Val Bertoia Sonambient Sculptures
In the 1950s, his family moved from California to Pennsylvania where he has lived and worked here ever since. In the 1960s, Val studied mechanical engineering at Indiana Institute of Technology in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. In 1971 his father asked him to work at Bertoia Studio with him, and Val worked with his father from 1972-1978. The well-known Sound-Sculpture environment which Harry continued for 10 years (1968-1978) is trademarked Sonambient®. Harry and Val installed large-scale commissioned metal sculptures and Harry was amazed with Val's level of precision and engineering abilities and often asked his advice. Late in the 1970s, Harry and Val made Bertoia Sound-Sculptures for distribution world-wide. During those 6-years, Val worked on his own projects including wind-electric systems as derivatives of kinetic sculpture models. Harry was an intuitive engineer and Val's wind-systems reaching over 90 ft. high were refined by Harry and became well-balanced with a US Patent. In 1978, continuing where Harry left off, with the encouragement of his mother, Brigitta Bertoia, Val continued the sculpture-business of his father's legacy. Bertoia sculpture made after November 1978 started with B-01 and continues to be numbered. Val developed a growing directional spiral from nature based on the way a tree grows. Three sound sculptures (B-1963, B-1895, and B-1938) have been acquired for John Michael Kohler Arts Center. They are remarkable pieces and they made a strong statement when exhibited at JMKAC with the Emery Blagdon Healing Machines in 2017.