Bonifas was born in Geneva and attended l’École des Beaux-Arts de Genève while working for his father as an apprentice jeweler and engraver. He became interested in enamels, which exposed him to the glass and ceramic mediums. Between 1914 and 1922, Bonifas lived and worked in both Geneva and in Paris, where he became friends with the founders of French purism, Amédée Ozenfant and Le Corbusier. Bonifas was the secretary of the purist magazine L’Esprit Nouveau until he moved back to Geneva in 1922, when he purchased a pottery workshop. In 1946 he moved to the United States and taught at Washington State University until his retirement in 1959. He remained a dedicated maker and ceramic educator until he died in 1967 at the age of 73.