And she’s off!

And She's Off! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculptureYesterday afternoon, my art went out on an adventure! A crate of sculptural parts is on its way to Sweden and I’ll be meeting it on the other side in a few weeks. Fingers crossed that it makes it there ok!

I know I’ve spoken about this before but the pressure of creating installational artwork is always a thrill. I really never know if it will all work out until it has. This installation in Sweden is no exception. I’m shipping all the parts which I hope will arrive ok, then I’m counting on my team in Sweden to help me assemble and install this piece in a place I’ve never been before. I’m also trusting all of my testing and consultations with experts that the clay will be able to survive the winters there. All the moving parts of this project make for a slew of opportunities where everything can go wrong, but that’s all part of the fun!

More to come on this project in a few weeks!

Making Progress…

I’m so thrilled to be making and installing a permanent sculpture in Mariestad Sweden next month, but it is no easy feat of logistics. I never installed a piece internationally in a place I haven’t been to before while working with people I’ve never met, so it’s exciting and nerve wracking at the same time!

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

So far, I’ve tackled international shipping rates, logistics of travel, concerns over the clay being in frozen temperatures, crate building (which really the credit goes to my husband Nate for this one), working between the english and metric system, the physics of installing a top heavy sculpture without potential injury to the general public, and oh yeah, making the artwork. When you have to ask questions like, ‘Will the ground be too frozen to dig a hole for the base of the sculpture?’ or ‘Will the wood on my crate make it through customs without an agriculture concern?’ or answer ‘Yes. Yes, I am boiling my clay in a crock pot to test its absorption rate.’ you know you’ve entered a whole new realm of sculpture installation.

All that said, I’m feeling confident that the artwork will look great, that the team I’m working with will be fantastic, and that the logistics will all fall into place. I also think this is a great learning opportunity for me and it’s been fantastic to be able to reach out to my peers and clay colleagues with questions about their own experiences, it makes me realize that we’re all learning as we go and that the challenge is all a part of the fun! Stay tuned, more to come on this art adventure!

New Sculpture Headed for Sweden!

I’m excited to announce that I have been given the opportunity by the city of Mariestad Sweden to create a unique permanent sculpture for their Off Season Art Gardening program! I’m working on creating two large Umbel forms that will tower over head in a park setting, these will be built in a similar style to the ones I made for Sculpture IS: exhibit this year (see photo on right). The flower buds for the new sculptures will be a repetition of the shapes of the metal structure and will be glazed in a rich bright red reminiscent of the color used on many of the buildings in Mariestad. I hope that these pops of bright color will contrast against the greens and blues of the natural landscape. This piece will be installed early December, so stay tuned for more photos!

New Sculpture Headed for Sweden! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

It takes a village to raise an artist

Thank You! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculptureThese past few months have been a whirlwind of non-stop exhibits, travel and art making, so I wanted to take a moment to share how grateful I am for everyone that has been on this amazing art adventure with me!

To every single person who took the time to ‘like’ a photo, read a blog post I wrote, share my work with your friends, walk in the door to see my exhibits, donate to my art adventures, or buy a piece of art from me – thank you, thank you, thank you. You are the the pieces of the puzzle that make it possible for me to be an independent artist. Every action of support is recognized. I am humbled and grateful to make a living by the support of all of you.

And there’s more exciting art adventures to come…stay tuned!


Two years ago I made the announcement that after 12 years in our home studio, we were moving to the westside of Santa Cruz. It was a huge change for us and we were really excited for all the possibilities. The past two years at Mission Industrial Art Studios has been even more amazing than we could of expected; the community of artists who work there became friends, a 1400 sq ft warehouse became our basecamp and you- the community of art lovers- joined us at events, for classes and drop-in visits- it’s been pretty incredible and we’re so grateful.

Just a few weeks ago, the powers-that-be at Mission Industrial notified all the tenants that due to issues with ADA compliance, it is too high of a liability for the property to be open to the public any longer. Therefore all of the tenants are no longer allowed to participate in art events like Open Studios, hold classes, or have the public come onto the property. Everyone was stunned by the news and it has taken time to digest what this means and how each of us will move forward. And to be honest, we’re not exactly sure how Earth Art Studio is going to move forward yet but I wanted to keep you in the loop.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes... | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

What we do know is that we will not be resuming classes at the studio but we may offer some workshops outside of the studio space, those opportunities will be announced in our monthly email blast. And while, I was delighted to officially be accepted into the Open Studios Art Tour for this coming October, I’m still researching my options for a venue, if a suitable one can’t be found, I may not be participating for the first time in over 15 years.

In the short term, we plan to stay put since the idea of moving the studio again in addition to the lack of spaces available for light industrial artists is daunting but we are keeping our eyes open for options – please let me know of any leads if you’ve got them!

In the meantime, since you can’t visit the studio to buy art any longer, the online shop is open 24/7 for all your art buying needs and will be added to and improved on to make an even better art buying experience for you. I’m also working on more venues to show and sell my work from that are outside of my studio space and will announce those as they happen.

Thanks for sticking with us as we go through these ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch changes!

(also sorry if that song is stuck in your head all day after reading this!)

And the show must come down…

Instead of adventures into the wilderness this weekend, we are headed north to Oregon to take down my exhibit ‘where art & nature meet’ at the Grants Pass Museum of Art. After a year of planning, months of building and weeks of showing; it has finally come time for the days of de-installing.

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

I loved having the opportunity to use this beautiful gallery space to showcase my installations and the ‘in the field’ photographs of them. The response from the viewers who got to see it in person was so positive, I’m over flowing with gratitude from your comments and compliments. For those of you that weren’t able to see it in person, please check out the video here and let me know what you think!

Thank you to everyone at the museum for inviting me into your space with open arms!

New Video: Time Lapse Installing the Rock Candy Series

I realize that my Dirt posts are time-lapse video heavy this week- sorry if it’s too much speedy craziness for you!- but it’s really the best way to share 3 full days of installing a show condensed down into mere seconds. And this one is kind of special because it’s the resolution of my total snafu.

On the morning of day one, I realized I left two boxes at my studio (a 7 hour drive away), BUT by the end of day one, thanks to my amazing studio assistant Nina, they were already packed up and on their way to me. They arrived at 4:30pm on day three and with the help of museum curator Mark they were up on the wall in less than an hour. An amazing recovery for what could of been an epic fail.

The show opens for April’s First Friday… wish me luck!