Elizabeth Berrien

Elizabeth Berrien

World Class Wire Sculptor and Illustrator at Wire Sculpture International

Update Profile
Location:
P.O. Box 6306, Eureka, California, United States
HQ Phone:
(707) 362-2771

General Information

Experience

Business Manager  - Artweek

Grand Juror  - Grand Jury of Humboldt

Education

Humboldt State University

Affiliations

Juried Member  - International Guild of Wire Jewelry Artists

Founder  - Guild of wire sculptors

Recent News  

World Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien · BIOGRAPHY
wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien 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. back to Top 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. 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). While her efforts in these areas were more satisfactory than works on paper, Berrien was still seeking a comfort zone. 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. 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. In her teens, Elizabeth became involved with the wolf preservation effort when John Harris, "Wolfman of Hayward," introduced her to his urban wolf pack. 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. 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. Their friendship endured til Susan's death in 1997 and Elizabeth believes, beyond. 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. 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! 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. 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. 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

Read More

Elizabeth Berrien · World Class Wire Sculpture and Illustration · (707)445-4931 · WIRE ARTWORK IN FLORIDA
shopper wire sculpture by wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien 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

Read More

Elizabeth Berrien · World Class Wire Sculpture and illustration · Canadian Pegasus at Rideau-Carleton Raceway
Elizabeth Berrien creates a magnificent Standardbred Pegasus to soar over the entry rotunda of the Rideau-Carleton Raceway in Ottawa, Canada. Wire art sculptor Elizabeth Berrien hand-weaves forelegs onto Standardbred stallion. Standardbred Pegasus by Elizabeth Berrien soars across the rotunda at Rideau-Carleton Raceway. harness race research in starting gate for Pegasus wire sculpture by sculptor Elizabeth Berrien. harness race research in starting gate for Pegasus wire sculpture by sculptor Elizabeth Berrien harness race research in starting gate for Pegasus wire sculpture by sculptor Elizabeth Berrien harness race research in starting gate for Pegasus wire sculpture by sculptor Elizabeth Berrien wire sculpture wire research of standardbred harness racer by Elizabeth Berrien wire sculpture wire research of standardbred harness racer by Elizabeth Berrien. wire sculpture wire research of standardbred harness racer by Elizabeth Berrien wire sculpture wire research of standardbred harness racer by Elizabeth Berrien wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien's Wire Zoo studio in Eureka California metal wire sculpture wire of standardbred pegasus flying horse head and wing by Elizabeth Berrien. wire sculptor Elizabeth Berrien works on the Canadian Pegasus wire sculpture wire sculpture wire research of standardbred harness racer by Elizabeth Berrien. wire sculpture wire research of standardbred harness racer by Elizabeth Berrien Wire art sculptor Elizabeth Berrien's metal wire Standardbred Pegasus stallion is installed at Rideau-Carleton Raceway in Ottawa, Canada Wire art sculptor Elizabeth Berrien's metal wire Standardbred Pegasus stallion is installed at Rideau-Carleton Raceway in Ottawa, Canada. With over 40 years experience creating monumental wire sculptures for public, private and corporate sites, Elizabeth Berrien has been cited as the most creatively versatile wire sculptor available, "Best of the Best" for her award winning installations. Arranging for site specific works, whether public art or a custom home enhancement, is easy. Just call the studio, and let Elizabeth know what you need. World Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931 · email wireladye@yahoo.com

Read More

Browse ZoomInfo’s Directories