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ToccataNewsSJanuary 2008
BARBARA BERK’S “TOCCATA” PENDANT EXHIBITED IN
NEW WEST COAST DESIGN:  JEWELRY + METALWORK


Foster City, CA – “Toccata”, a new pendant by Barbara Berk, will be shown in New West Coast Design:  Jewelry + Metalwork at Velvet da Vinci Gallery in San Francisco January 18 – February 17, 2008.  Curated by Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt, the exhibition showcases the most exciting new designs in jewelry and metalwork currently being made in California, Oregon and Washington State. This exceptional work has been created by 80 established and emerging artists.

New West Coast Design is a group of exhibitions focusing on specific developments in the craft and design fields to be held in different venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. These exhibitions are inspired by the rich history of 20th century California Design exhibitions at the Pasadena Museum of Art (now the Norton Simon Museum) from the 1950’s through the 1970’s.  Other premier showcases for regional design included Designer Craftsmen of the West, curated by Elizabeth Moses in 1957 and held at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, in addition to the thirteen California Design events sponsored by the Baulines Craft Guild in San Francisco from 1988 to 2004.

Additional venues participating in New West Coast Design include the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design featuring Contemporary Objects; San Francisco Center for the Book featuring Books; Bucheon Gallery featuring Fiber; Museum of Craft and Folk Art featuring Recent Graduates from the California College of the Arts; and Artworks Gallery featuring Art Quilts.

Barbara Berk created “Toccata” by weaving 22kt and 18kt gold wires by hand, flat, off loom, using Soumak, an ancient rug-weaving technique, and then shaping the precious “fabric” into a 3-dimensional form.  An 18kt gold neckwire slipped through the top curl enables the sculptural woven gold to be worn as a pendant.  At 4.5” high x 1.75” wide x 0.75” deep, “Toccata” is among Berk’s larger pieces.  It incorporates three new design elements and features a 9.92 ct Mexican Fire Opal briolette carved by international award-winning lapidary artist Sherris Cottier Shank.

Among Berk’s honors are a 2004 American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Award, the 2002 Award for Excellence in Design from the Women’s Jewelry Association, and a 2001 Saul Bell Design Award for jewelry design.

Barbara Berk’s work is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  Her jewels are exhibited in museums and shows across the US including Wearable Expressions 2005 – 2006  (Palos Verdes Art Center, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA); The Art of Gold, a traveling exhibit of contemporary American studio goldsmithing organized by the Society of North American Goldsmiths (2003 – 2006);  Art Blooms Jewelry Fair 2005, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD; the Jewelry Arts Salon at the International Art and Design Fair (New York, NY 2004); and Best of the Best at the Museum of the Gemological Institute of America (Carlsbad, CA 2003).  In addition, her work has been exhibited at various SOFA (Sculpture Objects Functional Art) Expositions and American Craft Council shows.

Her jewels have been featured in many publications, including  Textile Techniques in Metal for Jewelers, Textile Artists and Sculptors by Arline Fisch, Jewelry and Gems  by Antoinette Matlins, Art Jewelry Today by Dona Z. Meilach, in addition to many magazines including Metalsmith, American Style, Jewelry Artist (formerly Lapidary Journal), Gems and Gemology (published by the Gemological Institute of America), plus numerous trade publications.  Berk is the author of  “Textile Techniques in Metal:  A Designer’s Perspective on Sheet and Wire” Parts I and II, presented at the Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing (2004 and 2006, respectively) and published in the Symposiums’ Proceedings.  She wrote “A Platinum Tapestry:  Weaving all the Elements Together”, presented at the Women in Platinum Symposium (1999) and published in Platinum Manufacturing Process Volume VIII, Platinum Guild International USA (2000).

Barbara Berk offers workshops at art centers and schools across the country.  She is scheduled to teach “Weaving With Metal:  New Perspectives on Sheet and Wire” at the Mendocino Art Center August 18 – 22, 2008.   

