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This profile was last updated on 8/25/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Elizabeth Berrien

Wrong Elizabeth Berrien?

Artist

Phone: (707) ***-****  HQ Phone
Elizabeth Berrien
P.O. Box 24
Bayside, California 95524
United States

Company Description: This comprehensive wire sculpture website showcases over 100 images of museum quality wire sculptures, a wire sculpture tutorial, lesson plan for art educators,...   more
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Founder
    Wire Sculpture Internation

Education

  • Humboldt State University
171 Total References
Web References
World Class Wire Sculpture by Elizabeth Berrien - Artist Biography
www.wirelady.com, 25 Aug 2014 [cached]
World Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien · BIOGRAPHY
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wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien
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Elizabeth Berrien, godmother of the contemporary wire sculpture movement, was born in 1950. All her life, she has had an intuitive affinity for animals. As a small child she would stretch out on the lawn for hours, studying the goings-on of ants and other small insects. She would gently catch honey bees in her bare hands, hold them awhile, and let them go again. At age five, gazing at the ceiling during nap time, she visualized a long line looping back on iteslf. Picking up two pencils and a ball of string, she invented a crude form of knitting to make a tiny blanket for her pet turtle. The turtle rejected the gift, but Berrien continues to pioneer new uses for fiber. wire sculptor elizabeth berrien
dragonfly wire sculpture
By kindegarten, Elizabeth was an avid reader. Her scores for spatial relationships and math were "off the scale;" later she skipped fourth grade. At age thirteen Elizabeth Berrian was admitted to Mensa, the "genius society", where she had a memorable meeting with Buckminster Fuller. As a high school sophomore she came in sixth in a statewide math competition, against a field of juniors and seniors. Her love for plane geometry and topology were vital to her later explorations of wire sculpture.
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High School
In high school, Elizabeth had difficulty expressing herself creatively. She could see the energy lines that made animals beautiful, but couldn't translate them on paper. Decades later, she would learn that she was born left-handed. When her efforts at drawing and painting ended in frustration, Elizabeth abandoned all hope of ever expressing herself as an artist.
And then, a miracle. Placed in a sculpture class against her vociferous objections, Elizabeth came under the influence of teacher Kenneth G. Curran . Under his astute tutelage, Elizabeth developed a whole new approach to art - to stop struggling against that which did not work, and start exploring areas which did work. Placed in a sculpture class against her vociferous objections, Elizabeth came under the influence of teacher Kenneth G. Curran . Under his astute tutelage, Elizabeth developed a whole new approach to art - to stop struggling against that which did not work, and start exploring areas which did work.
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Mr. Curran trained Elizabeth to train herself, using a lifelong technique of creative problem-solving (one good problem, properly solved, should spawn at least ten good new problems).
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While her efforts in these areas were more satisfactory than works on paper, Berrien was still seeking a comfort zone.
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Berrien still has her first crude wire sculpture, from 1968: Picasso's Cat . Her parents hid it for years so she wouldn't throw it out.
While Kenneth Curran recommended art school to many of his pupils, Elizabeth Berrien was not among them.
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Elizabeth stayed in touch after graduation, and is grateful that she had the opportunity to thank her creative mentor for setting her on the journey of life.
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In her teens, Elizabeth became involved with the wolf preservation effort when John Harris, "Wolfman of Hayward," introduced her to his urban wolf pack.
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Later, Berrien would become a volunteer at the Oakland Zoo.
berrien Elizabeth divided her focus between learning about her animal subjects and learning to control wildly temperamental wire. She spent hours in the school's sculpture lab, making animals with wire and torch. When her parents vetoed plans for a torch at home, she embarked upon several years of problem solving: how to make wire joins hold firm without heat? Early efforts involved dipping wobbly wire forms in liquid plastic. The bubble-like shell held the wire in place, and made pretty ornaments she could give as Christmas gifts.
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Slowly and gradually, drawing upon past experiments with weaving, basketry and lace-making, Berrien's initially random loops and twists evolved into an orderly system of hand-twisted, textile wire sculpture. She gained a smoother facility, and the once painstaking sculptures started to evolve more easily.
The 1970's were a bleak time for Elizabeth Berrien, when she lived in Oakland, California. Isolated within a repressive marriage, she didn't handle money or drive a car. In this time of loneliness, she was befriended by a neighbor who shared her love for animals - painter Susan Seddon Boulet . At the Boulet home, Susan would serve up mugs of herbal tea or spicy Brazilian fish stew. As they chatted, Susan would share her lore of myth and metaphysics, while Elizabeth shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for the inner workings of the animal kingdom.
