Patti Warashina

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Patti Warashina
Born Masae Patricia Warashina
1940 (age 77–78)
Spokane, Washington
Nationality American

Patti Warashina (born 1940) is an American artist known for her imaginative ceramic sculptures. Her works are in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.[1]

Early life[edit]

The youngest of three children, Warashina was born and raised in Spokane, Washington.[1] She received her B.F.A in 1962 and M.F.A in 1964 from the University of Washington, Seattle, where she studied with sculptors Robert Sperry, Harold Myers, Rudy Autio, Shōji Hamada, Shinsaku Hamada, and Ruth Penington.[2]


Warashina’s work is often humorous, and includes "clay figures placed in imagined environments that show her subversive thinking."[3] She uses sculpture to explore such themes as the human condition, feminism, car-culture, and political and social topics.[4]

As an art student at the University of Washington in the 1960s, Warashina noticed that the environment in the ceramics studio included a somewhat macho culture; women were not included in technical discussions relating to managing the kiln. She began creating a series of figurative works that used humor to skewer this gender imbalance in the field.[5]

In 1962, Warashina had her first solo exhibition at the Phoenix Art Gallery in Seattle. Warashina's first husband was fellow student Fred Bauer, and from 1964 to 1970 she exhibited as Patti Bauer.[2] In 1976, she married Robert Sperry.[6]

She began teaching in 1964 and has taught at Wisconsin State University, Eastern Michigan University, the Cornish School of Allied Arts, and the University of Washington.[7] During the 1970s and 1980s, Warashina, Sperry, and Howard Kottler ran the ceramics program at the University of Washington's School of Art, growing it into one of the best-known in the United States.[8] Warashina has been associated with the California Funk movement and was included in a survey of ceramic Funk Art in an ASU Ceramic Research Center's exhibition, "Humor, Irony and Wit: Ceramic Funk from the Sixties and Beyond" in 2004.[9] In 2012, the American Museum of Ceramic Art introduced a retrospective exhibition "Patti Warashina: Wit and Wisdom" in Pomona, California and in 2013, the Bellevue Arts Museum showcased "Patti Warashina: Wit and Wisdom."[1]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

Warashina is nationally recognized for her work. In 1994, she was elected to the American Craft Council's College of Fellows. She received the Twining Humber Lifetime Achievement/Woman of the Year Award (2001) from the Seattle's Artist Trust, the University of Washington Division of the Arts Distinguished Alumna Award (2003), and was interviewed for Smithsonian's Archives of American Art (2005).[10]




  1. ^ a b c Upchurch, Michael (July 14, 2013). "BAM hosts a dazzling Patti Warashina retrospective". Seattle Times. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Finding aid to the Patti Warashina papers". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Patti Warashina". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Patti Warashina: Wit and Wisdom". Bellevue Arts Museum. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Farr, Sheila (July 11, 2013). "The Wit and Wisdom of Artist Patti Warashina". Seattle Met. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Finding Aid to the Robert Sperry Papers". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Hedges, Elaine; Wendt, Ingrid (1980). In Her Own Image: Women Working in the Arts. New York: The Feminist Press. p. 148. ISBN 0912670622. 
  8. ^ Hackett, Regina (December 17, 2001). "Pioneering ceramic artist Patti Warashina is still standing". Seattle Pi. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Held, Peter (2004-01-01). Humor, Irony and Wit: Ceramic Funk From the Sixties and Beyond. Tempe, Ariz.: Arizona State University Art Museum. ISBN 9780967954752. 
  10. ^ "The Ceramic Self". American Craft. 69 (5): 72. October 2009. 

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