April 09, 2006
Artist Profile: Daa Glass
from Daa Glass
A few years ago Rainer and I were down in NYC for a week visiting friends and revisiting our old haunts where we first met. On a Sunday morning we stumbled upon a very exciting designers market. Yes, on a Sunday! We were at “The Market NYC” in the NoLita section of Manhattan. It is a “new designers market” on Mulberry street. I met Daneen there and fell in love with her glass work jewelry. She sent us some at artstream to get started with her line of lovely glass pendants. Three years later, her business has grown tremendously and I am so happy to introduce you to her here, now! Here is our interview from last week. View her "Bambinos" work at our Art to Wear/Home Decor show next week and her website .
1. How did you get your start with glass?
It was really pretty random. I was going to college and needed a part time job. A friend of a friend was opening up a glass studio and needed someone to work in the shipping department. So I took it! For quite a while it was me and the bubble wrap. Occasionally after work I would stay and “play around” on the torch. As the business grew we needed more people to do the glass work. So I was trained to do it. So….I guess I had an apprenticeship. I worked there for about two years.
2. Have you tried other media prior to or alongside your glass works?
I have a fine art degree with a concentration in photography. When I was going to school I dabbled in printmaking, jewelry, and fibers. Of course I have a lot of photography experience being that it was my concentration. There is a process which combines photography with glass that I have begun working with. It is really exciting for me to combine these 2 loves of mine.
3. Where did you get your start in selling your work?
I started selling my work at markets and shows such as the Market NYC in NoLita where we met. I then set up a website with shopping options and am now in small stores and galleries. I am still selling at arts/crafts shows. I love the direct interaction with the people who wear my work. It is really important to me.
4. Why did you choose glass as your medium?
I always had a curiosity about glass – but the truth is, it just kinda happened. Almost like glass found me. Like I said, I needed a job. Then once I started with glass, I was hooked. I could not give it up. I chose to make jewelry (which was not what I was making before) because I love how glass has the ability to magnify and distort shape and color, absorb and reflect light, and create seemingly vast depth and dimension in an extremely small space. I thought these properties made it perfect for jewelry!!
5. What can you tell other indie artists about starting out?
A lot I think…..I could go on and on here….but I will try to keep it short. I have really gone into the business side of things. I think THE most important thing for people who are going to make their art their business is to know that there will be a lot of compromises you are going to have to make. It is really hard to do this and it is a line you are going to have to be able to cross. If you want to live off your art you are going to have to be able to sell it. This is where the conflict arises…art vs product, what you love vs what will sell, worth vs price, etc. You will have to find a way to be comfortable with the business of art. Also I think you have to really WANT it. And want it for what it is….which is not always this fairy tale like sort of thing. It is hard work and a huge struggle. But in the end…for me, it is totally worth it! I can not imagine doing anything else!!!!! It is love.
6. Who do you admire, (within your media), as artists?
The obvious big guys…. Dale Chihuly, Bob Snodgrass, Kevin O'Grady, Milon Townsend, Robert Mickelsen, Paul Stankard. Cynthia Liebler Saari, Bandhu Scott Dunham, Christopher Rice, and all the pipe and marble makers who have forced the growth of the borosilicate world.
7. Who do you admire outside of your media, as a contemporary artist?
Cindy Sherman, Dieter Appelt, Dan Flavin, Richard Serra, Anna Gaskell, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Justine Kurland, Malerie Marder so many more here but I will keep it short.
8. Where do you see yourself with your art 5 years from now?
I see myself with a larger business, in more stores/being more known. I would like to be able to focus on more artistic work. Right now I do not have that time and need to focus on the business.
9. What would you do if you had the opportunity to do anything you wished with your art?
Wow…I really have no idea! Maybe create some sort of large outdoor installation type piece. I have never worked like that and I think it would be amazing to incorporate the natural landscape of a particular place with my art. And to be able to create something really big in size. It is not at all how I work now and it would be so much fun to see what came out of that.
10. Tell us a little about the process of your art.
The act of manipulating glass in a steady, unidirectional flame is commonly referred to as lampworking or flameworking. The process has been around since the 5th century BC and it is what I do. I use borosilicate glass, which is extremely durable and can easily withstand wear and tear. The actual process begins when a glass rod or tube is heated in a torch to it’s molten state. Temperatures can reach up to 2500 degrees Fahrenheit here. Then the glass is blown, gathered, manipulated to form each individual shape. The designs are created with the addition of colored glass, silver fuming, canes, and frit to name just a few. Classic and contemporary design techniques such as latticino, filigrana, feathering, switchbacks, inside out work, and others are also used to create each unique piece. When the torch work is finished, the glass is annealed in a kiln, and left overnight. Annealing relieves the internal stresses in the glass, resulting in a strong, solid finished structure. It is then made into jewelry, sometimes with the addition of semi precious stones and gemstones. The rings undergo another whole metalsmithing process.
-- all photos are copyrighted from Daneen at Daa glass --
I hope that you will enjoy this upcoming weeks interviews with a few of the artists and designers who are participating in our show next Saturday. We are so fortunate to have so many talented people in our midst!
The word for the day is ... torch ... as in lampworking glass, carrying one for someone special, and a hot singer!