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Patti Warashina

American, b. 1940

Casserole with Lid
circa 1963

5.125 x 11.75 x 10 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Patti Warashina’s Casserole with Lid is an outstanding example of her throwing skills in her early years. She graduated from the University of Washington with her BFA in 1962 and her MFA in 1964, the period when this work was created. It is built to be utilitarian, with loop handles and an interior gracefully finished with a beige glaze. Nevertheless, she took time to enhance the lid with loosely patterned shapes in earthy colors. Warashina made only functional pots and vessels during the 1960s. By the 1970s, she was creating narrative work, often humorous, with porcelain figures placed in imagined environments that show her subversive thinking.

Warashina was born in Japan, the youngest of three children, but she was raised in Spokane, Washington, where her father was a dentist. When she was ten years old, her father died, leaving her mother to raise the children alone. She did not consider studying art until she moved to Seattle for college, with the intention of majoring in science; she took a drawing class as an elective. Warashina’s first husband was a fellow ceramics student, Fred Bauer, and from 1964 to 1970 she exhibited as Patti Bauer in Funk art exhibitions. In 1976, she married Robert Sperry. During the 1970s and 1980s, Warashina, Sperry (see his 1987 Platter), and Howard Kottler (see Kottler’s 1973 Royal Paisley Pot) ran the ceramics program at the University of Washington, making it into one of the best-known programs in the United States.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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