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Bernard Bernstein

As a child Bernstein enjoyed drawing and using tools. He liked to fix things, build things, disassemble things and put them back together again. Bernard Bernstein's first experience in working with metals developed while he was a freshman majoring in Industrial Arts, at City College of New York in 1953. However, he was introduced to metals earlier while  working as an assistant for a pawnbroker who conducted much of his business in the 47th Street jewelry district of New York City. Bernstein spent time watching people in the commercial jewelry trades doing repairs, polishing, stone setting, and engraving. Having these experiences, he already knew a lot about jewelry when he attended the City College of New York. The metals professor at City College was an influential figure during Bernstein's education. That professor encouraged Bernstein to specialize in metal work. Ludwig Wolpert also influenced Bernstein's work. Bernstein credits Wolpert for initiating his interest in Jewish ceremonial art. Also, Hans Christensen inspired Bernstein. Christensen reinforced his preference for the Scandinavian Modernist style in designing hollowware. Hans Christensen, as well as Wolpert, encouraged Bernstein's involvement in Judaica metalsmithing. Besides these specific areas of inspiration, Bernstein considers everything an influence; from classes to workshops, conferences and seminars, reading, teaching, exhibitions, competitions, and just being involved in the field.

Bernstein attributes his involvement in the field to his affinity for working with his hands and the challenges of problem solving concerning design and technical applications. As an educator Bernstein strives to provide his students with technical knowledge and encourages them to find their path.

Bernstein has exhibited extensively and is represented in numerous collections throughout the nation. He has received various honors and awards and is published in periodicals since 1960.