Beryl Gyllenhammar

Feb 6, 1945 ~ January 28, 2006

When I first met Beryl in 1962 at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, she was an extremely striking, complicated, chain-smoking, Turkish coffee drinking artist/craftsman who could do almost anything. For example, she rented an apartment and told me the "pipes offended her" so she got a book on how to weld pipes and replaced all of the plumbing with copper!!

My first lessons using power tools were from Beryl; she also could sew couture clothing without a pattern and taught me the joys of flat fold seams; French seams and how to alter clothing.

For many years we argued about the proper meanings and spellings of morrass and morrain (she had an Oxford dictionary while I merely had Webster's). She loved being half Swedish and half Sicilian and for a while she was hyphenated (Beryl Gyllen-Hammar)... If she didn't know how to do something, she got a book and taught herself. (And this was 30 years before Martha Stewart!). Beryl could shoot pool (calling shots that she banked off of three sides); ride and train horses; fix car motors and swear like a longshoreman! She could be very funny, sardonic and totally arcane. And above all, Beryl was very generous.

Over the years, we drifted in and out of each others lives: countless boyfriends, homes, husbands, apartments, pets (I particularly remember her admiring a laconic cat she named 'Madam').

To the end, Beryl was always learning something new and had endless projects. One of her last projects was to design and sell retro, archly humorous miniature roadsigns for train enthusiasts. The last present Beryl sent me was my very first Dremmel tool!!! She was excited about turning me on to one of her many favorite tools. That was Beryl!!! Thanks Beryl!!!

Rest in Peace!!

If you want to share your memories, please go to the mesage board and write something.
D. Bryan 12/2006