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Their friendship endured til Susan's death in 1997 and Elizabeth believes, beyond.
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In her thirties, as a divorced single parent, Berrien supplemented office income by staying up late twisting wire dragons and unicorns for San Francisco boutiques and Harvest Festivals.
dragon wire sculpture When a department store commissioned 3 life-sized Pegasus sculptures for Christmas window displays, they literally stopped traffic as viewers flooded the Union Square sidewalk and overflowed into the street. The breakthrough allowed Elizabeth to walk away from the day job. Her wire animals have supported her ever since.
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When all the California Condors were gathered in from the wild, the zoo commissioned Berrien to sit in blinds and study the massive birds from life, then create a California Condor wire sculpture with 9 1/2 ft wingspan to soar over the zoo's entry. When Berrien asked keepers to critique her sculpture, they said it was so accurate they could tell which condor it was!
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In 1988, Berrien embarked on her second marriage, which lasted 20 years. Today Elizabeth lives on her ten-acre farmstead on the outskirts of Eureka, on northern California's rugged redwood coast. She keeps horses and raises poultry, extending her self-education in animal behavior by studying the dynamics of her chicken flock. Her horses give her the insight needed to create breathtakingly accurate equine wire scuptures. The region's wildlife, including raccoons, foxes, herons, hawks and mountain lions, lend plenty of artistic inspiration, at the cost of an occasional careless chicken lost to predators.
raccoon mask wire sculpture 40 Years as a Wire Sculptor - and Still Twisting
For her first twenty years in wire, most viewers had never seen works by a wire sculptor besides Alexander Calder, Ruth Asawa or Elizabeth Berrien.
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Many people innocently assumed Elizabeth was using pre-meshed "chicken wire" - where the astonishing truth is that she weaves single strands, using only her bare hands and a pair of wire cutters. Even after 40 years as a wire sculptor, Elizabeth demonstrates often - dispelling those "chicken wire" myths and inspiring a whole new generation of wire sculptors. In 2004 Elizabeth Berrien founded Wire Sculpture Internation, a guild whose mission is to gain greater recognition, respect and validity for this highly diverse medium.
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In 2006, Berrien shipped several to Europe for the owner of a topiary garden in Belgium. Wire sculptures by Elizabeth Berrien are especially prized by architects, interior designers and feng shui consultants for their ability to harmonize and balance difficult spaces, enhancing rather than dominating the locale. Her distinctive, immediately recognizeable works are collected worldwide. You may have seen them at fine stores. Neiman Marcus, The Nature Company, Gump's, airports, parks, zoos, restaurants or sculpture gardens - even Disney World has a 13-ft T-Rex by Elizabeth Berrien.
jumping elk Elizabeth Berrien's life has been full of adventure. She makes a steady but limited flow of works for a handful of galleries and private collectors. Every year she pushes the envelope further, creating unique and unforgetable wire sculptures for collectors, museums, and site specific applications.
Due to the extraordinary requests for biographical information about the life factors that shaped Elizabeth Berrien as a wire sculptor - in a class entirely by herself - she has written a draft manuscript of her memoirs. When it is completed, we will announce its release on this website. cat wire sculpture
Early Years | High School Exploration in Wire | Wolves and Other Animals | Young Marriage and Motherhood | Evolution of a Career | Site Specific Public Works | Living on a North Coast Farm | | Earth
World Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien (707) 362-2771 · email wireladyE@yahoo.com
Content and images © 1968-2014 Elizabeth Berrien. All rights reserved. · Up
World Class Wire Sculpture by Elizabeth Berrien - Lana Shops Bal Harbour
www.wirelady.com, 25 Aug 2014 [cached]
Elizabeth Berrien · World Class Wire Sculpture and Illustration · (707)445-4931 · WIRE ARTWORK IN FLORIDA
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shopper wire sculpture by wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien
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Eureka Wire artist Elizabeth Berrien's most recent wire sculpture has been unveiled at Bal Harbour Shops in Florida. "Lana" is a silvery aluminum wire sculpture of an elegant woman walking a dog.
Berrien's work can be viewed on her website, www.wirelady.com.
Berrien was this year's winner of the Victor Jacoby Award for innovation and exccellence in art.
World Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931 · email wireladye@yahoo.com
Content and images © 1968-2010 Elizabeth Berrien. All rights reserved. · Updated Aug 2, 2010 · this page valid HTML 4.01
World Class Wire Sculpture by Elizabeth Berrien - Dogs
www.wirelady.com, 25 Aug 2014 [cached]
Elizabeth Berrien - Featured Artist in DogsUSA 2011 Annual | DOG page... | wire sculpture american eskimo. World Class Wire Sculpture by Elizabeth Berrien - Dogs
Elizabeth Berrien · World Class Wire Sculpture and Illustration · DOGS
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cover of dogs USA magazine featuring Wire sculptor artist Elizabeth Berrien's wire sculpture of a great dane, boris "DogsUSA" Magazine 2011 Annual features Elizabeth Berrien's amazing canine wire sculptures Wire sculptor artist Elizabeth Berrien's wire sculpture of a great dane, boris
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Elizabeth Berrien with a life-size memorial wire sculpture portrait of Boris, a great dane owned by Donna Hover.
