Bertoia emigrated to America in 1930. He studied at the Cass Technical High School in Detroit and trained on a scholarship at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan. From 1939 to 1943, he set up a metal workshop and began to teach jewelry and metal working. In 1943, he worked with Charles and Ray Eames for the Evans Product Company where they experimented on molded-plywood seating. In 1950, he established a studio in Pennsylvania and introduced his famous 'Diamond' chair made of welded steel lattice work. The success was immediate and in the mid-50's the royalties he received for these chairs allowed him to devote himself exclusively to his sculpting career.