William and Katherine Bernstein
Burnsville, NC | Exhibiting Since 1969
In the early years, Katie worked in hand built porcelain and Billy, very influenced by Scandinavian and colonial American glass design, started producing a variable line of goblets and sculptural pieces. In 1971, Billy, together with glass pioneers Mark Peiser and Fritz Dreisbach, took part in planning and hosting the first meeting of the Glass Arts Society. This organization has since grown into an international organization with over a thousand members.
In the mid 1970’s, glass master and educator Harvey Littleton moved to the area and he quickly took an interest in the young artist’s work. He insisted that Katie’s sculpture in clay would translate beautifully into glass. To make his point, he took several of Katie’s clay originals back to his studio and cast them in crystal. The results were wonderful, and Katie started working exclusively in glass.
By the 80’s, both artists had established themselves as major forces in the glass world, but to keep their studio running they needed a steady flow of sales which eventually brought them together on a line of goblets and tableware. Katie supplied the imagery with melted glass colored rods, and Billy formed the result into a vessel. This combination proved very popular and received wide recognition in design journals and magazines. They continue to produce these pieces today.