Ceramic sculptor, Patti Warashina, was born in Spokane, Washington in l940 as Masae Patricia Warashina. Her father emigrated from Japan and married her second-generation Japanese-American Mother. Patti was the youngest of three children. She went to college in Seattle and received her Bachelor’s and later her Master's of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington in l964. While in college she studied with sculptors Robert Sperry, Harold Myers, Rudy Autio, Shoji and Shinsaku Hamada, and Ruth Penington. Her first solo exhibition was in l962 at the Phoenix Art Gallery. Warashina later married fellow student Fred Bauer, and from l964 to l970 exhibited as Patti Bauer.
Early influences in Warashina's art include California Funk, Surrealism, and experimental West Coast ceramic sculpture from the 50's and 60's. Her work is best known for satire, humor, and dream state figures, expressed through low fire polychrome ceramic material. Together with fellow artists, Robert Sperry, Howard Kottler and Fred Bauer, she brought national recognition to the department of ceramics at the University of Washington's School of Art in the late l970's. Patti Warashina has received several awards for achievements. In 2002 she received the Twining Humber Lifetime Achievement Award granted by Seattle's Artist Trust, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences in 2003.
She received the Governor's Award of Special Commendation for the Arts in l980, in addition to grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in both l975, and l986. In l978, Warashina was awarded through the World Craft Council Travel Grant, the Japan/U.S. Friendship Committee, and Ford Foundation to participate at the World Craft Conference in Kyoto, Japan, with travels in SE Asia. Warashina's teaching career spans over 30 years and includes positions at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville; Eastern Michigan University; Cornish Art Academy in Seattle; and at her alma mater where she has taught for over 25 years. Her work is featured in museum collections in both domestically and abroad, including the Museum of Art & Design in New York City, the Seattle Art Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian's American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington DC, the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, Ichon World Ceramic Center in South Korea and Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art. Since her marriage to Robert Sperry in l976, she has used Patti Warashina as her professional name. Patti Warashina currently resides in Seattle, Washington.