William and Katherine Bernstein – Burnsville, NC
Bernstein Glass is the collaborative effort of glass artists Katherine and William Bernstein – aka Billy and Katie. Their connection to Penland dates back to 1968 when they participated in the residency program at the school. They remained in the area with a studio and home in nearby Celo community. While both artists produce individual pieces for gallery shows, they also collaborate to produce a line of functional glass art including goblets, pitchers, tableware and lamps.
Katherine Bernstein creates figurative relief sculptures in cast lead crystal, using subjects drawn from friends and family. She is fascinated with the relationship between the modeled form and the polished block from which it emerges. Her works also create an unusual dynamic between the weight and mass of the figure and the crystal’s translucence. William Bernstein is drawn to the possibilities of both surface imagery and form in glass. He is known both for his vessels with fauvist-like face imagery rendered in vitreous enamels and for his lively, good natured dancing figures with goblet heads. Katie and Billy also collaborate on their easily recognizable “face” goblets, glasses and pitchers.