Travis Berning’s work is recognizable for the maple leaves that decorate almost all of his pots. What pottery afficionados may not know is that those maple leaves come from a volunteer maple tree in an apple orchard just a short walk from his studio in Flat Rock. The leaves are collected and preserved, and then Travis applies them to wet pots. After the first firing, the leaves burn out and Travis applies a wax resist to preserve the imprint from his ash glaze.
Travis was born and raised in Kansas. He earned an art scholarship for drawing and painting, but he fell in love with pottery after taking a ceramics class. He moved to North Carolina in 2002 and worked in Dillsboro, running Tree House Pottery, before moving to Flat Rock and setting up his current studio. Travis is a founder of the WNC Pottery Festival and a member of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild. His work focuses mainly on functional, dishwasher, oven and microwave safe pottery, and he also makes raku display tiles.
Visitors to Berning Pottery can see a professional studio well stocked with inventory as well as a stunning vista overlooking the Green River Game Lands. Travis can usually be found in the studio daily. Work can be seen in all stages of production with finished products displayed and organized by style and color. Travis is always happy to talk to customers and explain his unique process and share his beautiful and bountiful property.
Open by Appointment