1929 – 2019
Theme/Style – Modernism
Media – Cloisonné, enamel, silver, papier-mâché, mosaics, sewing
Artistic Focus – Betty F. Helfen’s dedication to her craft inspired decades of study with some of the finest artisans in the Los Angeles area; and her work in cloisonné, enamel and silver reveals her skill, originality and exquisite taste.
Career Highlights –
- Born Betty F. Drucker in Chicago, Illinois in 1929, Betty Helfen moved with her parents to California around 1946.
- She married Edward Helfen in 1949, and it was soon after her marriage that she started exploring avenues for her creativity, including making and altering her own clothing.
- Betty moved on to papier-mâché sculpture and mosaics, and also took classes in drawing with charcoal at Beverly Hills High School.
- By 1965 Helfen was learning to work in Sterling silver, taught by accomplished jeweler Jean Wertlieb at Rustic Canyon Park in Pacific Palisades.
- Helfen would continue to be a regular attendee of art classes at Rustic Canyon Park for the next 25 years. When she began enameling on copper in the 1970s, it was there that she studied enameling with the master enamelist Atzie Schiff.
- Beginning with enameled vessels such as bowls and plates, Helfen later decided to add enameled elements to her silver jewelry, working with a kiln in her home studio and taking jewelry-making classes at Beverly Hills High, while also raising her three sons.
- Her enameled vessels took first prize and other awards at several Los Angeles County Fairs; and were also exhibited at the Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California.
- Helfen’s interest then turned specifically to cloisonné enamelwork. She devoted her time to this art form for the remainder of her career. A Japanese cloisonné triptych by Helfen won Honorable Mention at a competition in Japan.
Selection of Works by this Artist
Bibliographic references are available upon request.