Thank You UPS…

thank you ups | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Being thankful for UPS is not part of my daily thoughts as I usually have more issues than gratefulness for the company but today I’m going to go out on a limb and say “Thank You UPS.”

You may remember earlier in the year there was a piece from the Bone Series that was on its way to NYC for an exhibit and it just never arrived, even though UPS said it did- it didn’t. It was a bummer to lose the piece, to not be able to be included in the show and to also have to battle the gauntlet of UPS claims department.

I processed the claim, dealt with multiple phone calls, emails, paperwork and random processing issues but after months passed, I pretty much considered it a loss. Much to my surprise, nearly 5 months later the battle has ended and I received my claim reimbursement check in the mail today. The irony is that it is for just shy of the same amount I still needed to help me cover my Iceland Residency fees. So, today I thank UPS for helping me get to the end of my fundraising needs and now my residency will be a reality. Wahoo!

All that said, if you still want to donate, you still can! Any extra funds will help me cover materials, getting artwork I make back to my studio and all the incidentals that I’m forgetting about but always add up. Thank you so much to everyone who has become a patron of the arts and made this happen for me. It takes a village to raise an artist and I’m so grateful for your support.

I look forward to sending out surprise gifts to all of you who contributed (and no, UPS isn’t getting one!).

Become a Patron Here…

 

Week four of my residency at Buffalo Creek Art Center

This is my fourth and final week here on the ranch and it’s bittersweet to be leaving for sure.

Week four of my residency at Buffalo Creek Art Center | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

This week, the dream team of artists and art wranglers were treated to a bbq dinner on Lake Tahoe, enjoying good food, good company and an excellent sunset. Back in the studio, I created nine bone spheres encased in terracotta shells, they were a little bit of an experiment and I lost 3 in the firing but there is definitely some potential with those guys that I’m very excited about! I also finished assembling all the parts of my newest porcelain and terracotta Bone Series inspired pieces, photographed them, sold one and got the rest up in the online shop.

Today, I started packing things up and prepping myself for the journey back in normal life again and while it will probably take awhile to absorb it all, right now, I just have so much gratitude to Steve, Lana, Mel, Bill, Harry & Austen for making this a fantastic experience and especially for my husband Nate who’s been holding down the fort back home this whole time.

Week two of my residency at Buffalo Creek Art Center

Even thought the two pieces in this photo didn’t survive, I feel like I made some progress this week…
Week two of my residency at Buffalo Creek Art Center | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

I was able to get a few kiln firings going, which really let me know where I stood on my experiments. I had a few collapses and a little breakage but I also got a few gems out of the kiln. The flanged bone forms and the aspen leaf forms I was playing with actually became beautiful translucent porcelain pieces. These results gave me the confidence to go ahead and make more pieces improving on my building and slow-drying techniques. I’ve kind of decided that if I can figure out how to build these ultra fragile porcelain pieces (which require the slowest of drying process possible to succeed) in the desert, in summer and get good results- I’m golden.

Week two of my residency at Buffalo Creek Art Center | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Oh! And as a side adventure… you know that 10,000+ foot peak that was just begging to be hiked from outside my studio window, yeah… we bagged that peak!

Week two of my residency at Buffalo Creek Art Center | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

 

Week one of my residency at Buffalo Creek Art Center

Buffalo Creek Art Center was as beautiful as the website had promised when I pulled in last Friday. Its back nestled into the eastern Sierras with Carson Valley laid out in front, each nook of the property offers a new corner to explore. And off the property, there are lots of mountains waiting to be hiked!

Week one of my residency at Buffalo Creek Art Center | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

On my first day here, I set up my studio space with a large window over looking the mountains and was also introduced to one of my studio mates Harry Pollit who was working on carving an abstract wax form that will later be cast into glass. Our other studio mate Austen Brantley, who creates figurative work in clay, joined us a few days later and the three of us have settled into a rhythm of studio life.

Week one of my residency at Buffalo Creek Art Center | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

I got to work using two different types of porcelain that I had wanted to experiment with to attempt to create very thin edged forms similar to those in my Bone Series but a little more delicate. It’s pretty warm here and it’s hard to get these thin forms to dry slowly, so cracks started forming quickly, I also lost a few pieces to wind and general studio casualties but the survivors are loaded in the kiln and we’ll see how well they do in the firing. In the meantime, I also have been taking the time to work on some tedious umbel forms that I just never gave myself the time to create in my own studio. It’s been an interesting first week of my residency and I’m looking forward to the next three. Tomorrow I’ll unload the first bisque, assess the experiments and continue the problem solving from there.