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SCurveNews02June 2007
BROOCH BY BARBARA BERK ACQUIRED BY
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON


Foster City, CA – Barbara Berk’s “S-Curve Brooch” has been donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston by Elyse Zorn Karlin, the Editor/Publisher of Adornment, the Magazine of Jewelry and Related Arts, author of Jewelry and Metalwork in the Arts & Crafts Tradition, and past president of the American Society of Jewelry Historians.  “I admire Barbara Berk’s jewelry both for its aesthetic quality – the undulating lines and feeling of movement – and for its excellence in technique.  Each piece is perfectly formed and executed,” said Karlin.  “I wanted a piece of her jewelry to be in the important collection that the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is building for posterity.  It is an exciting time when jewelry is finally getting the recognition it deserves in the museum world.”

StickPinNews03The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is a major jewelry resource center.  Its sizeable and comprehensive collection of jewelry and adornments spans 6,000 years of civilization on several continents and represents a wide array of materials, techniques and functions.  “The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is pleased to add the “S-Curve Brooch” by Barbara Berk to its permanent collection,” said Yvonne Markowitz, the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry at the Museum.  “A technically sophisticated adornment with bold, visual appeal, the brooch is one of the highlights of the Museum’s late 20th century holdings.”

Berk created her “S-Curve Brooch” by weaving 18kt gold sheet and wire by hand, flat, off loom, in an “over 1, under 1” Plain Weave pattern, and then shaping the precious “fabric” into a 3-dimensional form.  A separate stickpin – featuring a 14.20 ct Citrine carved by Sherris Cottier Shank – used as an attachment mechanism, enables the sculptural woven gold to be worn as a brooch.

“I’m delighted by Elyse Zorn Karlin’s admiration of my handwoven jewels, and very much appreciate the generosity of her donation,” said Berk.  “I am deeply honored to have my work represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.   I share this recognition with Arline Fisch and Mary Lee Hu, who taught me to weave with metal, and with those special individuals – family, friends, vendors, customers – who encouraged me to pursue my vision.”

Among Berk’s honors are a 2004 American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Award, the 2002 Award for Excellence in Design from the Women’s Jewelry Association, and a 2001 Saul Bell Design Award for jewelry design.

Barbara Berk’s jewels are exhibited in museums and shows across the US,  including Wearable Expressions 2005 – 2006  (Palos Verdes Art Center, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA); The Art of Gold, a traveling exhibit of contemporary American studio goldsmithing organized by the Society of North American Goldsmiths (2003 – 2006);  Art Blooms Jewelry Fair 2005, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD; the Jewelry Arts Salon at the International Art and Design Fair (New York, NY 2004); and Best of the Best at the Museum of the Gemological Institute of America (Carlsbad, CA 2003).  In addition, her work has been exhibited at various SOFA (Sculpture Objects Functional Art) Expositions and American Craft Council shows.

Her jewels have been featured in many publications, including  Textile Techniques in Metal for Jewelers, Textile Artists and Sculptors by Arline Fisch, Jewelry and Gems  by Antoinette Matlins, Art Jewelry Today by Dona Z. Meilach, in addition to many magazines including Metalsmith, American Style, Gems and Gemology (published by the Gemological Institute of America), plus numerous trade publications.  Berk is the author of  “Textile Techniques in Metal:  A Designer’s Perspective on Sheet and Wire” Parts I and II, presented at the Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing (2004 and 2006, respectively) and published in the Symposiums’ Proceedings.  She wrote “A Platinum Tapestry:  Weaving all the Elements Together”, presented at the Women in Platinum Symposium (1999) and published in Platinum Manufacturing Process Volume VIII, Platinum Guild International USA (2000).

Berk teaches weaving with metal at the University of California Extension, Santa Cruz and offers workshops at art centers and schools across the country.

