Table Tonal II

Limited Edition Reproduction

(Cover image from DECASO, at their offices in San Francisco.)

My father, Harry Bertoia, always expressed his desire for as many people as possible to have access to his unique sounding sculptures, Sonambient. To fulfill his wishes and make his sculptures available to a broader audience, we occasionally and carefully issue a limited edition of a Sonambient sculpture.

Become a part of the unfolding story of Harry's legacy; click here to support the Harry Bertoia Foundation.

The Prototype

We were working on perfecting the second limited edition Table Tonal in the summer of 2016—a reproduction of an original 1972 Bertoia, a lovely single row of beryllium copper cattail rods. Our welder made a prototype the previous fall and it was fabulous in most regards.

Sounded nearly like the original, looked like the original, felt like the original BUT it was brass and not beryllium copper. We were having trouble finding a source for beryllium copper rods in the correct diameter.

Beryllium Copper

An unusual alloy with a resonance Harry loved for Sonambient

Beryllium copper exudes a toxic gas when heated to welding temperatures, so is avoided by most current welders. Beryllium copper is totally inert and safe at normal temperatures but requires welder protection at high temperatures. 

Harry, refusing to be disassociated from his sculptures, resisted wearing a mask. It was part of the reason he contracted lung cancer, which ultimately was his demise. Thus; the difficulty in locating beryllium copper.

Master of Metals

Back in the day, Harry was championed by both aluminum and copper companies (Reynolds, Anaconda, Kawecki BerylCo) as evinced by letters and advertisements in the foundation archives. 

Harry was one of the few metal sculptors who used both materials in his artwork, and his pioneering techniques and alloy compositions have had effects on modern metalworking today.

This knowledge led us to contact where a helpful associate walked us through the process of finding resources and ultimately locating the elusive beryllium copper rods at a California supplier.

Not knowing which exact alloy or hardness we needed, I recalled a chemical breakdown of the beryllium copper used in the Standard Oil sculptures that had popped up in the archives. 

At the time it seemed like superfluous information, but now it was crucial!

A Perfect Replica

We were able to forward the exact chemical composition of the rods, the contact data for the newly discovered copper company and all necessary details to our master welder. He proceeded without incident and the next prototype of Table Tonal II was a perfect replica of the original. 

The limited edition contains the correct metal compositions to fully honor Harry Bertoia's legacy.

Limited Edition

Table Tonal II is produced in an edition of one hundred and each is engraved with Harry's signature and the limited edition number on the base. 

The first available tonals were offered to the buyers of our previous initial offering of 2015 and practically flew off the shelves. We now have 72 remaining sculptures replicated from the original 1972 piece; 72 from '72!

Click here to order your limited edition Table Tonal II from our shop.