Elizabeth Berrien · World Class Wire Sculpture and Illustration · THE CREATIVE PROCESS
elizabeth berrien's bbc cables wire sculpture illustration wins the BIG WON award for #1 Innovative and Alternative 2008.
THE BIG WON
#1 Worldwide
Alternative/Innovative


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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.

It is remarkable and rare for an untrained artist to create and explore within an untapped medium, evolving and refining it to museum quality standards. As one observer noted: "It's as if a musician invented a hitherto unknown instrument... figured out how to play a few notes... then to compose complex arrangements and symphonies to perform on that new instrument..."

The artist has received honors, acclaims and awards throughout the world, including Most Innovative/Alternative Medium, worldwide, by The Big Won.
Wire art sculptor Elizabeth Berrien hand-weaves forelegs onto Standardbred stallion.
Working on Pegasus
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. bear mask wire sculpture
Bear Spirit, work in progress
No, it's NOT chicken wire!
bear wire sculpture
To begin a wire sculpture, I gather all the reference images I can and plaster the walls and floor of my studio with them. Then I start my "pre-wiring dither" selecting the right wire, fixing a cup of coffee or tea, putting on slippers, putting on some music, as I settle into a meditative mood. Sometimes friends read to me as I wire. I love audiobooks, too! Maybe a murder mystery, or something from Terry Pratchett - anything to engage my surface mind while my subconscious runs loose with the wire.

If I'm working on a bear, I may immerse myself in the images around me til I forget whether I'm human or bear. I start at the animal's head, twisting a few single strands of wire together to create a sort of nucleus.

As I continue to weave in dozens or even hundreds of additional wires, I seek out and follow the energy lines of muscle, bone and fur that translate the bear's spirit and essence.

Often, I get a sense that the half-done sculpture is already alive, watching me as I work and suggesting that I veer this way or that with the wires. The feeling of communing with the animal is even stronger when I weave from the inside of a large work; it's like looking outward through the bear's eyes and feeling its heart beat.

For tall animals like life-size bears and giraffes, instead of climbing a ladder I use this system: kneeling on a floor cushion, I weave up the head and/or neck til it's too ungainly to continue as lapwork. Then I attach it to a rope suspended by an overhead pulley and hoist it. From then on I weave downward, while hoisting the animal ever higher.

Sometimes a half-done animal, emerging from its cloud of twisted wires, looks so magical just as it is that I stop working on it - and leave it as an expressive "figment".

As I create my "three-dimensional line drawings", I incorporate a hidden, embedded structure to the sculptures, making them much more rugged than the airiness of their lines would suggest.

The feedback I've had from people who own my sculptures has made me aware that they seem to put out more good energy than I'm aware of putting in. Now that I'm aware of the semi-metaphysical aspects, I try to just let the animal's personality come through without imposing my artistic ego into it. All my works have a basic infused intent - to bring blessings and harmony to the people that come in contact with them.


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

elizabeth berrien's bbc cables wire sculpture illustration wins the BIG WON award for #1 Innovative and Alternative 2008.
THE BIG WON
#1 Worldwide

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