Nicholas Bernard

Wavy Facet, 6in. x 6in.Guacamole Squiggle, 10in. x 8.5in.Sunset Topography, 9in. x 8.5in.Vivid Blue Topography, 6in. x 7.5in.
Carved Rose, 5.5in. x 6in.Black Spiral Bottle, 9in. x 5in.

Early experiences with clay as a child apparently left a mark. After school, apprenticeships and more school, making pots was, is and will continue to be a way of life. I’ve been a studio potter for nearly 30 years now, living and working in Arizona for much of that time. My work as a professional has always been low fire earthenware.

For many years my Raku pots were shown nationally. The influences are scattered from the Southwest, Africa and Japan to the cultures of the Mediterranean. A museum full of 2000 year old pots in Rhodes was an epiphany. Simple forms with no contrivance or pretension filled room after room. I hope to make one like that before I’m done. Seeing those pots 10 years ago started this current evolution. It began with soft muted colors, totally classic shapes. Amphora, ewers, and jugs with an ancient vibe. Then, textured pots with extravagant handles, spouts and flourishes using brushed color. Over the last 3 years the current body of work has evolved. Hot colors, simple closed forms with very controlled textures dominate.

The last piece finished today, good, bad or indifferent is the product of doing the work for many years. These pieces can’t be made without those experiences, successes and failures, lots of failures. Even after 30 years, everyday in the studio is an adventure; I’m looking forward to working tomorrow.

Artist Statement:
Form is everything; I stretch clay to make canvases for decoration. Texture, pattern and color are successful additions when the shapes are impeccable. My inspirations are many, from the classic forms of antiquity to the simple, graceful pots made by indigenous peoples and the work of modern studio potters.

This current body of work deals mostly with simple clean form. Handles and other flourishes are being added again after a four year hiatus. Dramatic color and subtle texture accentuate what I hope is a mastery of the traditional vessel form.

Technical Description:
Thrown earthenware, with layers of textured slip, colored slips and oxides.
Multiple gas or electric firings in oxidation to cone 03 or approximately 2000F.

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