Elizabeth Berrien · World Class Wire Sculpture and Illustration · (707)445-4931 · WIRE TECHNIQUE
elizabeth berrien's bbc wire sculpture illustration wins the Clio award 2008.





- Works in Progress






- Art Statement
- Artist Bio
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- Artist Resume
- Jacoby Award

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- Creative Process
- Wire Technique

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arabian horse wire sculpture arabian horse wire sculpture arabian horse wire sculpture
View "Justin" from three different angles as a work in progress...
an exercise in order out of chaos!
A pioneer in the field of contemporary wire sculpture since 1968, Elizabeth Berrien integrates textile technique and engineering theory to create an innovative, non-traditional medium of hand-twisted, single-strand wire sculpture of resilient and cohesive forms.

Berrien's sculptures are personal translations of the inner essence spirit of animals and humans; they have inspired a whole new generation of wire sculptors. Her landmark works are in museums, galleries, restaurants, parks, airports and private collections worldwide. In 2004 Elizabeth Berrien founded Wire Sculpture Internation, the worldwide guild of wire sculptors.

Berrien wire sculptures can be distinguished by these technical elements:

They are "cold-formed", i.e. fabricated by hand rather than welded. There are no soldered or welded joints.

All shaping, from the sharpest bend to the subtlest curve, is performed with the artist's own hands. Regardless of the size (from hairline thin wires to heavy rods), Elizabeth Berrien does not use pliers for shaping - she feels they interefere with the eye-hand-brain connection.

The medium is a hybrid of freestyle lace-making technique and structural engineering with infusions of weaving, basketry and other textile theory.

These wire sculptures are structurally interconnected with a complex network of tightly wound twists involving 3 to 12 or more revolutions per twist.

Berrien frequently twists two wire strands of different thickness together. Whereas it is natural for such twists to be uneven, with the thinner strand wrapping around an unyielding thicker wire, Berrien's two-sized twisted are blended tightly and uniformly, with the wires flexing equally and smoothly around each other.

The engineering of this network provides the sculpture with a resilient surface tension and overall strength of structure.

Therefore, Berrien structures are "exoskeletal" - free-formed along the outer topological surfaces of the subject form. Most do not require an inner armature for support.

Unlike "sprang" and other chicken-wire weaves, which have a pronounced gap and directional reverse at the center of individual twists, Elizabeh Berrien's twists are unbroken and uni-directional.

Whereas the constraints of sprang & chicken-wire weaves limit the flow and spontaneity of line, Elizabeth Berrien's technique incorporates fluidity and openness of line that follow the lines that best define the essence and energy of her subjects.

Each intersection of two lines is firmly locked with a twist. This process demands great care and deliberation in the shaping of the wire and the placement of the twists - it is very difficult to rework an area once the lines have been defined and fixed in place. Wires must be set correctly the first time.

Esthetic placement of the wires, and the spaces they encase and delineate, is determined in relation to all pre-existing lines and spaces, and all lines and spaces to come. This is all done within the artist's mind as the work progresses - there is no pre-sketching to the process.

Elizabeth Berrien's wire sculptures are distinctly unique. There is an awareness of balanced tension between positive and negative space, fluidity and motion, delicacy of line and strength of structure, each internal abstract shape interacting with all adjacent abstract shapes and the sculpture's overall form. All add up to a disciplined, orderly and balanced whole, conveying an implied sense of movement, vitality and energy.

Watch the development of an intricate wire sculpture at Works in Progress

Learn more about Elizabeth Berrien' technique, which won her the Victor Jacoby Award

Elizabeth Berrien discusses her Creative Process

Elizabeth Berrien's free online Innovative Wire Sculpture Tutorial,
selected as Creativity-Portal's "Feature of the Month" for March 2005!
World Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931 · email wireladye@yahoo.com

Content and images © 1968-2009 Elizabeth Berrien. All rights reserved. · Updated Aug 10, 2010 · this page valid HTML 4.01

elizabeth berrien's bbc wire sculpture illustration wins the Clio award 2008.
CLIO 2008
elizabeth berrien's wire sculpture illustration wins two coveted cannes gold lions in 2008.
Cannes Festival
Double Gold
elizabeth berrien's wire sculpture illustration wins two coveted ADC gold cubes in 2008
Double Gold
elizabeth berrien's wire sculpture illustration wins the coveted Obie Best of Show award 2008.
Best of Show
elizabeth berrien's wire sculpture illustration wins two coveted Andy gold awards 2008.
Andy Double Gold
elizabeth berrien's wire sculpture illustration wins one show gold pencil awards 2008.
One Show Gold Pencil
elizabeth berrien's wire sculpture illustration wins double grand awards at London International Awards2008.
London International
Double Grand