Hello! My name is Louisa Ulrich-Verderber and I am an freshmen at Bellow’s Free Academy in St. Albans Vermont. I’d like to thank you for visiting my website! The name “Be A Spark” comes from my interest in encouraging people to be a spark for change: In their homes, schools, communities, countries, and the world.
It only takes a spark to start a fire. A simple spark can change EVERYTHING! The spark I’m creating is literally a spark! I am an artist/welder and I am commissioned by people to make very unusual, functional sculptures. I make large metal sculpture that I donate to non-profit institutions.
How I came to this art form is a strange and wonderful story that starts with a miracle. (Really!) I was born almost 4 months early, and weighed only one pound. On that day, my parents were told that my chance of survival was only 7%. If I was one of the lucky survivors, there was still a 90% chance that I would have severe disabilities.
Now, at the age of 15, I am an A student, an athlete (the sport of fencing is my other passion), a welder and I am writing today, without even the need for glasses!
I have been welding since the age of 12 and it seemed to come as a completely natural skill for me. In the summer of 2010, my mother taught me to weld and we tackled a project together that she had wanted to create for years: We welded a life-sized Stegosaurus sculpture in the yard of my parents’ office.
My mother has been making large metal sculptures for 20 years and had the parts for this beast piled in the corner of our barn. She knew it was a job for two people and hoped that someday, one of her children would take up the torch. And THAT was me! Since she taught me the basics, I have been off and running. In my gallery, you can see some of my early creations.
I get my artistic talents from both sides of my family. My grampa, Paul Verderber, was an accomplished wood carver. My gramma, Jan Ulrich, was an excellent Tole painter. My mother and sister are my current source of inspiration. My mother is a dentist and she puts the instincts of artist in everything she does,.. from gardening to writing, from cooking to planning our family’s travels. She has been a paid artist and has experimented in all manner of design since she was a teenager. Our yard huge yard had over 25 of her sculptures magically worked into the landscaping.
My other interests include an incredible passion for science. I hope to combine my art and scientific pursuits in the coming years as I pioneer a new way of learning while going through high school at Bellows Free Academy here in St. Albans Vermont. I am designing and piloting a pathway through high school where I will take the 4 core courses (mathematics, history, writing and science) and then spend the rest of my days on projects of personal discovery in all those disciplines. To see the website I created to be the vessel for all my work and discoveries, you can find me at http://www.beyondthextramile.com/ .
So,.. that’s enough about me! I hope you like my work and enjoy the photos here. I am selling my sculptures when commissioned, but now and then I am donating my talents to projects for libraries, hospitals, parks, and other places that serve our communities. My first big project for charity was a very large sculpture that doubles as a bike rack for our brand new local library here in Fairfield Vermont. I also have 3 other large community projects on the drawing board – one for our local town hall, and two sculptures for the Vermont Children’s Hospital.
Thank you again for visiting my website. I hope to continue posting examples of my work. If you would like to purchase a sculpture as an individual or business, or if you represent a non-profit institution, please feel free to contact me.