if they knock into each other.

Next up is the editing process, adjusting of all the cables to be functional and visually dynamic. Gravity effects these installations in ways that I could never predict when assembling on the floor, so there are always cables to be cut and replaced. Once everything is connected, I usually just stare at them for awhile. I take the time to see if some part catches my eye and needs to be changed or if a piece needs to be added or subtracted. When I feel I’ve got them all in their happy places, I’ll mark the template for the final anchor locations and remove the paper template to photograph them.

There are 6 installation locations for this project and I’m down to the finishing up the final one, but it’s also the largest one at over 16′ wide, so it will be quite the challenge. Below are some images of the smaller ones that are completed and ready for packing up. Can’t wait to see these all finish in their permanent home soon!

Making Progress... | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Work in Progress…

Here’s a little catch up on what’s been going on in the studio these days and why I’ve been posting a little less than usual!

Work in Progress... | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Work on my public art project for the University of Florida Gainesville campus has taken over the studio. All the hardware and parts for the installation have been decided upon and ordered, massive amounts of clay and glazes were picked up and paper templates of the areas art will be placed were made. So, it was time to just start making a ton of parts and now, my days have been filled with hours and hours of carving holes in the ceramic discs. I’ve piled up about 100 finished pieces so far with more still drying or waiting for a ride through the kiln. So I started laying the finished pieces out on the paper templates I’ve made and I’m pretty pleased with the progress so far and I’m looking forward to seeing it installed in September!

big big big news!

Over the past few months, you may have picked up on little blips about me working on a pitch for a public art project in Gainesville Florida. In November, I was selected as one of two finalists for the second stage of this call for art. I did a site visit in January, meeting with staff, students, and the architects who designed the new space which was based on the theme of biophilia (the human and nature connection). And since then I’ve been quietly getting my paperwork together, organizing my slides, tweaking my budget and drastically improving my photoshop skills to get ready for this meeting. Last Friday was the day to deliver and… I’m so thrilled to announce that I got the contract! 

The image above is a photoshopped mock-up of the Bone Series wall web installations in the stairwell of the Career Connections Center on the University of Florida Gainesville Campus. I’ll be using all four walls of the stairwell space to create these installations flowing through the space. I’m so excited to get started on this project and I can’t wait to see it up. Although, it will be many more months of building and designing the exact layout of all the pieces before it ships out and goes up, but I’ll be sure to share my work in progress. 

Thanks to everyone who crossed their fingers and sent me positive vibes! It worked!

the death of a blog…

I’ve come to realize that I’ve been creating posts here on ‘the dirt’ less and less lately, even missing whole weeks altogether. This is usually the tell-tale signs that the death of a blog is inevitable. BUT, I’m here to share or rather admit that I feel like I haven’t had all that much to share lately and that it is NOT the death of a blog but rather a respect for your time to only bring you posts when I really have something to share.

So what have I been doing you ask?

where art & nature meet exhibit | installations | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Well, to be honest, the death of my dog Indigo early in the year really drained me of a creative flow and it’s been hard to start new ideas with enthusiasm, but I’m getting there. And so instead of spending tons of time in the studio creating, I’ve been spending time in nature refueling my creativity. I’ve also been working on the not so glamorous side of being an artist; applying for grants, pitching project ideas & prepping for upcoming events – mostly online computer work. Fingers crossed that something creative comes from all this screen time!

I have also been preparing for this fall when I leave for a three month residency in Taiwan, it will be a long time away from my home base and I’m trying to mentally and physically prepare myself and the studio for that length of absence. In the next few months, I have some private art events happening, and the annual Sculpture IS: exhibit will be here before you know it. In the meantime, you can always pick up work in the online shop – especially check out the new Trinket Necklaces!

So, this is not the death of a blog… I’ll be in touch. Promise.


