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Convertible Car Kiln

ca. 1971 Patti Warashina Born: Spokane, Washington 1940 earthenware, gold and silver luster, glaze, and Plexiglas 14 1/2 x 35 1/2 x 14 1/2 in. (36.9 x 90.2 x 36.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the James Renwick Alliance © Patti Warashina 1994.37.1 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

“When I was in school, the conversations about kiln construction and BTUs were aimed at men. It was assumed that women were china painters and would get married, stay at home, and have babies, while the clay world belonged to the men . . . In response to this macho attitude, I started making my own kilns!” Artist’s statement

Luce Center Label

Convertible Car Kiln was part of a Car Kiln series that Patti Warashina began in the late 1960s to challenge the idea that cars and kilns were part of a “man’s world.” A car kiln is literally a brick oven with shelves that rests on wheels, and Warashina puns on this idea by presenting an image of a car with a dual meaning. As a woman artist, sculpting both a car and a kiln, she demonstrates that neither of these objects is beyond a woman’s understanding or mastery.


Allegory - element - fire

Architecture - vehicle - automobile

decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay





About Patti Warashina

Born: Spokane, Washington 1940

More works in the collection by
Patti Warashina