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!

New Video! Artist In Residence Iceland

This video documents two ephemeral installations I created during my month long artist in residence at the Fish Factory Creative Centre in Stoovarfjordur Iceland. The first is from my Umbel Series and is based on Angelica flowers which grow native in the landscape of Iceland. The second is from my Bone Series and is based on radiolarian (single cell planktons) skeletal structures that live in all the oceans of the world.

South County Open Studios Starts this Weekend!

South County Open Studios Starts this Weekend! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Open Studios is a free self-guided tour, produced by Arts Council Santa Cruz County, that invites the public into more than 300 artist studios across Santa Cruz County. Open Studios 2018 takes place the first three weekends of October, from 11am to 5pm Saturdays and Sundays.South County: October 6 & 7, North County: October 13 & 14,  All County: October 20 & 21 | 11-5

Looking forward to seeing everyone at my studio on October 13, 14, 20 & 21!

2523 C Mission St | Santa Cruz | Artist #307 in the catalog


The Very Very Rare Affordable Art Fair is Happening!

I will have a selection of smaller works, all priced to sell at JCO’s Affordable Art Fair next weekend! Check out works by over 60 Bay Area Artists at very affordable prices at JCO’s Art Haus in Los Gatos! Meet and greet with the artists opening night!

The Very Very Rare Affordable Art Fair is Happening! | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11   (4  — 9)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12   (10  — 7)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13   (10  — 7)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14   (12  — 6)


week four: artist in residence at the fish factory

This is my final week in the tiny village of Stodvarfjordur in remote eastern Iceland and I can say already that I am definitely going to miss this place. But, I am very excited to do a bit of exploring as I make my way back to Reykjavic driving along the southern coast road. I’m also very excited that my husband Nate will be joining me for that adventure! But before I move on to other adventures, here’s what happened in my very busy last week in Iceland…

week four: artist in residence at the fish factory | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Everything came out of the kiln perfect, which was great. I was able to unload my pieces and start experimenting with all the parts I’d made. We had the luck of having a few days of really nice weather so I decided to start with my ‘in the field’ installation idea of putting the radiolarian inspired forms into the water of the fjord. There were a few technical difficulties in planning this but eventually those got sorted and I got access to a small boat, made some contraptions to hang the pieces from and tested out a few shots with my underwater camera- which came out great! Then, my underwater camera promptly flooded and I was literally dead in the water with this photoshoot idea. So that happened. It appears to be glitch with the all important seal and locking mechanism on the door which protects all the innards. Meh.

week four: artist in residence at the fish factory | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Sooo, while trying to figure out plan b with that whole situation, I started making stems for my Angelica inspired Umbel flowers. These came out beautiful and I was able to take them for a photo shoot in the mountains above the village among the real Angelica blooms. I’m still editing photos and video from that shoot, but it was really fun to see the ceramic flowers mixed in among the real ones, they truly looked like they belonged there.

Since the ceramic flowers are extremely fragile, I decided that I wasn’t going to attempt to bring them home to my studio. But I wanted to display them in a really finished way if I was leaving them at the Fish Factory. So I scoured through the endless supplies of materials here and found some formed acrylic pieces that were heavily scratched but just the right size for making a wall mounted holder for the flowers. I took the time to sand the whole surface of the acrylic to faux frost the surface which hid all the scratches. I also drilled holes to put the stems through and made small anchors to fix the base of each of the stems in place. The whole dealio was mounted in the stairwell leading from the offices to the entrance of the factory, there was a window on one side which cast soft light on the pieces and I think it ended up being a perfect spot for them to live out their lives.

week four: artist in residence at the fish factory | the dirt | Jenni Ward ceramic sculpture

Regarding plan b with the radiolarian forms and underwater photoshoot, I am in contact with the manufacturer about replacement of the camera and in the meantime, my husband is bringing out another one when he comes. So hopefully if the weather cooperates, I still have a chance of getting some really beautiful underwater shots of my radiolarian forms. Once they have taken a dip in the fjord, I have big plans for these forms once I get home. I made a mini experimental version here which I’m also leaving behind. I decided to use this time to play and experiment with new ideas rather than worrying about making finished work or a new body of work. I’m at such a good jumping off point for so many new ideas I want to pursue, I’m just thrilled with my time here and I look forward to really seeing these ideas through when I’m back in my studio.

Thank you again to all of you that made it possible!

Consensus: Iceland is amazing, get here at some point in your life if you can! I’m so grateful for all the other talented artists and the team at the Fish Factory who have become friends and colleagues – they really make this experience unforgettable. And I’m so pleased with the new work, concepts and plans that have been created in such a short time. Only complaint… I have been here for four weeks and I have yet to see the aurora – maybe it’s the universe’s way of telling me I need to come back!