10 March 1915, San Lorenzo, Friuli, Italy -
6 November 1978, Barto, PA, USA
In 1937 Harry Bertoia went to the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and within a few years became responsible for teaching metal-working there. Yet, when the USA joined the Second World War and metal supplies were rationed, Bertoia had to work on a much smaller scale producing unique silver jewels. Like his contemporary Alexander Calder, he set himself the severe limitations of using only 'cold connections', especially rivets, and definitely no solder.
While at Cranbrook, Bertoia met Charles and Ray Eames - he even made their wedding rings - and later joined them in 1943 in California to work on developing moulded plywood furniture. In 1950 he then moved to Pennsylvania to work with hans and Florence Knoll for whom he designed five pieces of wire furniture including the famous 'Diamond Chair'. Payment for these designs enabled him to set up as a sculptor rom which point on his jewellery was made mainly for friends and family members in hammers silver or fused Beryllium bronze - his wife Brigitta was the recipient of several made in gold.