public art work in progress…

My days in the studio right now have been bouncing between a few upcoming projects but the piece that is occupying most of the space is a wall mounted work for a new health care building in Santa Cruz. I’ve been making all the ceramic parts and playing with size, layout designs and balancing all of that with the clients needs. It’s a really fun puzzle to work on and it’s starting to come together. It’s also amazing just how much work goes into placing artwork into a public space, like, a gazillion emails, testing, testing and then testing materials some more, plus all the design changes, to make it all just right. In the end, it will be so worth it to see the work shine in it’s space.

back panel tests, the space & sample porcelain pieces

Below is the photoshopped version of what is to come, there will be hundreds of porcelain pieces placed on three separate panels mounted above this workstation that spans approximately 20 feet across. The final piece will get encased in a plexiglass frame to protect the pieces. The curve of the line is based on the shape of the Santa Cruz County coastline while the pieces are based on the skeletal forms of a variety planktons that live in all oceans. I’m pretty excited to start in on this endeavor, entitled ‘Marine Drifters’, and I hope that it makes for an enjoyable place who will work here and see the artwork on a daily basis.

Photoshopped mock up of the final approved design

work in progress…

A few things are going on in the studio these days…

All of these Bone Series parts will be going towards two different exhibits, one is a public art piece for a wall installation at a new health care building in Santa Cruz and the rest (plus many more) will be used on a site specific installation at an exhibition at UCSC’s Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery this fall.

I love how parts sitting around the studio catching the morning light can be just as beautiful as any planned installation I might create. The shadows become just as important at the pieces themselves and it makes you see the pieces in a whole new way.

In additions to all the porcelain Bone Series parts, the big Umbels came back into the studio from their showing in the This is the Anthropocene exhibit and now I’m working on designing stems for them so they can be displayed at Sierra Azul’s sculpture garden as part of Sculpture IS: 2022. It will be fun to see these guys up off the ground and outside.

And on the side, I’m also running some experiments with fusing glass in the kiln. If you’ve seen my resin pieces with the porcelain parts embedded in them, the plan is the same with these pieces but using glass instead of resin. It will be a challenge to get them to be successful but I’m excited about the idea of using a material that isn’t plastic while still getting a similar layered effect with glass… we will see what happens here…fingers crossed!

wrapping up another weird year…

Well, it was better but it was definitely still a weird year.

Despite the weirdness, I was still able to have a pretty successful art year. I had work in five exhibits including one in Taiwan, participated in the Open Studios Art Tour for the first time in two years, installed a large scale site specific piece in Washington State, self-published my third art book, taught a workshop in Mexico in person, taught my first workshop virtually, and I got a new big kiln. Looking back, not too bad…

Outside of my life in the studio, I was thrilled to get vaccinated and be able to see friends and family that I hadn’t seen in a long time, but we also lost some people this year who are dearly missed. And while this year was not nearly the amount of travel and adventure that we normally do, we did get to go back to some of our favorite camping places that had been damaged by last years fires, and spent a few weeks on our property in Mexico, which is my new happy place. And we got a new dog; Bowie, who has become the best studio buddy and hiking partner.

Onward and Upward. Happy New Year everyone!

wip: umbel series

I’ve been working away in my freezing cold studio building large scale Umbel pieces that are bases on fennel flower structures and I’ve started to make some progress. These pieces will be exhibiting at the Harris Center for the Arts Gallery during the NCECA (National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts) conference early next year. My plan is to have three of these in varying sizes installed and I’m about halfway through the second one. If you came by the studio during Open Studios this year, you saw the first finished piece (pictured below).

The second one is larger, five feet across and I’ve been playing with modifying the glazes on this one too. So my days are filled with cutting hundreds of feet of kanthal wire into bits and making -literally- a thousand tiny flower heads that will be placed into each of the larger flowerhead forms. I’m also testing glazes and building the flower body forms which are thrown on the wheel and then trimmed to create a rounded top to the form. In addition, my husband has been welding up the steel structure that all of these parts will get attached to. His math skills have been put to the test getting all the curves and spacing balanced but I think he’s doing an amazing job!

Book Bundles Are Here!

Book Bundle | Shop | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

On Sale Through The End Of The Year!

All three of my art books in one package! Printed versions of ‘a relationship with earth’, ‘where art & nature meet’ and my latest book ‘inspiration through exploration’ are all included in this book bundle.  Each softcover book is 8″x 8″, with full color photos from cover to cover, chronicling my work from 2009 – 2021.

All 3 Books for $60 (reg $70) ORDER HERE

things to be thankful for

As a human, I’m grateful for all-the-things but as an artist, I’m really grateful for…

  1. my gigantic studio space filled with tools and materials that allow me to be creative all day, everyday
  2. my community of artist friends who support me, critique me honestly and share with me
  3. my opportunity to do what i love as my real job

What are you grateful for?


inspired by baja

It was so wonderful to return to my happy place in the desert, work with creative and talented people while also getting some time to just watch the sun move across the sky. In these few weeks, my quartz rock collection grew, I saw more sunsets than I missed, and I watched the whales start to arrive at their southern destination. There is something about the quiet determination to thrive in the desert, that definitely inspires.

My weekend workshop at Barro Sur was a fantastic event, the participants were eager to learn new ways of working with clay and to be inspired by the flora and fauna of the region. Students came from all over to participate in this class. We spent two days building, let the work dry on a very slow bisque firing and then had a glazing opportunity in the days that followed. The results were beautiful and I hope that it inspired everyone to reconnect with the nature that surrounds them. On a personal level, it was great to meet and connect with new members of this small town’s community.

I hope to return again in a few months and get another dose of inspiration, in the meantime I’ll have to hang onto those sunsets in my mind.

Raising Funds for Art Scholarship – Wanna Help?

I’ll be leading a weekend workshop at Barro Sur clay studio in Todos Santos, Baja Sur in November and I want to open a few spots in my class to some aspiring local artists who might not be able to pay for the class themselves.

Want to help me raise funds for them?

I’d love to raise $400 to cover two spaces in my workshop – this will cover the workshop fees and materials each artist would need to participate. If you’d like to help, you can donate any amount via the online shop here.

Thanks so much for sharing the gift of art with others!

Barro Sur is a full service ceramic studio with hand building and wheel throwing community clay classes in Todos Santos, Baja Sur, Mexico. You can follow them on IG to find out more.



So much gratitude for all 900 of you that came through my studio this during this years Open Studios Art Tour. It’s a lot of work to prep for this event but your conversations, thoughtful compliments and purchases make it all worth it! I hope you loved seeing my latest work from the Bone and Umbel Series, it was so fun to have a custom blue wall in the studio and watch you take selfies and family photos in front of it.

Don’t be a stranger throughout the rest of the year, we can keep in touch via social media, by signing up for my email list , do your holiday shopping on the online shop or just make an appointment to visit the studio – I’d love to see you!

Fennel Umbels Almost Done!

I’m hoping to have this piece done to share at Open Studios this weekend, but at the very least, it will be a work in progress to share! I’m really excited about the final steel form that my husband designed and adding on the ceramic flower heads makes it even better. I’m in the process of epoxying on each flower, sanding the connection point to create an even flow between the steel and ceramic and then painting the epoxy to match. It’s a time consuming process but of sanding and adding epoxy, but it’s worth all the effort in the end.

Hope you come see this piece this weekend!