Over the last seven decades, Patti Warashina has been a force in the world of ceramics, earning the moniker “Queen of Northwest Ceramics.” Born in Spokane, and an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Washington, she has played a significant role in elevating the medium over the years within this region and beyond. The Funk Movement, which founds its home primarily in Northern California, extended its influence North during its height in the 1960s and 1970s. While Warashina never had significant exposure to the art or the artists there, she independently arrived at the same formulas of style and subject. Like those artists in California, she always emphasizes a significant degree of humor.
She gradually developed iconic styles that lends themselves well to the celebration of human figures. The use of the body gives affirmation to Warashina’s own daily existence and serves as the subject of her own “visual diary.” Warashina draws from her daily life and has a profound interest in the absurdity and foibles of human behavior. She has always aimed to reflect the wider implications of contemporary society through her art, including the recent Covid Pandemic.
Her most recent works are playful and incorporate word-play and puns. The progression of her style, seen through all of these works from throughout her career, has allowed for continual address of her ideas about society. In her current period, Warashina utilizes bright and vivid colors, and she sees her sculptures as canvases to paint. This lends her works an even greater sense of playfulness.
Warashina later went on to teach at her alma matter for over three decades, which allowed her to play a continual role in educating generations of students. In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Visionary Award from the Smithsonian Craft Show. Her national repute has only continued to grow, as she continues to elaborate upon her idiosyncratic style.