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Profile of Elizabeth Berrien from author Michael Ball's Wire-Magic
Berrien's distinctive wire sculptures gain her recognition as one of
the world's foremost wire sculptors. In 1968 she began evolving her own
unique form of non-traditional wire sculpture, a complex hybrid of
lace-making and engineering. By 1985, she had raised her mastery of the
new medium to the extent that museums were inviting her to create
one-woman exhibits. Today her works are found in museums, galleries,
zoos, parks, corporate settings, sculpture gardens and private homes
throughout the world.
Elizabeth Berrien's fluid, lacelike creations are remarkably sturdy and
resilient. They cast intriguing shadows, and resonate softly when
touched. Berrien begins each sculpture by twisting together single
strands of wire. Twisting, stranding and splicing in countless
additional wires, she creates a 3-dimensional line drawing, following
the muscle, bone and feather patterns that best represent an animal's
Berrien rarely resorts to using pliers; she feels "they get in the
way". Her landmark Pegasus sculpture at Louisville International
Airport was twisted from aluminum welding rod, using only her bare
hands and a pair of wire cutters. None of Berrien's sculptures is
welded - their structural strength results from careful placement of
each twist within the structure. Berrien's splices strengthen rather
than weaken the structure. With 35 years' experience working wire, she
often twists and sculpts by touch, much as a knitter or musician would.
Fascinated with wildlife and nature since childhood, Elizabeth Berrien
has never been without animals; it was only natural that animals become
the central focus of her sculptures. Being entirely self-educated,
rather than drawing from the works of other artists she derives
inspiration from direct observation of how animals live and move. Her
intricately detailed sculptures are woven as an invitation for the
creature's spirit to occupy the space within.
Berrien and her husband, Nick Viesselman, have a small farm in Eureka,
California, on the redwood coast. She welcomes inquiries about special
commissions, large and small, and can accommodate most budget ranges.
You may contact her at (707) 445-4931 or e-mail (below) to request more
Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931
· email email@example.com
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1968-2009 Elizabeth Berrien. All rights reserved. · Updated
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