Everything from Wantoot is created by an artist in the U.S.A.


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Nicholas Bernard

  • 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 with simple clean form. Handles and other flourishes are conspicuously lacking. Dramatic color and subtle texture accentuate what I hope is a mastery of the traditional vessel form.
  • 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 for Nicholas Bernard. He has been a studio potter for nearly 30 years; living and working in Arizona for much of that time. His work as a professional has always been low fire earthenware. For many years, his 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. He hopes to make one like that before he's 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 18 months the current 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 for Nicholas is an adventure. He can’t wait for tomorrow.
    Nicholas' work shown on Wantoot is thrown earthenware, with layers of textured slip, colored slips and oxides. Multiple gas or electric firings in oxidation to cone 03, or approximately 2000F.
  • Honors

    Artist Project Grant, Arizona Commission for the Arts

    Award Presentation, Arizona Governors' Arts Awards

    Exhibitions (selected)


September 2011                 
    “Uncommon Ground” NCECA Invitational, Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO

    July 2011                  
    “Out of the Blue” Chautauqua Center for the Visual Arts, Invited Artist

    November 2010        
    “Small Works Invitational” Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA

    October 2010            
    “One Man Show”, Patina Gallery Santa Fe, NM.

    October  20009        
    "Studio Pottery Invitational", Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA,

September 2009       
    "NAU Biennial"  Northern Arizona University Art Museum, Flagstaff, AZ

    April 2009
    Featured Artist, Sky Harbor Airport Museum,  Phoenix, AZ

    February  2009
    "Patchwork" National Invitational  Armstrong's Gallery,Pomona, CA

    March 2009
    Ink and Clay 35, National Invitational, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA

January 2008
    "29th Annual Contemporary Crafts" National Invitational, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ

    November 2007
    "Steeped in Tradition " National Teapot Invitational, Ariana Gallery, Royal Oak, MI

    January 2007
    "100 Teapots III" National Invitational, Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD

    January 2007
    "28th Annual Contemporary Crafts" National Invitational, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ

    October 2006
    "Vessels" National Invitational, CCSU , New Britain, CT

    October 2006                  
    "Blue Grass Clay National" Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY

    March 2006
    Featured Artist. Obsidian Gallery. Tucson, AZ

September 2005
    Arizona Clay Invitational, Phoenix, AZ. (Best of Show)

    September 2005
    Wichita National Invitational. Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita, KS (Purchase Award)

    August 2005
    Clay National. Carbondale Clay Center, Carbondale, CO

    July 2005
    Chautauqua Center for the Visual Arts,"The Art of Craft in America" invited artist.

July 2005
    National Teapot Invitational. Vessel Gallery, Huntingdon Valley, PA

    June 2005
    "Pots Objects Of Virtue" (National Juried Exhibition), Walnut Creek, CA (Juror's Award)

June 2005, 2008
    National Teapot Invitational, Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, NC

    December 2004
    Featured Artist. Andora Gallery. Carefree, AZ

    July 2004
    "Bottles, Jugs and Mugs" National Invitational, Saratoga Springs, NY

    June 2004
    Featured Artist. Del Mano Gallery. Los Angeles, CA

    May 2004
    "From the Ground Up" Invitational. Museum of Fine Art, Las Cruces, NM

April 2004
    Kiln God National, San Angelo Museum of Art, San Angelo TX (Purchase Award) 

    March 2003
    Featured Artist. Del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

January 1994
    One Man Show. Del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

September 1993
    One Man Show Elaine Horwich Gallery, Santa Fe, NM 

    July 1991
    One Man Show, Running Ridge Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

    November 1990
    One Man Show, Del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

    October 1989
    Primitive Fire, The Clay Pot, Brooklyn , NY 

    October 1988
    Black and White, The Elements Gallery, Greenwich, CT

    March 1988
    Southwest Invitational, Craftsman’s Gallery, Scarsdale , NY

March 1988
    One Man Show, River Run Gallery, Ketchum, ID

    October 1987
    One Man Show, Wallengren USA, New York, NY

    August 1987
    One Man Show, Aspen Mountain Gallery, Aspen, CO

    June 1987
    Stars and Stripes, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA

    August 1985
    One Man Show, Lodestone Gallery, Bolder, CO

December 1984
    One Man Show, The Hand and The Spirit, Scottsdale, AZ

January 1984
    One Man Show, Beyond Horizons, Scottsdale, AZ 

    July 1983
    Contemporary Crafts for the Collector, Gallery Eight, La Jolla, CA

    Fairs and Festivals (selected)

    June 2007
    Des Moines Festival of the Arts , Des Moines, IA

    March 2007 - 2009
    La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta, CA,(Best of Fine Craft 2008)

    March '92 - '94, 2006 - '10
    Scottsdale Festival of the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ (Jurors Award 2006, 2009)

December 2005
    Crafts at the Castle, Boston, MA

    July '92 - '94, '05 - '09, '11
    Cherry Creek Festival of the Arts, Denver, CO

    April 2005, 06
    Palm Beach Fine Craft Show, Palm Beach FL

    September 2004
    St. Louis Art Fair, St. Louis, MO

    October 2004,05
    Westchester Craft Show, White Plains, NY

    November 1994, 2004
    Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA

    November '92 - '94, 2004,'05
    Washington Craft Show, Washington, DC

    April 1994
    Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington DC

May 1991, 1990
    American Craft at the Armory, New York, NY

    Publications (selected)

    American Craft, Architectural Digest, Ceramics Monthly, House Beautiful, Metropolitan Home, House and Garden, The New Yorker, New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Phoenix Home and Garden, AZ Republic
    Permanent Collections (selected)

    AT&T, Arizona State University Art Collections Ceramic Research Center, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Bank of Denver, Coopers and Lybrand, MCI, Qwest, Saks Fifth Avenue, Blue Cross Blue Shield Of AZ, Tokyo Ana Hotel, Tokyo Intl. Airport, Chase Bank , Stouffer’s Hotels, Hughes Aircraft
Marshall Fields, Rouse Company, Westin Hotels, Wichita Center for the Arts, University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH

    Guest Lectures

    Featured Artist Scottsdale City Channel.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Clay Art Center, Port Chester, New York.
Arizona Clay

    B.F.A. Arizona State University, 1981. Summa cum Laude