Meet the Artist: Josh Bernbaum

Josh is a glassmaker who is interested in color and the relationships it creates within his designs.

Tell us about yourself and your art background.

I am an artist/craftsperson who has been making work using hot glass for the past 20 years. In high school I was more interested in art-making than any other subject, from there, I went to The Massachusetts College of Art and stumbled upon glass blowing. After graduating, I took a job with a gentleman who designed and built furnaces and other glass blowing equipment that he sold to customers around the world. The main reason for taking this position was to learn for myself how to build the furnace equipment for a studio of my own someday. That happened about 12 years later, when my wife and I found an unfinished house with some land in southern Vermont and put up our own studio building where we currently make our work. 

What influences you and your work?

I have always been interested in color-relationships. How does one color look juxtoposed with another, and/or how do 3 or 4 colors all work in harmony (or not) in the same piece? I’m always asking myself those questions in my work. I’m influenced by color-relationships I see out in our world, and in my daily surroundings, and at least subconsciously choose colors for some of the things I make in glass based on those experiences.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Carlo Scarpa. He received most of his fame and notoriety for his work as an architect, but he started his career as a designer/artistic director employed by two of the many glass factories in Murano, an island in the Venetian lagoon famous for a long history of glass making.

What do you do day-to-day in your studio?

Most of my time is spent just thinking about ideas, color-selections, and the steps and processes I might go about in the making of those ideas once I’m in front of the furnace. After the brain storming process, I spend a lot of time on prep-work to achieve the pattern and line-work I’m looking for in my finished pieces. Parts of the process would be done at the furnace, then allowed to cool, then cut and/or arranged somehow, and reheated and manipulated again, sometimes multiple times.

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