Patti Warashina, born in 1940, is a ceramic sculptor known for her satirical and imaginative sculptures that explore the human figure.
Born in Spokane, WA, Warashina first began working with clay when she was introduced to the medium while taking an elective course for her major at the University of Washington. From there, Warashina became committed to art and graduated with a B.F.A. (1962) and a M.F.A. (1964) from the university. Following college, Warashina married ceramic artist Fred Bauer and moved to Michigan where they taught at Wisconsin State. Warashina later taught at Eastern Michigan State University before she and her family moved to Seattle where she remained stationed after her divorce from Bauer. She eventually took on a teaching position at the University of Washington until her retirement in 1995.
In the beginning of her career, Warashina was part of a movement of ceramicists pushing ceramics past the means of functionality. She was influenced by styles like Surrealism, Pop, and California Funk and implemented them in her portrayals of art history, politics, and psychology in her work. Her earliest works were high-fire glazed functional stoneware pieces. As she progressed, her work shifted to focus on the human figure, creating comedic and satirical sculptures and used low-fire glazes. Drawing from her daily life, Warashina references her own body and daily existence when creating her works, which serve as a visual diary. Warashina continues to examine the human figure in her work and has recently incorporated the male figure into her practice.
Warashina has earned several awards including three NEA Grants (1975, 1986, 2013), the “Lifetime Achievement Award/Woman of the Year” by the Artist Trust in Seattle, and the 2014 James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Craft Educators Awards. Her work is included in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Museum of Art, and many more.