Eliana Bernard | Austin Artist

Photographed by: Katie Jameson | Interview of: Eliana Bernard

How did you get started?

I began working with clay in college and fell in love with the medium immediately! From that first moment, I knew this material was going to be a great match for the ideas I had. During my first semester of ceramics, I started interning with a potter at a ceramics studio. Since then it has been a part of my daily life, whether I’m working in my own studio or working for other artists. After graduating with a BFA in Studio Art from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013, I started working on my own collection of ceramics and launched my online shop in early 2014. During the day I split my time between working for another ceramic artist and working in my own studio. I truly love every part of the process. I get to wake up every day and create something. It’s a wonderful feeling!

What influences you? / where do you get your inspiration?

My aesthetic focuses on pairing simple forms with striking textures and patterns that are both beautiful and functional. I am very much inspired by color, textures/patterns, and shapes found in nature and in design. I love experimenting with the slip, liquid clay, and seeing how I can translate these elements into something tangible and functional. I’ve also found that through experimenting with the material, ideas can evolve into something great. I started experimenting with marbled slip on tiny pieces when I had down time in the studio, and now its turned into an entire collection!

How do you balance your personal time + work? / how do you create separation? 

That is something I haven’t quite figured out yet! Planning ahead and sticking to a schedule is the only way I’ve been able to manage a balance so far. I work at another ceramic studio during the day so when I’m not there I’ll use that time to work in my studio. I think it’s important for me to go into the studio everyday even if its only for 30 minutes. Being there is part of the creative process, but I also take advantage of downtime and use that to focus on my personal life. Most of the time I plan my free time around my kiln firing schedule. Its always a big push to cycle through work, so when its time to fire I’ll give myself a break once the kiln is on and spend time with friends. 

What keeps you motivated?/ why do you love doing this?

I’m a maker. I love making and creating things! The process is by far the biggest thing that has kept me motivated throughout the years that I’ve been doing this. I love experimenting with the material and seeing what I can do with it. It’s a beautiful thing to see an idea go from being a sketch on a piece of paper to an actual object that exists in the world! 

 Where do you see yourself in 2-5 years? / what’s next for your brand? 

I just launched the Marbled Collection on my website and finished up my wholesale catalog, which was a goal of mine at the start of the year! Growing my business and expanding on the collection will be my main focus for the rest of 2016. In the next couples of years, I hope to be in a place where I can spend more of my time in my own studio working on new designs and products and hopefully partnering with other creative people in different areas!