Barbara Berk’s handwoven high karat gold and platinum jewelry is available at select retailers and shows across the country, as well as from her website

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StreamersFebruary 2004       
BARBARA BERK WINS 2004 AGTA SPECTRUM AWARD


Foster City, CA – Barbara Berk is a winner in the 2004 AGTA Spectrum Awards competition hosted by the American Gem Trade Association. Over 560 entries were judged on the basis of overall beauty and wearability, innovative design, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones, quality of workmanship, broad-base consumer appeal and potential to generate positive publicity for natural colored gemstones.

Berk took 2nd Place in the Bridal category for “Streamers” a set of three pendants, featuring four cultured South Sea pearls, suspended from white silk ribbon. In her signature handwoven platinum, “Streamers” is Berk’s first bridal design.

Created in 1984, the AGTA Spectrum Awards competition honors, recognizeand promotes North American designers and lapidaries whose work utilizes natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls. It is a true contest of workmanship, creativity and innovation and the winners set the standards of excellence for the entire industry.

Barbara Berk creates jewelry using textile techniques with precious metals. Handwoven high karat gold or platinum “fabric” is shaped into ribbons and ruffles, spirals and loops – which become earrings, brooches, necklaces and pendants. Interchangeable stickpins and centerpiece are both ornamental and functional. Hers is a contemporary approach to classical forms and ancient techniques.

Barbara Berk received the 2002 Award for Excellence in Design from the Women’s Jewelry Association. She won First Place in the 2001 Saul Bell Design Award competition for jewelry design for her “Paisley” Pendant/Brooch, recently exhibited in Best of the Best at the Museum of the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA. Her “Ruffle Brooch” is currently touring with The Art of Gold an exhibition of contemporary American studio goldsmithing curated by Michael Monroe. She is the author of “A Platinum Tapestry: Weaving all the Elements Together” published in Platinum Manufacturing Process Volume VIII, Platinum Day Symposium 2000, Platinum Guild International USA. Her jewelry is featured in the 2nd and 3rd editions of Textile Techniques in Metal by Arline M. Fisch (Lark Books 1996 and 2001).

Barbara Berk’s handwoven high karat gold and platinum jewelry is available at select retailers and shows across the country, as well as from her website.

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x12SAJTcoversMay 2003
BARBARA BERK’S JEWELRY
FEATURED IN ART JEWELRY TODAY


Foster City, CA – Three pieces created by Barbara Berk are featured in Art Jewelry Today, a new look at contemporary art jewelry written by Dona Z. Meilach (Schiffer Books). A guide to artists and their innovative works, the book presents contemporary designs in gold and platinum, silver, mixed metals, found objects, glass, enamel and “imaginative pieces that go beyond tradition”. According to Meilach, today’s art jeweler is creating “serious sculpture” – sculpture to be worn, enjoyed, appreciated and collected.

Featured in Art Jewelry Today are Berk’s signature “Ruffle Brooch”, in 18kt gold with a pink tourmaline stickpin; her classic “Bow Brooch” in 22kt and 18kt gold with cultured pearls; and her newest creation, “Interlocking Hearts” centerpiece in platinum with cultured South Sea pearls.

Barbara Berk creates jewelry using textile techniques with precious metals. Handwoven high karat gold or platinum “fabric” is shaped into ribbons and ruffles, spirals and loops – which become earrings, brooches, necklaces and pendants. Inter- changeable stickpins and centerpieces are both ornamental and functional.  Hers is a contemporary approach to classical forms and ancient techniques.

Barbara Berk received the 2002 Award for Excellence in Design from the Women’s Jewelry Association. She won First Place in the 2001 Saul Bell Design Award competition for jewelry design for her “Paisley” Pendant/Brooch, recently exhibited in Best of the Best at the Museum of the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA. Her “Ruffle Brooch” is currently touring with The Art of Gold an exhibition of contemporary American studio goldsmithing curated by Michael Monroe. She is the author of “A Platinum Tapestry: Weaving all the Elements Together” published in Platinum Manufacturing Process Volume VIII, Platinum Day Symposium 2000, Platinum Guild International USA. Her jewelry is featured in the 2nd and 3rd editions of Textile Techniques in Metal by Arline M. Fisch (Lark Books 1996 and 2001).

