Save the Date: Take Aways: Art to Go 2018

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | nest series


Pajaro Valley Arts Council’s annual fundraiser exhibit, Take Aways: Art to Go opens January 17 with a reception on January 21st from 2-4pm. The exhibit runs until March 4th and showcases local artists work all priced under $250. When you buy a piece from this show, you take it with you and the artist replaces it with a new work. I’ll be participating with work from Nest and Bone Series, so if you’ve wanted to add one of these pieces to your collection, now is the time!




Take Aways: Art to Go
Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery
37 Sudden St Watsonville CA
January 17th – March 4th
Opening Reception January 21st 2 – 4pm

Packing Up for the Bioneers

This Thursday I’ll be heading up to the north bay to install my Hive Series at the Bioneers Conference. This piece might be my most traveled piece of art, it has been installed in Grand Rapids Michigan, Portland Oregon and in multiple shows all over California as well as in the redwood forests and now it is headed to the north San Francisco Bay area. I’m honored to be showing my work alongside a number amazingly talented artists, check it out if you can!Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | in the field | hive series

See this piece in person at the conference October 20 – 22 at the Marin Center in San Rafael CA, tickets available here…

About the Hive Series:
The Hive series is inspired by the natural balance between strength and fragility, curiosity and avoidance, security and vulnerability. These concepts are explored using a geometric configuration of multiple ceramic forms. The combination of these elements create an abstract interpretation of a hive structure both physically and conceptually that creates a dynamic visual for the viewer. This installation is comprised of almost 200 individual diamond shaped forms of clay with holes cut and carved into one half of them.

Nest with Blue Pods

Did you know that this piece qualifies for FREE SHIPPING?

After making dozens of ceramic nests, there are only two large nests left available in this limited series. This once greets me as I walk into my studio and casts the most beautiful shadows when the morning sun comes through my studio door.

Nest with Blue Pods | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

This nest has three blue slate colored pods that are fused to the bottom of the outer shell, the pods are visible but also shielded by the outer webbing.

All of the pieces in this series are hand-built, hand-carved and created with a unique process that fuses the inner pieces to the outer. They are made from high fired stoneware and each piece is original and unique.

$425. Free Shipping available until February 28th


Last chance for the small Nest Series

This is it! These are the last four of the small size from my Nest Series, out of 100+ that I’ve made. I’m not making anymore, so this is it- your last chance to get one for yourself!

Last Chance for Small Nest Series | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Only $45 each in my online shop and they make a very unique gift for the art & nature lover in your life.To learn more about the Nest Series and to order yours today, click the link below…

Shop: Small Nest Series 

My Art, Your Space: Cruz Family

Here’s this week’s share from the Cruz Family:

“I am amazed by how each piece is intricately made.  And, these two pieces look like they were meant to be together.  One is growing and exploring out of its shell. The other one is still nesting and carefully watching.  

These two pieces are suspended by hidden wires placed high on my loft’s wall.  They cast different shadows depending on the time of day.  They are very cool and one of a kind, I love them.”
My Art, Your Space: Cruz Family | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

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!



And the winner is…

And the winner is... | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Congrats to Misia Buetens and Becky Schmauch for being the winners of our raffle at the 11th Annual Spring Studio Sale!

The Nest Series is about the balance between protecting and trapping. Each nest has an item that is exposed to the viewer through its outer shell but also shielded by its webbing. In some, the inner items are attempting to escape but are then left vulnerable to the elements. These pieces are hand-built, hand-carved and created with a process that fuses the inner pieces to the outer.

‘A Relationship with Earth’ A hardcover catalog of the artwork created by sculptor Jenni Ward from 2009 – 2011. This includes images of work from the Nest, Branch, Sprout and Hive Series.

Visit the studio at our next event for another chance to win raffle prizes!

“Inky chose liberty over security.”

This may be my most favorite line from any NPR article, “Inky chose liberty over security.”

The article chronicles the great escape of an octopus named Inky from its tank at the National Aquarium of New Zealand to the open ocean. I have always thought octopus were beautiful and engaging creatures. I’ve loved seeing them used as imagery from early Greek pottery to modern artwork produced today. There is something alluring and arcane about these creatures that seems to of spanned time and cultures. Learning how intelligent and sensitive they are only adds to their mystery.
Inky chose liberty over security | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture
The reason that I’m bringing this article to your attention beyond my own fascination with these creatures is because of the words ‘liberty over security’ used in the article. Those concepts are exactly the theme explored in my Nest Series and this particular piece came to mind. I imagined Inky squeezing his way one tentacle at a time from the safety and security of his tank towards the freedom the open ocean brings just as these fragile ceramic forms wiggle outside their shell and risk breakage. But there is a beauty that comes from the vulnerable moments in these chances we take to live beyond the walls and limits of our own world.

Hopefully Inky is out there enjoying his freedom and has taught us a lesson to not be afraid to leave the safety of the tank for a taste of adventure and liberty.

To learn more about the Nest Series…

To learn more about Inky and The National Aquarium of New Zealand…

Looking Back…

Going through old photos and cds over the weekend and I discovered some gems, I’ll share some goodies with you over the next week of posts. The thing that was amazing was seeing the continuity of my work over a decade of making it.Looking Back | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

The piece on the left was made in 2001, with some leftover clay I managed to snag, fired in someone else’s kiln before I had my own studio and carved with a sandblaster at someone else’s studio I was working at then. Basically, I was just out of school didn’t have the equipment or studio space but somehow I managed to create this piece and someone bought it the first time I exhibited it at a local show. And I still kinda like it, which is rare for older work.

The piece on the right was made in 2013. This one was made with a clay I knew would work best for this process, it was tended to, carried carefully around the studio, padded with foam as it dried to help insure its survival. It was one of over a hundred pieces in this series, had hours of trial and error to make it not collapse in the firing process. It too sold at its first exhibit and I still like it.

Over a decade of working with the same form, the same technique of removing clay, still trying to find the balance between the organic and geometric and still not sure if I’ve figured it out yet. I love that the process of learning and creating never seems to have an end.

More from the Nest Series here…

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

Limited Pieces from the Nest Series

Don’t these Nest Series pieces look perfect on this rough wood table? There are only a few more from this limited series available in the Shop, be sure to get one before they’re all gone! Prices range $45 and up and they make for a very unique gift for the creative person in your life. To learn more about the Nest Series, click here.

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | installations | residential