Bernard Katz has worked in glass since 1986. He is a graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, majored in Fine Arts and specialized in Glass Blowing and Sculpture. He has also spent time studying abroad at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farnham, England.
Following graduation, Bernard began working around the United States with well known glass artists such as Leon Applebaum, David Garcia and Samuel Bloom before setting out on his own.
Katz’s etched designs are all-original and usually involve botanical subjects creating a naturalistic yet contemporary feel.
He begins by hand blowing the glass vessel or sculpture creating a 3-dimensional canvas of glass onto which the final imagery will be etched.
He designs and executes each piece himself, combining the use of modern equipment and ancient techniques. His shapes are created by manipulating the molten glass at temperatures in excess of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.
For his famous Tree Series and new Root Series Katz blows vessels in a brilliant transparent color which is encased by layers of clear crystal. A darker layer of color is applied that is later etched away to reveal the image and underlying colors. Reduction flames are applied to the outer skin of the piece forming a slight metallic surface.
Once the piece has been annealed in a kiln for 12 hours, the engraving or etching process begins. Katz covers the entire piece with high-pressure tape, on which he draws his image in precise detail. Using special blades, specific areas are cut away one step at a time as the piece is etched.
Finally, Katz uses fine grain sand at high pressure to remove layers of glass. This is a tedious and risky process since one slip or mistake can destroy a piece.
Although themes may be repeated, each work is unique having been created to fit a particular color and shape if the blank vessel. He has created work on commission from the Hyatt Regency, and his work is included in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States. His artwork is also featured in the following books: Contemporary Glass: Color, Light & Form and Object Lessons: Beauty and Meaning in Art by Guild Publishing.