Hello! My name is Louisa Ulrich-Verderber. When I started this website, I was an 8th grader. Looking back – now I am a Senior at Bellow’s Free Academy in St. Albans Vermont – I feel like I have grown up with a torch in my hand! 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 to make very unusual, functional sculptures. I make large metal sculptures that I donate to non-profit institutions. To date I have donated sculptures that have raised over $20,000 for charities in my area.
The story of how I came to this art form is strange and wonderful, and begins with a miracle. (Really!) I was born 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, in high school, I am an A student, an inventor, a scientist, an athlete (the sport of fencing is my other passion), and a welder !
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 when we tackled a project together that she had wanted to create for years: a life-sized Stegosaurus sculpture in the yard of my parents’ dental office.
My mother has been making 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.
My mother is my current source of inspiration. She is a dentist, a Social Entrepreneur, and she puts the instincts of an artist in everything she does.
I donate 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 doubled as a bike rack for our local library here in Fairfield, Vermont. I also have several large community projects on the drawing board – one for our local town hall. Currently, I am creating a life-sized pterodactyl (flying dinosaur) that is 18 feet tall and has a 25 foot wing span.
My other interests include an incredible passion for science. I have combined my artistic and scientific pursuits in a new way of learning I pioneered at my high school, Bellows Free Academy here in St. Albans, Vermont. I designed and piloted a pathway through high school where I blend the 4 core courses (mathematics, history, writing and science) and then spend the rest of my days on projects of personal discovery in extensions of all those disciplines. To see the website I wrote and created from scratch for all my work and discoveries, you can find me at BeyondTheXtraMile.com. And if you want to see my blog on Biomimicry you can visit ArtofNoticing.com.
I intend to go to college to study engineering or biology, and I hope to weave my passion for art into these disciplines.
So, that’s enough about me! I hope you like my work and enjoy the photos here. 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!