Bernard Katz has worked in glass since 1986. He is a graduate of Temple University's, Tyler School of Art, where he majored in Fine Arts and specialized in Glass Blowing and Glass Sculpture. He also studied abroad at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farnham, England. Bernard then apprenticed for several years with well known glass artists such as Leon Applebaum, David Garcia and Samuel Bloom before opening his own design studio and gallery in Philadelphia, PA.
His etched designs are all original and usually involve botanical subjects, creating a naturalistic yet contemporary feel. These designs lend themselves to display in all settings, from artistic home decor to corporate office enhancements.
Bernard designs and executes each piece himself, combining modern equipment and ancient techniques. His shapes are created by hand, blowing the molten glass into his 3 dimensional shapes which then become a canvas of glass onto which the final imagery will be etched.
For his famous TREE SERIES and new ROOT SERIES, he blows vessels in a brilliant transparent color which is then 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, he 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.
Katz's studio, Sharp Street Glass, is located in the historical Manayunk section of Philadelphia. 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. The artwork of Bernard Katz is featured in the following books: Contemporary Glass: Color, Light & Form and Object Lessons: