Erna Metzger grew up in Buffalo, New York and lived there until attending University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was influenced from an early age by her father, a European cabinetmaker and would spend time in his workshop. She came to appreciate the tactile quality of finely crafted products. Early years included numerous sewing projects, designing and sewing doll clothes and then later, as a young woman, this passion translated to designing and sewing most of her own clothes.
Erna Metzger was always interested in the natural sciences. She received a BS in nursing and continued to study art and art history. After moving to Northern California, she studied ceramics and then moved primarily to drawing and painting with an emphasis on figurative work. She continues to participate in a weekly figure drawing group which published a book of figure drawings in 2010.
Gradually drawing and painting developed into collage and mixed media work wih an emphasis on papermaking, paper casting. Most recently her love of texture, papers, layering has lead to work using Joomchi collage process, which is a fusion of various fine papers, after much kneading, into a unified whole. Transparency and translucency remain a theme. A return to stitchery can also be seen in some collages.
Erna Metzger has shown her work at a number of Northern California venues. Her work is included in a several private collections. The simplicity of the Joomchi process, using only paper, water and hand strength continues to dominate her work. This simplicity is in stark contrast to our very complex technological world and continues to excite her.