Elizabeth Berrien · World Class Wire Sculpture and Illustration · BEL VILLAGIO COLLECTION
elizabeth berrien's bbc wire sculpture illustration wins the Clio award 2008.



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wire sculpture wine glass
Elizabeth Berrien installs the aluminum wire wineglass
wine glass wire sculpture
The illuminated wire sculpture glows at night.
By: BRIAN ECKHOUSE - Staff Writer, The Californian

TEMECULA ---- Amid the homogeny of antiseptic strip malls full of ubiquitous chain stores putting up the same old holiday displays year after year, Bel Villaggio of Temecula is decorating with a splash of individuality.

United Development Group, which owns Bel Villaggio, commissioned Elizabeth Berrien, a Northern California wire sculptor, to hand-twist aluminum welding rods into seven elegant, understated holiday ornaments in various shapes, including candy canes, jumping deer, a wine bottle and glass, and a Christmas tree.

Nancy Walters, president of Very Special Events, United Development Group's marketing company for the display, said the firm selected Berrien because of her ability to fuse elements of Temecula Valley, particularly Wine Country, with elements of the Christmas season.

"A lot of malls put up decor, but we wanted to do something that reflected (Temecula's) lifestyle," Walters said.

Berrien, who has been a professional wire sculptor for 37 years, has melded childhood interests including weaving, knitting and basketry into a hybrid wire-sculpture technique of lacing and engineering.

"Most illuminated wire sculptures are what you find in the hardware stores," Berrien said. "They call themselves wire sculptures. They're rather simple and, frankly, rather crude. They all look alike."

Thursday afternoon, Berrien, 54, and her husband Nick Viesselman, 58, hooked the aluminum ornaments into something familiar, at least for Berrien ---- long strands of aluminum rods along the mall, including between two posts outside Macaroni Grill.

Berrien bought some candy canes as an intended model for one of her aluminum creations. That didn't last too long.

"I've learned to follow the wires more than to follow my own sketches," said Berrien, who won the 2005 Victor Jacoby Award for innovation in art.

'Following the wires' has keyed her success. Berrien's sculptures have been displayed at Disneyworld, San Francisco's Union Square and the Louisville Airport.

But she doesn't believe making pieces for malls compromises herself as an artist.

"We all fantasize about one big patron who will be in a position to support us to bring everything we wanted for life," Berrien said. "In real life, it doesn't happen that way.

"You have to run yourself as a small business. Certainly, maintaining art standards is an (imperative)."

Tonight beginning at 5 p.m., Bel Villaggio at Overland Drive and Margarita Road will celebrate the illumination of Berrien's pieces with live music, including jazz, and seven tasting stations from restaurants in the mall, including La Carretta Mexican Restaurant, the Original Pancake House and Korean Barbecue Village. Wilson Creek Winery also will host a tasting station.

Contact staff writer Brian Eckhouse at (951) 676-4315, Ext. 2626, or beckhouse@californian.com.
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World Class Wire Sculpture · Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931 · email wireladye@yahoo.com

Content and images © 1968-2009 Elizabeth Berrien. All rights reserved. · Updated Oct 22, 2009 · this page valid HTML 4.01

elizabeth berrien's bbc wire sculpture illustration wins the Clio award 2008.
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elizabeth berrien's wire sculpture illustration wins two coveted Andy gold awards 2008.
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