NINA BERNARDI

 

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I have been working on ceramics for more than twenty years, opening my first studio in 1993 before finishing my Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts.

Having been raised in a culture where color is an expression of the picturesque environment, my work is a mixture of vivid tropical colors, memories of my childhood, the translucency of the Caribbean sea and a deep influence of the native pre-Columbian cultures. The influence of some European artists can also be seen in my work. From Paul Klee, I like his approach to some sense of primitivism in children's art and their freedom to create signs. From Huntertwasser, his use of color like an architecture of the space and from Niki de Saint Phalle, the use of vivid colors and the sense of freedom from her monumental figures.

Currently I have my studio in my Southern home, where I work mainly in the refinement of the technique that I have been developing for years, the combination of ceramics with fused glass. Each piece is made out of a thick slab of earthenware clay and carved (not thrown) to its final form. Once all of the features are individually engraved and polished by hand, the ceramic object is meticulously fired several times to achieve its combination of stain colors and fused glass while maintaining its original porosity and texture.

The result is an extreme range of colors, from bright orange to earthy brown, the contrast between the depth and transparency of a blue pool of glass and the hard and stony surface of the clay, reminders of some ancient civilization.

All the pieces are One Of A Kind, and are dated and signed. Every year I work around a theme and make unique boxes and sculptures.

In the “blue fish” and “cactuses on the islands” series, the theme is the sea, the images are fishes seen from a child's eyes and the pools of crackled glass evoke rebuilt long-lost dreams and colors of underwater gardens, the graphs are the spontaneous strokes of my emotions etched into the crude clay.

My work speaks of ingenuity, happiness, the dreams and pleasant memories of a remote childhood and an infinite number of already-told stories. As objects of art, meant to be used daily, they open the door to a dialog between my stories, told thorough glass and clay, and the stories of whom uses them every day.