Silicon Valley Open Studios

Connecting artists to art enthusiasts

Artist: Barbara M. Berk

Studio: Barbara Berk Designs, LLC   Room: 8 and 33

Lace Seven:  Interiors (detail)
Title: Lace Seven: Interiors (detail)
Description: Phosphor Bronze - Bobbin Lace
Media: Sculpture
Size: 16 x 13 x 15
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Contact Barbara M. Berk



Phone:(650) 281-6534

About Barbara M. Berk

My journey has been circuitous: a childhood love of fabric and sewing; a Master’s Degree in Russian History; over 15 years in magazine publishing. My introduction to antique jewelry led to studies in gemology and metalsmithing – and the discovery that my true passion is working with the metal itself. I learned that metal can be worked like fiber, that sheet and wire can be woven. Most exciting was my realization that sculptural forms can be fashioned from the metal “fabric” I create.

My practice explores the interplay of traditional textile techniques and structures with industrial metals.

I weave and make lace with round wire by hand. I work flat and straight. I then coax the flat “fabric” into a 3-dimensional form. Though Process is paramount, it is dependent on the physical properties and working characteristics of the metal. It is the thickness and the temper of the wire, the density of the metal and its ability to work harden and weld that enable me to animate the flat metal fabric I create. The process is time-consuming and labor-intensive. It is immersive and meditative.

My work embraces the dualities and seeming contradictions of this combining of Process, Material and Form: soft-domestic processes/hard-industrial materials; geometric pattern/organic form; interior/exterior; positive space/negative space; looking at/looking through; visual fluidity/physical movement; object/shadow. This tapestry creates calligraphic abstractions in three dimensions – lyrical, elegant, sophisticated, distinctive.

My free-standing and hanging sculpture has been exhibited in “Reflections and Shadows”, juried by Maria Medua, Director of SFMOMA Artists Gallery at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA (2017); “Not Flat”, Peninsula Sculptors’ Guild at the Museum Studios’ Gallery, Peninsula Museum of Art, Burlingame, CA (2017); “International Fiber Arts VII”, juried by Lia Cook, John Hopper, Kyoko Kumai, at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA (2015); “Sculpture: On and Off the Wall”, Peninsula Sculptors’ Guild at the Coastal Arts League, Half Moon Bay, CA (2015).