Dennis Berry

Studio Phone

Artist's Biography
In the easiest terms, vitrified enamel is powdered glass bonded by fusion to a metal surface under high temperature conditions. The glass comes in many colors, is somewhat finer than granulated sugar and somewhat coarser than flour. This powder is applied by one of several methods, to a copper panel of varying sizes. Next, the copper panel is heated to 1000- 1600 degrees Fahrenheit either in a furnace or with a hand held torch. After 1 to 10 minutes the copper panel is removed and allowed to cool to room temperature. Subsequent coats normally of different colors are applied to the copper panel. Sometimes 5 to 10 firings are required to bring about the desired results.

Dennis first became aware of this process while on assignment in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While there, he had the opportunity to visit an art gallery of master enamellist and artist, Craig Ruhe. Dennis realized he had found what would become his passion, the art of enameling. Many years of photography and design experience had provided Dennis with a knowledge base of texture, color, light, and composition and in some respects, prepared him for working with glass and copper.

Dennis learned that Craig Ruhe was in a hospice dying of cancer and eager to act as Dennisâ%80%99s mentor as he patiently guided him through the multi dimensional and complex process of the art. Craig graciously revealed confidential and closely held enameling techniques that he had acquired over a period of twenty-five years as a successful enamellist and gallery owner. Craig Ruhe unfortunately, died two weeks after he finished tutoring Dennis. Dennis is eternally grateful for the gift of knowledge Craig shared with him. He believes there are only three artists in the nation that are knowledgeable in the many facets of producing this specific type of art and is fortunate to have been Craigâ%80%99s friend and understudy.

Woodrow Carpenter, CEO of Thompson Enamel in Belleview, Kentucky, was also a major contributor regarding Dennisâ%80%99s quest to become an enamellist. Woodrow obligingly and generously opened his corporate studio door and through the capable assistance of his staff, Bill Helwig and Tom Ellis, Dennis developed skills not readily available elsewhere.

Doubletake Gallery
2400 N. 2nd Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55411
(952) 224-8333