Meet Dani Collette, #ArtGlassFinest June 2023
Happy Summer Friends! It's June and the weather is finally starting to heat up as well as those gorgeous glass color palettes floating around lately. We had the absolute privilege to interview our friend Dani Collette! She just recently opened her first solo show featuring countless pieces covered in our glass and we could not be more honored to get to shout from the rooftops about this amazing artist. Without further ado, let's get into this feature!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: who you are, where you are from, how you got into glass.
I am Dani Collette, originally from Illinois and I received a BFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Sculpture and Glass. But, my Grandpa has been making stained glass for decades, and his work is highly coveted in my family, so that was my first exposure.
How long have you been working with glass in general?
I first started working with glass while in school over 15 years ago.
What is the focus of your work, any inspiration behind it?
I’m mostly working with copper foil and leaded glass techniques, but I also love casting, fusing and blowing glass and would like to include more of those techniques in my future works. I find inspiration in the many dichotomies and possibilities of glass. My goal is always to present something that feels magical and surprising. I like encouraging people to interact with glass in ways they wouldn’t have expected.
How long have you used our products, and do you use them exclusively?
I have been using your glass since before it was Oceanside and was known as Spectrum. I started making copper foil and leaded projects about 9 years ago and remember using the gray water glass in my second ever panel.
Is there anything that makes our product stand out from the rest- a reason why you choose to use it? What do you look for in glass when you are sourcing it for your next project? (ie: color, texture, quality etc.)
What I love about OGT are the rich colors and elegant textures. The lemongrass opal is probably my most favorite glass ever made, it's so bold and makes me thirsty to look at it. I also love and appreciate how easy your glass is to cut, I always have a pretty high success rate, even with more advanced or complicated cuts.
If you are teaching a class, what is it about? What will students learn? (If not a class, are you launching anything?)
I have been teaching Intro to Copper Foil and Intro to Lead classes for years now, as well as giving private lessons. This year I’d like to start doing more advanced classes, including jewelry and building 3-Dimensional objects (which is my obsession).
Do you have any big projects in the works or coming up? Any works you are particularly proud of?
I currently have a solo show of work up in the Untitled Fine Art Gallery here in Saint Louis, MO. It was a way to get years of ideas and dreams out of my head and onto some walls and pedestals. After three months of hard work, I installed 15 new works of art that will be on view until July. I am so proud of this body of work and the dedication I gave to make it happen and have sold a third of the show so far. This is my first solo show post-graduation and I really poured so much of myself into it.
Tell us one fun fact about you or your work.
My biggest inspiration for my work is my grandparents, who have supported my creativity in some really big ways. When I was a kid, I was convinced their home housed real magic. My Gramma would sew all our costumes and add sparkly trims to my dresses for me. She was the first one to hand me a box of creative potential in the form of a stash of thread, beads, broken jewelry and random trimmings. I would sit for hours with that box making all kinds of creations. My Grandpa is a really skilled artist and their home was decorated with his oil paintings, handmade furniture and stained glass creations. They have a collection of blue glass vases and dish-ware that colored my childhood and prisms in the windows which I would spin and watch the rainbows dash around. I am always trying to recreate that feeling of wonder and discovery and even named my business after the street they lived on when these memories were being made.
Dani thank you for sharing about your work and your story with us! We wish you many more years of smashing success and shows filled with your colorful glass creations.
As always, Stay Glassy and we will see you next month ;)