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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 from her early years. Having graduated from the University of Washington (UW) with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1962 and her Master of Fine Art. in 1964, this work was created around this era. It is a generous size and built to be utilitarian with loop handles and gracefully finished inside with a beige glaze. Nevertheless, she took time to enhance the lid with loose semi-geometric and somewhat mechanical shapes in earthy colors. Warashina only made 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.” (See Warashina’s piece in the 1970s, They Thought It Was My Last Trip!)

Warashina was born in Japan and was the youngest of three children, but she was raised in Spokane, Washington where her father was a dentist. When she was 10 years old, her father passed away so her mother raised the children alone. She did not even consider studying art until she moved to Seattle for college. With the intention of majoring in a science field at UW, she enrolled in a drawing class as an elective course. Warashina's first husband was 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 (see his large black and white crackle wall Platter from 1987). During the 1970s and 1980s, Warashina, Sperry, and Howard Kottler (see Kottler’s 1973 Royal Paisley Pot) ran the ceramics program at the University of Washington's School of Art, growing it into one of the best-known programs in the United States.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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