Nicholas Bernard



Born Los Angeles, CA. 1958.


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 40 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 20 years ago started this current evolution. It began with soft muted colors, totally classic shapes.

Amphora, ewers, and jugs with an ancient feel. Then, textured pots with extravagant handles, spouts and flourishes using brushed color. Over the last 20 years the current body of work has evolved. Hot colors, simple closed forms with very controlled textures dominate.

High fire porcelain and white stoneware have now been added to the mix. This work is completely different from the earthenware. Different clays, firing and extravagant decorating techniques give homage to my influences and work from the from the past with a whole new level of skills and maturity.

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 40 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.

Dramatic color, subtle texture and graphic pattern 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.


Thrown porcelain or white stoneware with multiple glazes, fired in reduction to 2350F or Cone 10

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