Barbara Berk’s handwoven high karat gold and platinum jewelry is available at select retailers and shows across the country, as well as from her website.

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ArtofGoldJanuary 2003    
BARBARA BERK’S “RUFFLE BROOCH”
EXHIBITED IN THE ART OF GOLD


Foster City, CA – “Ruffle”, a brooch by Barbara Berk, will be shown in The Art of Gold, an exhibit of contemporary American studio goldsmithing. Curated by Michael Monroe, the exhibition is co-sponsored by the Society of North American Goldsmiths and Exhibits USA.

The Art of Gold features the work of 78 American goldsmiths, and is the first major survey exhibit of its kind in over 25 years. It presents an opportunity to examine both the material – gold – and the objects that contemporary craftspeople make with it. Currently an independent curator, Michael Monroe has been intimately involved with American craft for over thirty years. His many prominent positions include curator-in-charge of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and curator of the White House Collection of American Craft.

The show opened at the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, CA (January 24 - April 27, 2003) and will travel to a number of sites over the next three years, including:

     University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, VA   Sept. 1 - Oct. 20, 2003
     Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR   Jan. 28, 2003 - March 15, 2004
     Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC   April 3 - August 8, 2004
     Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK   Nov. 10, 2004 – Jan. 7, 2005

The “Ruffle”, Berk’s signature piece, is created from 18kt gold sheet and wire woven together by hand. The gold is woven flat, off loom and then shaped. A separate stickpin, topped with a Lapis Lazuli drop, is the attachment mechanism for the brooch.

Barbara Berk creates jewelry using textile techniques with precious metals. Handwoven high karat gold or platinum “fabric” is shaped into ribbons and ruffles, spirals and loops – which become earrings, brooches, necklaces and pendants. Inter- changeable stickpins and centerpieces are both ornamental and functional.  Hers is a contemporary approach to classical forms and ancient techniques.

Barbara Berk received the 2002 Award for Excellence in Design from the Women’s Jewelry Association. She won First Place in the 2001 Saul Bell Design Award competition for jewelry design for her “Paisley” Pendant/Brooch, recently exhibited in Best of the Best at the Museum of the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA. She is the author of “A Platinum Tapestry: Weaving all the Elements Together” published in Platinum Manufacturing Process Volume VIII, Platinum Guild International USA. Her jewelry is featured in the 3rd edition of Textile Techniques in Metal by Arline M. Fisch (2001) and in the upcoming Art Jewelry Today by Dona Meilach (May, 2003).

Barbara Berk’s handwoven high karat gold and platinum jewelry is available at select retailers and shows across the country, as well as from her website.

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August 2002
BARBARA BERK RECEIVES AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
FROM WOMEN’S JEWELRY ASSOCIATION


Foster City, CA - Barbara Berk, owner of Barbara Berk Designs in Foster City, CA, received the annual Award for Excellence in Design from the Women’s Jewelry Association at a dinner ceremony held in New York City on July 28, 2002 during the Jewelers of America trade show.

Established in 1984, the annual Awards for Excellence program acknowledges the outstanding accomplishments and milestones of exceptional women in all facets of the jewelry industry. Nominated and voted on by WJA members, the awards are considered the “Oscars” of the jewelry industry. The Women’s Jewelry Association, founded in 1983, is the preeminent association of professional women in the jewelry, watch and related businesses. Through the national organization, headquartered in New York City, and eight regional chapters, members benefit from educational and networking opportunities, scholarships, grants, design competitions and recognition programs. 

