Ten Years of WHAM! Part III: An Interview with Nicki Berndt

There is just one week to go until the return of WHAM! In celebration of a whole glorious decade of Houston's favorite annual art market, we have been talking to some of the artists who have exhibited at WHAM not once, not twice, but EVERY SINGLE YEAR since its inception. This week Fresh Arts gal Sarah Stevens caught up with local artist, potter, and jeweler guru Nicki Berndt for the final part to our Ten Years of WHAM series:

Ok, can we start
with you telling me a little about yourself and your work.
I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois in
Champaign.  I taught art for a few years before going into corp.
sales.  I retired early from Account Manager, and then decided to really
go full time into my art.  Pottery and throwing on the wheel is my biggest
interest.  I like to make utilitarian pieces that people can enjoy
daily.  I also do decorative and Raku items that are enjoyed aesthetically.
A few years ago, I took up metalwork at Lone Star College at the North Harris
campus.  We had a wonderful jeweler as our teacher.  I have been
taking many courses in metalwork, and enjoy working in sterling
silver, precious metal clay, and copper and bronze.

we be seeing some of that at WHAM this year?

I will be selling stoneware pottery; bowls, mugs, flower holders, vases,
and candleholders and gratitude covered boxes. 
I’ll also be selling one of a kind earrings and necklaces in sterling, and
other metals. 

How did you first get involved in WHAM?

I had exhibited at the Glassell School of Art, which was the 1st week in
December.  It was a wonderful show, but when they decided not to have it
anymore, Winter Street took over having a holiday sale, and I chose to take a
chance and exhibit in that, and I loved it.

seems to be how a lot of people first got involved. What was WHAM like that
first year? 

The first year it was good.  A lot of the people that attended the
Glassell Sale came.  It has grown and it's reputation for very good art
work has also grown. 

brings you back year after year? Is the draw financial or is it something else?

Of course the income from the sales is very nice and helps me to continue
creating pieces, but the best part of the sale is getting the feedback from the
customers.  I have clientele that have been coming for many years and come
look for my booth and compliment me on my work, and buy their Christmas
gifts from me.  They like the 'one of a kind' creations that I produce.

can see why! Where can we see you exhibit next?

I will be having a home show and open house on Nov. 11, and I will be
selling at the Holiday Sale at Insperity in Kingwood on Nov. 13.  I have
also contributed 2 items to Art on the Avenue, which is a charitable
organization that builds homes for low incomes in Houston.  I look
forward to contributing to their silent auction each year.  That will be
held on Nov. 12-14.  The first week of Dec. will be a Student Art
Sale at Lone Star College at the North Harris Campus and in the Spring I will be selling at the Market Street
Art Fair in the Woodands.  That should keep me very busy!

Thanks for your time Nicki, I’ll see you at WHAM!

PO BOX 66494
Houston, TX 77266-6494


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