The Ceramic Self

The Ceramic Self


Patti Warashina at work in her Seattle, WA, studio. Opposite page: Branding Iron, 1978, low-fire clay with satin matte glaze, mold made and assembled, h. 21.5 in.

The 1980 article highlighted Patti Warashina's "personal, idiosyncratic expression."

In the April/May 1980 American Craft, art critic Matthew Kangas profiled Patti Warashina as a sculptor with “uncompromising devotion to personal, idiosyncratic expression,” noting parallels between the evolution of her work and many developments in American social history.

Recognized for her mastery of various ceramic techniques, impeccable design sense and often satirical take on the human figure, the Seattle-based artist is a professor emerita at the University of Washington, her alma mater, where she taught for 25 years.

Warashina’s work, widely exhibited, is featured in museum collections here and abroad, including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery and the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan.

Elected to the American Craft Council’s College of Fellows in 1994, Warashina has garnered numerous awards, including the University of Washington Division of the Arts Distinguished Alumna Award in 2003 and the 2001 Twining Humber Lifetime Achievement/Woman of the Year Award from Seattle’s Artist Trust. She was interviewed in 2005 for Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.

In recent years, the versatile artist has ventured into both bronze and printmaking. As we go to press, her first large bronze, City Reflections, a public outdoor sculpture commissioned for Tri-Met in Portland, Oregon, is being cast and installed as part of the Northwest Sculpture Collection. Her explorations while working on this sculpture led to a new series of ceramic work—“Conversations”—on view, with oth-er works by the artist and by potter Ron Meyers, through November 8 in the Northern Clay Center’s “2009 Regis Master Series Exhibition” in Minneapolis. She says of her array of interests, “It seems that each area asks more questions than time allows, as life is fleeting, so it’s important to follow your passions.”