Jenny Andersen: Offerings

Andersen is a native of Seattle and has spent all but a few years of her life living in the Pacific Northwest. She took her first pottery class in 1969 while enrolled as a student at Cornish College of the Arts. Her first instructor was the gifted ceramic artist Patti Warashina. From that time forward the focus of her creative life has been on clay.

In 1973, she set up her first studio in a dilapidated barn in southwestern Washington where she fired her work in a tiny wood fired raku kiln, and took on her first students. Since that time, teaching has been an important aspect of her career. When she moved to Bainbridge Island in 1980, she took a job teaching pottery for the Bainbridge Island Metro Park District where she worked for many years. Because of the students she worked with, she has gone down various paths in the field of ceramics that she might not otherwise have explored, thus expanding her understanding of the possibilities of the medium.

Firing methods that demand close interaction with the fire itself and that impart a strong atmospheric dimension to the work have always been most interesting to Andersen.  For many years she worked primarily with raku firing, pit firing, bonfiring, and other “primitive” firing techniques. She participated in her first firing of an anagama kiln in 1999, and since then has dedicated herself to high temperature wood firing. "I love the hard work involved, the community effort required, the huge fire rumbling in the kiln for days on end, and most of all I love the sense of collaborating with the forces of nature to complete the work."


Jenny Andersen, Sprit Bird Feasting, 2012, wood fired stoneware, Sears-Buxton Collection | Photo: Steve Sauer

"Inspiration for my work comes largely from my interest in historical art, especially the ritual bronzes and ceremonial ceramics of Asia, and the pottery and ceremonial objects of many different Native American cultures. I look to the legacy of these artists of many cultures whose work can reach out to us from across the ages to keep me striving for the highest standards in my own work."

- Jenny Andersen


Special thanks to our Guest Curator, Marie Weichman, Olympic College Art Professor.

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