A New Wave of Elegant Dinnerware in Austin
Eliana Bernard elevates everyday dining
By Alexandra Detmar, Fri., June 14, 2019
Since launching her own line of ceramic serving wares in 2017, Eliana Bernard has been building her brand out of a Springdale neighborhood studio, gracing one coffee table at a time. Profiled by Texas Monthly when she started her own business, and now with a formidable Instagram following, Bernard has expanded her offerings from coffee mugs and dinnerware to home decor and jewelry. Gracefully highlighted online are stately succulent planters with golden rims, delicate trinket dishes and vases, and even in-the-moment geometric earrings with a "less is more" vibe, but still adorned in her signature, understated marbling – created by dipping her pieces in colored slip.
An Amarillo native, Bernard found herself in somewhat of a quandary when she was passed over for an accounting degree in the McCombs School of Business at UT-Austin. "At that moment I decided to look at other interests of mine to see if there was something else that I could major in, and it came down to art," said Bernard. "It was a hobby of mine growing up, but I never considered it a career path. Once I was in the College of Fine Arts, I became focused on finding the medium that I would pursue as an artist and figuring out what that would look like after graduating."
After finishing her degree and completing a number of internships that rounded out her technical experience, Bernard found guidance and growth under Austin ceramicist-to-the-stars Keith Kreeger (well, culinary stars such as chefs Kevin Fink, Michael Fojtasek, among many others nationwide), apprenticing in his studio for four years. "[It] taught me a lot about the business side of ceramics – from how to actually start a business, to things like establishing wholesale accounts, packing and shipping, how to work with retailers, what you need to maintain a studio, and so many other lessons," said Bernard. "I am forever grateful for my experience there – it played a big part in my journey as a maker and business owner."
In addition to various artist pop-ups and her online storefront, Bernard offers Austinites the chance to use some of her larger wares for special events through Loot Rentals: "I love designing and making items that can elevate a dining experience or become part of your everyday rituals. I believe that the items we bring to the table and home are important, and I love when clients choose items from my collection of wares to be a part of their experiences," said Bernard.
From an olive oil bottle in matte pink to a black-and-white marbled serving platter, Bernard's collection offers ceramic pieces sure to make mealtimes more special.