Barbara Berk creates jewelry using textile techniques with precious metals. Handwoven high karat gold or platinum “fabric” is shaped into ribbons and ruffles,spirals and loops – which become earrings, brooches, necklaces and pendants. Interchangeable stickpins and centerpieces, both ornamental and functional, expand the wearability and the value of the collection. This contemporary approach to classical forms and ancient techniques creates jewelry which is uniquely feminine and versatile.

Barbara Berk won First Place in the 2001 Saul Bell Design Award competition for jewelry design for her “Paisley” Pendant/Brooch. She is the author of “A Platinum Tapestry: Weaving all the Elements Together” published in Platinum Manufacturing Process Volume VIII by the Platinum Guild International USA. Her jewelry is featured in the 3rd edition of Textile Techniques in Metal by Arline M. Fisch (2001). Berk was a winner in the World Gold Council’s Gold Trends 2000, and a Finalist in the American Jewelry Design Council (1999 and 1998), Niche Awards (1998) and Women’s Jewelry Association’s DIVA (1997) design competitions. She made her trade show debut as a Rising Star at the 1998 JCK International Jewelry Show in Las Vegas.
   
Barbara Berk’s handwoven high karat gold and platinum jewelry is available at select craft shows, jewelry stores and galleries
 

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June 2001 
BARBARA BERK WINS 2001 SAUL BELL DESIGN AWARD

Barbara Berk’s “Paisley” Ensemble won First Place in the 2001 Saul Bell Design Award Competition for jewelry design. Her award-winning piece is a combination pendant/brooch of 22kt and 18kt yellow gold woven together by hand. The pendant is set with one 6.5mm Moissanite; the addition of a stickpin with an 8.0mm Moissanite converts the pendant into a brooch.

The design is similar to and a departure from Berk’s typical work. She used the same metal-weaving stitch and technique as she does in her line; the fluidity and shaping of the design is her signature, and the concept of convertibility is one she always considers when she creates. The different element in this Paisley pendant/brooch award competition piece is the new construction technique developed for incorporating the stone – a fabrication technique that opens new avenues of design for her collection.

From more than 150 submissions, narrowed to 19 finalists, Rio Grande honored seven winners including Barbara Berk and one Grand Prize winner for the first annual Saul Bell Design Award competition. This was the inaugural year for the annual competition that honors Rio Grande’s founder, Saul Bell. Co-sponsored by Charles & Colvard™ created moissanite, this year’s competition challenged jewelry designers to create original pieces featuring created moissanite.

 

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ok3sApril 15, 2000
NECKLACE EXHIBITED AT NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM OF
LOS ANGELES COUNTY

“Sea Dragon: Chrysoprase”, a necklace by Barbara Berk Designs, will be shown in the exhibition The Gem Artists of North America, to be held at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA from May 4 – July 30, 2000.

The necklace, comprised of a handwoven clasp of 22kt and 18kt gold suspended from four strands of 3mm Chrysoprase beads, features a one-of-a-kind 23.89ct Chrysoprase drop carved by Sherris Cottier Shank. Ms. Shank, an award-winning lapidary artist, is a founding member of the Gem Artists of North America. “Sea Dragon: Chrysoprase” will be shown with two of Ms. Shank’s gemstone sculptures.

Barbara Berk Designs creates limited production and one-of-a-kind jewelry using textile techniques with precious metals. Handwoven high karat gold or platinum “fabric” is shaped into ribbons and ruffles, spirals and loops – which become earrings, brooches, necklaces and pendants. Interchangeable clasps and stickpins, both ornamental and functional, complement the classical forms. This contemporary approach to ancient techniques creates a collection which is uniquely feminine and versatile.

Barbara Berk was a Rising Star at the 1998 JCK International Jewelry Show in Las Vegas and a Finalist in the American Jewelry Design Council (1999), Niche Awards (1998) and Women’s Jewelry Association’s DIVA (1997) design competitions. Her jewelry can be seen at the JCK Show in Las Vegas (Design Center #35041), the JA Show in New York (International Jewelry Design Guild’s Design Collection 2000) and at various craft shows around the country.

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