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Wire sculptor artist Elizabeth Berrien's wire sculpture of two schnauzers playing, jumping, frolicking and leaping
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Wire sculptor artist Elizabeth Berrien's wire sculpture of two schnauzers playing, jumping, frolicking and leaping
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wolf spirit mask wire sculpture by wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien
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In 40+ years sculpting in wire, Berrien has created lifelike and personable sculptures of most AKC breeds, plus several engaging "mystery mixes".
dachshund dog wire sculpture by wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien
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dachshund dog wire sculpture by wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien
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dachshund dog wire sculpture by wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien
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Since Pulis are mainly a moving mass of dreadlocks with only the dog's nose visible, this was an exceptionally difficult challenge for Berrien -
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To get started, call the studio and tell Elizabeth about the dog you've got in mind...
World Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien (707) 362-2771 · email wireladye@yahoo.com
Content and images © Elizabeth Berrien. All rights reserved. · Updated Feb 7, 2012 · this page valid HTML 4.01
World Class Wire Sculpture by Elizabeth Berrien - Wired Wildlife
www.wirelady.com, 25 Aug 2014 [cached]
Elizabeth Berrien · World Class Wire Sculpture and Illustration · (707)445-4931 · WIRED WILDLIFE - Times-Standard 2005
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EUREKA -- Wire sculpture artist Elizabeth Berrien will give demonstrations of her innovative hand-twisting technique from noon to 4 p.m. today through Sunday in Francheschi Hall at the Redwood Acres Fair.
"Most of my life has given over to pioneering within the realm of contemporary wire sculpture," Berrien, a Eureka-based artist, said. "Following my own path, weaving through 37 years of creative problem solving, I gradually divined the properties and nature of wire as I invented my own form of textile-based, non-traditional wire sculpture."
The medium, she said, is a hybrid of freestyle lace-making technique and structural engineering with infusions of weaving, basketry and other textile forms.
"It involves an interrelated series of twists and a hidden, underlying resilient structure that has great strength and resonance," Berrien noted. "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. Elizabeth Berrien inside a Bear wire sculpture Elizabeth Berrien is pictured wiring from inside a bear wire sculpture. "Sometimes it just makes more sense that way," she said. "...When I do, I find it natural to pause and get a sense of the animal."
Animals are the central focus of Berrien's life, and she uses wire to express their inner essence.
"I am forever observing animals in motion and at rest to assimilate the spark that makes them truly alive," she said. "Individual strands of wire are intertwined into a detailed, accurate and expressive face that lends an intuitive sense that the animal's spirit is manifest within."
Until recent years, working in the field of wire sculpture has been a solitary existence for Berrien.
"Now I'm expanding its horizons," Berrien said. "I formed an international guild of wire sculptors and I publish a free online Innovative Wire Sculpture Workshop."
Berrien is this year's recipient of the Victor Jacoby Award for innovation and excellence in art. The Bayside Post Office is showing Berrien's work in its lobby throughout the month of June.
For more information about Berrien's wire sculptures or the online workshop, visit her website at www.wirelady.com
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 22, 2009 · this page valid HTML 4.01
World Class Wire Sculpture by Elizabeth Berrien - The Creative Process
www.wirelady.com, 25 Aug 2014 [cached]
Open Studio: | to her converted barn studio | Creative Process | Creative Process | Elizabeth Berrien's personal creative process World Class Wire Sculpture by Elizabeth Berrien - The Creative Process
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Elizabeth Berrien · World Class Wire Sculpture and Illustration · THE CREATIVE PROCESS
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Elizabeth Berrien's remarkable technique involves interweaving single strands, using only her bare hands and a pair of wire cutters. She has been inventing and exploring this rare and highly complex technique, a hybrid of lace-making and structural engineering, for over 40 years.
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Wire art sculptor Elizabeth Berrien's Standardbred Pegasus stallion. Canadian Pegasus by Elizabeth Berrien soars across the rotunda at Rideau-Carleton Raceway. Visit the Canadian Pegasus page and follow Elizabeth through the creative process for this unique landmark sculpture.
To dispel chicken wire myths, Elizabeth demonstrates often - inspiring a whole new generation of wire sculptors. She is founder of Wire Sculpture International, a guild whose mission is to gain greater recognition, respect and validity for this highly diverse medium.
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Explore the creative process with Elizabeth Berrien's free online Innovative Wire Sculpture Tutorial, treasured by artists throughout the world
World Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931 · email wireladye@yahoo.com
Content and images © Elizabeth Berrien. All rights reserved. · Updated Oct 7, 2011 · this page valid HTML 4.01
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