- Disney's T-Rex
sculpture going up on bay site
Henry, The Times-Standard
Berrien shows progress on a Tyrannosaurus rex she's building for a
Disney World project.
EUREKA - With steady hands sculptor Elizabeth Berrien hoists nearly 50
pounds of twisted wire into the air on Friday. Though only partly
complete, Berrien's newest sculpture - a toothsome Tyrannosaurus rex -
dwarfs her. When it's done, this wire creature will stand eight feet
tall and weigh 70 to 80 pounds.
"I would call this a six-to-eight month project and I've only had
one-and-a-half months to work on it," Berrien said."It's a rush job, a
special order from a San Francisco architect who needs a dinosaur for a
display at an executive meeting room at Disney World."
"He called in November and said he knew it was short notice and asked
if I'd ever done a dinosaur," Berrien said.His firm, Gensler
Associates, had seen some of her wire animals in an advertising flyer
and decided to dump a planned balsa wood dinosaur project in favor of a
Berrien wire creation.
"These things do have a reputation for combatting viewer fatigue,"
Berrien said, after recalling one project she did for the Louisville
airport. "The first day several people missed flights - but they didn't
Berrien expects to finish twisting the final strands of wire at her
workshop at the Blue Ox Millworks in mid-February. Then, she has to put
T-rex on a plane bound for Orlando. "we'll do it like we did with the
giraffe," she said, "We'll take it to the Arcata airport and put a
baggage tag on it and start folding." Once Berrien arrives in Orlando,
she'll calim T-rex from baggage claim and start bending it back into
shape. "after we unfold and get it positioned right, then we're going
to go on a few rides," she said.
Meanwhile, T-rex will hang suspended from six cables in the meeting
room. In its claws, the dinosaur will hold giant McDonalds food
containers - the conference room is named the "McDonald's Room".
Berrien isn't troubled about the commercialization of her work. She
sees the job as "a great lark with good pay". She'll make $19,000 for
her dinosaur and an extra set of dinosaur arms. She also received two
plane tickets to Disney World, and a living allowance while she's there.
T-rex is one of the biggest projects she has done in her 30 years of
sculpting animals. Her career began with a lumpy wire cat that she
still keeps to show children that art can come from humble beginnings.
T-rex, ready to go!
Class Wire Sculpture
· Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931 · email firstname.lastname@example.org
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