Austin artist's elegant work takes ceramics world by storm
Eliana Bernard is a maker of beautiful things. A local ceramics artist, Bernard creates delicately designed dinnerware and exquisite jewelry and decor — all of which feature show-stopping, intricate details. We recently interviewed the celebrated Bernard, who discusses her trajectory as an artist, her creative process, and her personal favorite artworks.
CultureMap: When did you realize that you wanted to be a creator?
Eliana Bernard: I’ve always been artistic growing up, but I became more aware of it when I started pursuing an art degree in college. That desire to create was always there, but it took a few years of trying out different mediums for me to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with it.
CM: What drew you to making ceramic art?
EB: Ceramics was a class that I took to see if this could be the right medium for me, and at the same time I decided to get an internship outside of school. I didn’t have any experience in ceramics, but one of the ceramic artists that I contacted hired me anyway and I learned so much from it. That was the starting point of my interest in ceramics. I immediately fell in love with the material and knew that this was the right path for me.
CM: What has been your trajectory as an artist thus far?
EB: I studied ceramics in college and interned with a few local ceramic artists outside of school. Once I graduated, I continued working as a studio assistant and eventually a studio manager at Keith Kreeger Studios. I used my time outside of work to experiment with different ideas and to build up my collection. This past year has been the best one so far for my business, and February marks the first time that I will be pursuing my business full-time. Yay!
CM: Your work is so timelessly elegant and full of gorgeous detail. Can you tell us a little more about what inspires you and what you hope to communicate with each piece?
EB: I’m inspired by color, design, patterns, and the materials that I use. I am always experimenting with the material and playing around with different ideas. That’s how I started the marbled collection. I was in the studio playing around with colored slip (liquid clay) and mixing it with the cream-colored slip, trying out different line patterns. Eventually I found a style that I liked, but it’s always different with each piece — which I love! I think it’s important for us to surround ourselves with things that we enjoy using and having in our spaces. The work is beautiful, but it is also functional and meant to make mealtimes more enjoyable.
CM: What does your current creative process look like? Do you have any creative patterns or rituals that you follow?
EB: I always start my day in the studio by cleaning all the surfaces and tools that I use. I think it’s important to start with a clean space every day. It’s like a fresh start. Then, I’ll write a list of things that I need to make for the day, and start making them. I try to work for at least three or four hours straight without taking a break, and then I treat myself to a drink or snack before getting back to work.
CM: What are some of your favorite artworks or artists?
EB: I feel like I’m always being introduced to new artists via social media, Instagram specifically, so that list of favorites just keeps growing. I really love Porcelain and Stone! She makes stunning porcelain jewelry out of Boston. I am also obsessed with everything that Riffle Paper Co. produces. Their stationary and lifestyle products are beautiful!
Shop Bernard's collection online or make an appointment to visit her showroom at Canopy.