new work

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | new work

 

When I start out with new pieces, I feel like I have to get to know them for a while before I figure out what I’m doing with them. These pieces are pinched flanges with wide bases and range in size have a feeling of fungus growth or mushroom gills which is probably inspired by my hikes through the redwood forests this time of year when the mushrooms are flourishing. The pieces are very reminiscent of my Lichen Series too but I’m not exactly sure yet how similar they will end up. I really like the look of how they layer when stacked next to each other, it reminds me of a mountainous landscape with each ridge line creating a new horizon.  I’m designing them to be wall mounted for an indoor installation, but I’m also thinking about where I might arrange them for an in the field installation as well. Stay tuned and we’ll see where this creative journey goes…

 

Tower of London Poppy Installation

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | Tower of London poppy installationFor a while, images of the Tower of London covered in red poppies swarmed the internet and social media, the installation was impressive from any standpoint. Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, included 888,246 ceramic poppies pouring out of a window in the Tower of London and progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat, each poppy represented a British military fatality during the war. You can see images and learn more about this installation here…

When the installation was taken down, all of the poppy flowers were sold and the money raised was divided among charities. One of my amazing clay students was able to buy a few of the poppies before they were all sold and I was so lucky to receive one from her as a gift! How cool is that??

The packaging and documentation that came along with the flower was impressive as well. I just love this installation and I’m so excited to have a little bit of it at my studio now!

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | Tower of London poppy installation

Rock Candy River Installation

Today, with the help of my artist friend Susana Arias and the staff at Pacific Edge Climbing Gym, I installed my Rock Candy River sculpture. I’ve spent at least two days a week at the climbing gym for years now, and its a place where I’ve found friendships, challenges and trust. I’m so excited to share this new installation Rock Candy River with the community of climbers who use this space. The installation is inspired by the flow of water and how it shapes the land. The hard angled shapes juxtapose the curvy flow of the form to create a dynamic visual engagement. And yes, it’s also inspired by my time grabbing colorful holds at Pacific Edge too!  More pics to come soon….Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | rock candy river installation

Photo shoot day

I got the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite homes in Santa Cruz in order to shoot some work that has lived there for quite a few years now. Its modern, earthy, cozy, minimalist and filled with art… I could move in tomorrow!  Enjoy some pics from the photo shoot in my Residential Installations portfolio…

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | photo shoot day

My Art, Your Space: Goldstein Family

I asked for you to send me photos of my art in your space, thanks to all of you that did! I’ll slowly be sharing them as posts in The Dirt. I love seeing where my art ends up and hearing why you connect with a piece. Thanks for sharing!

Here’s this weeks share from the Goldstein Family:
Jenni’s forms are very happy in our living room. They look like they were created just for our space.

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | My Art, Your Space: Goldstein Family

Art in a Box Subscription

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | Art In a BoxHow about a unique piece of art landing in your mailbox every month? Ever join a wine of the month club? This is sort of the same thing, except that you get a piece of amazing art from a California artist every month and I’m one of the artists you can get art from!

Operating on the model of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or wine subscription service, Art in a Box offers amazing original works of art instead of vegetables or wine. The ART IN A BOX subscription service runs out of The Compound Gallery in Oakland CA , you can click the link for details and how to sign up. Lena & Matt Reynoso are the husband and wife team behind this endeavor and all of the amazing projects they have going on at the gallery. If you’re a Bay Area local, be sure to check them out for art openings and events- they will not disappoint! They pride themselves on their excellent reputation, attentive customer service, and high quality of collectible artwork by cutting edge artists. I’m so proud to be included in this group of artists!

ART IS GOOD FOR YOU!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

What is it?

Visual artists are often asked to explain their work through a tedious bit of copy called an “Artist Statement”. Its just about the most dreadful thing to have to create as an artist and its the first thing any application or gallery or curator will ask you to provide. Ultimately, you need it, and you need it to explain clearly and concisely: why do you make your art?, what inspires you and what is it?  The other thing is that your artist statement is always evolving, just as your work evolves, so you can’t just write this up and use it for the rest of your artistic life, you need to update, write and re-write…

In your head, you instinctively know the answers to these questions, but can verbalize them all in a few minutes? Probably not. It takes me the better part of a day to create these few precious lines and I’ll still revisit them days or weeks later to make sure I’m still making sense. BUT, there is an upside to this process. Once you slug through all the deep thoughts of your art and ideas, you appear on the other side with some very clear ideas about who you are and what you do- this is so empowering as an artist. For me, I find it clears away some of the clutter and allows me to focus on what is really important to my work- from a technique, a conceptual idea or just my purpose.  It also gives the viewer/buyer of your work a story or an understanding of what your work is about, and if you can tell your story clearly, they can spread your story clearly to others. So I invite you to read my latest artist statement, feedback is the best medicine for a new statement, so please click the link: About and let me know what you think!

On this same topic, I encourage you to watch Shea Hembrey’s Ted Talk on “How I became 100 artists” where he impersonates 100 fictional artists for an exhibition and needs to create a statement and body of work for each artist – his guidelines include the fact that his grandmother needs to understand what each artist’s work is about. Its very clever, so enjoy!

 

Have you collected art from me?

When you come to the studio to buy art or order art online at the shop, I pack it up and happily send it on its way to you but rarely do I get to see where my art ends up and lives out the rest of its life. Will you show me?Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | have you collected art from me?

If you’ve collected my art, this is a call for you to send me photos of where you’ve put my art in your home or garden space. I would love to share your photos here on a future blog post. I’m hoping to inspire others to see how art can enhance their space and make everything just feel good. I know that we don’t need art in the same way that we need food and clothing but I really believe that we need art to help us feel connected to others and the world at large. My home isn’t filled with stuff (I’m a minimalist at heart!) but it does have its fair share of art and those pieces are thoughtfully collected and some of the most important things that I own. Surrounding myself with art instead of stuff, means that everything has a story, a place or a person attached to it and I love that. I hope that my work gives you the same feeling and becomes a connected part of your home and life.  I’m looking forward to seeing our photos of my work in their new homes!

Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture | the dirt | have you collected art from me?

My share: This is my dining room table/multi-purpose space/occasional office, I keep a rotating selection of found objects and artwork here all the time. The figurative sculpture is from my Haitian artist friend Racine Polycarpe, the print from my sister-in-law Kristen O’Neill, the fish painting I just picked up from my friend Susun Gallery in Hawaii, a ceramic bowl from a village in Mexico, a copper stamp for batik wax printing that I found at the flea market, a stick with amazing textures my husband found in the Mojave Desert, a glass doorknob from the house I grew up in, a bowl of corks from every celebration, a small Nest from my own work and some seashells and rocks from my local explorations sitting on a stone plate. This is what I surround myself with, this is what inspires me. What about you?

 

A few photo specs:
Take a minute to look at your lighting and shadows and try to capture your shot at the best timing for lighting. Move extraneous stuff (water bottle, tv remote etc…) out of the shot. I will resize and edit the photos for you, so just send me what you’ve got and also let me know if its ok to use your name along with your photos in my future posts and any other info you want to share about the pieces you’ve collected. Please email your photos to jw@jenniward.com