Tell us about yourself!
My name is Eddie Bernard, I have been a resident of Star, NC since 2008. I began working with glass in 1988 in Lafayette, LA, working for an artist named "Whoojoo" at Whoojoo's Stained Glass Studio. Whoojoo had dabbled in hot glass, and I was enamored with some of the rudimentary blown glass items displayed in his storefront windows.
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I work with many materials and many processes, essentially it's whatever is practical and suits the aesthetic, structural, and environmental needs of the project at hand. For every material, there are disciplines, tools, culture, history, science, mythology lore and connotation to go along with it. I have long working relationships primarily with plastics, wood, metal, ceramics and glass, but my community is in glass.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
Some of the major themes that have called my name have been:
Language--words are often visually two-dimensional, but I have sculpted some words in works that define them;
The human tendency to mechanically mimick what plants and animals do biologically, such as a polar bear exemplifying biological insulation, energy storage, and emissivity juxtaposed against a modern refrigerator;
Magic--what is it that is impossible and how can I make that appear to have actually happened?;
Advocacy--how can I be a good ambassador so that people outside of my field can learn more about the people involved and come to respect our lifestyles and culture and vice versa.
What is your dream project?
For many years I dreamed of a sculpture series whereby I made numbers, dollar signs, and commas. The finished wall mounted pieces would spell out their own value in a given currency. By purchase contract, the work would appreciate in value by a given percentage, and digits in the actual piece would be changed so the piece would reflect its new value annually. Any takers?
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Having lived in a disaster-stricken post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans during the hardest of times and reading a recent New Yorker article on Puerto Rico's post-Hurricane Maria plight, I think now that when I retire I would like to be trained and available to maintain electrical generators or backup systems or repair more sustainable systems so as to keep hospitals energized after major disasters.
What's something about you that most people don't know?
I can say "supercalifragilisticexpialicodious" backwards phonetically (It sounds like "sush-ODE-ee-LA-ip-SKE-cit-SIL-ih-GARF-ih-LACK-re-POOS) and sign the English alphabet with both hands in mirror image at simultaneously.
Why are you a member of GAS?
Community takes many forms, and GAS represents one very familiar and cozy form of it for me, as a family does.
To learn more about Eddie, or to see more of his work, visit his GAS Member Profile Page