My work tends to go through many transformations in it’s lifetime. These past few weeks I’ve been working on reworking all the parts from the Relic Series. They started their origins as individual parts installed on a rock formation in Los Padres National Forest, then a wall mounted installation for a museum exhibit, then they made their way into a high end restaurant in Los Gatos, now they are being transformed again for an outdoor sculpture garden. The more I go through this process, the better I get to know the pieces and their potential, often it triggers new ideas and results in an evolution of the series. Looking forward to finding homes for these pieces soon and seeing what happens next!

where art & nature meet exhibit | installations | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture
Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant | installations | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture
transformations... | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture


…until the ‘pretty-much-never-happens-sale’ comes to an end. All of the smaller works were snatched up in minutes but there are still 7 pieces from the framed Bone Series still available. And I get it, they’re bigger ticket items, they take up more space, you’ve got to think about it a little longer before investing in a larger more expensive pieces of art- totally understandable. BUT, if you’ve been thinking about collecting these pieces, I promise you that they will never be more affordable than right now- you could even think of it as a BOGO sale and it will only last until the end of March.

ps: need to set up a payment plan to acquire these guys? no problem, just drop me an email and we’ll make it happen!

Shopping online….

Most of us buy everything online from cars to deodorant, so why not art?

I know it can be scary to buy things site unseen, but if you buy art from my online shop and you decide that you don’t like it or it just wasn’t what you thought it was, you have 7 days to return it, no problem. Also, if you have questions, want to see more photos of the piece, or want to set up a payment plan, no problem – just drop me an email and I’d be happy to work with you.

In addition to the insane Bone Series sale going on, there are quite a few items available in the online shop that are looking for happy homes. There is only one piece from the Nest Series left, three Hive Series, four from the Specimen Series, and a selection of Rock Candy pieces. As I mentioned before, I will not be participating in the Santa Cruz County Open Studios event this October, so this is really a great opportunity to collect some new work!

where art & nature meet exhibit | installations | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

If you are local you can chose free pick up at the studio and if you order over $900 worth of art, you qualify for free shipping!


dem bones… are on sale!

I was astounded that my month long Bone Series sale lasted all of one day, but I’m so happy all of the work went to new happy homes .

I also want to announce that I just took down an exhibit and more Bone Series pieces returned to the studio so they are now up on the website and ON SALE 50% OFF for the rest of the month! If you’ve had your eye on one of these guys, they will never be more affordable to add to your collection than right now!

Bone Series | Shop | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

All of these pieces are oversized and qualify for flat rate shipping or free local pick up.

Start collecting here…


wow, is about all I can say… and well, thank you!

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | shop | bone series

If you missed your monthly email blast this March, I did a very unusual thing and put all my work from the Bone Series on sale. Within hours of sending out my email blast, half of my work was sold. By the end of the day only one piece remained.

I was hoping to clear out some of my inventory from the online shop and the studio but I did not expect it all to go at once. So a big thank you to everyone who adopted new art and congrats for being the fastest online art shoppers! To those of you that missed it or missed out on getting the sculptures you had your eye on, as I mentioned there is just one lonely guy (whom I happen to love! ) still left in the shop and nobody likes getting picked last, so someone give this baby a happy home!

And, pay attention to your emails because maybe we’ll do this again someday!

There were many qualified applicants, unfortunately…

I wrote this post in 2016 and it still applies today. In this week alone I’ve applied for 3 things and been rejected from 2 others so I thought I’d revisit this post from the archives… enjoy!

The start of many a rejection letter…no need to read the rest.

Rejection is hard for everyone but when you are an independent artist, you apply for a lot of things; grants, residencies, teaching opportunities, exhibitions, projects proposals. So by default, you get A LOT of rejection letters. I don’t keep an actual count, but I’d estimate that I’ve received at least 40 since the beginning of this year and I haven’t even heard back from all the things I’ve applied for.

Sometimes you get more than one per week and it’s hard to not let self doubt creep in. Especially when a lot of your time goes into researching, custom formatting photos for each application and not to mention the $15 -$25 application fees can really add up. But as artists, we force ourselves not to wallow in it and we drag our asses back out to the studio and keep making art.

There were many qualified applicants, unfortunately... | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Kim Liao recently wrote an article called “Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections A Year”, which discusses the idea of embracing rejection as a goal. The more that you ‘collect’ rejection letters, the more you are applying for, the more practice you get at applying for things, the less you invest in caring about the rejection itself and the odds are you will actually get accepted to a few things too.

While I’ve been rejected from 40+ opportunities to date this year, I’ve also been accepted to at least 10, some of them really amazing, potentially career changing opportunities. The pile of rejection letters next to those few acceptance letters only makes those acceptances even more sweet.