Reader’s Showcase | Harriete Estel Berman | Intriguing Post Consumer Recycled Art

Harriete Estel Berman uses post consumer, recycled materials to construct artwork ranging from jewelry and teacups to entire lawns and sculpture with social commentary.

Sculptures include domestic appliances remarking on the roles of women, the influence of advertising and commentary about our consumer society. Recent work includes a bell curve 15′ feet tall and 28′ feet as a commentary about the impact of standardized testing.

Judaica by Harriete focus on the concept of Tikkum Olam “repair the world” with the use of recycled tin cans.

This Seder plate was designed for the invitational exhibition titled Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art and Jewish Thought, The Dorothy Saxe Invitational at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. San Francisco, CA

Berman’s work has shown throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. Her work has been acquired for the permanent collections of 13 museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Detroit Institute of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Harriete says…

All of my work uses  post consumer recycled materials for the past 24 years (starting way before the current rage for recycled materials.) At the time I started it was actually embarrassing to be working with trash. Now this movement has considerable momentum.”

“My primary material is recycled tin cans to make jewelry, sculpture, installations and Judaica. 

The Recycle Fushia Bracelet above is from a premium quality shampoo that came in a brilliant colored plastic bottle. The black is take out trays.

“Recently I have been expanding into using pencils and post consumer plastic waste.   

Pick UP Your Pencils, Begin is a gigantic bell curve 28' wide and 15' tall about the impact of standardized testing on our educational system.
Womanizer, Kitchen Queen 1982 - Blender body and lid are a painted copper construction. Carefully constructed using sheet metal these appliances are not found objects. Ballerina inside the transparent plastic blender container pirouettes in conjunction with the music by wind-up mechanism.

You can find out more about Harriete and her work on her website:

A Flickr Set detailing the design and fabrication of Harriete’s amazing Seder Plate

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