I’m a Glass Minimalist. This term is not descriptive of the work itself as many of my designs are quite ornate; rather, it defines the process. Glassblowing is an ancient art form. The tools and techniques available to the modern glass worker vary little from those used by previous generations. I believe too many glassblowers rely on traditional, complicated techniques to define their work. My belief is that the concept should be of more importance than the techniques that created them. The years involved in learning the skills to master blown glass is a life long commitment, finding the balance between design and perfecting the process is the constant challenge.
One of my first challenges I encountered in glass working was requiring that I work as part of a team. The communication between the designer, blowers, and assistants is crucial for a piece to reach final form while retaining the integrity of its original concept. Although, I do design my own lines of finely crafted vases and bowls, I am also excited to assist other artists and architects in the fabrication of glass elements for larger sculptures, installations, and homes. Overcoming the challenges of translating designs outside my own work into glass has kept me thinking about glass as more than just a vase or bowl, but as a versatile building material that transmits and reflects light.
Glass can be disguised to look like other materials, but not many other materials can look like glass. I think of glass as a lens to the subconscious. I endeavor to create objects that stimulate the optic nerves of the brain and uses color as a mood-enhancer. It’s a simple concept, minimal.
A native of Seattle, WA and daughter of an Auctioneer, Dehanna was surrounded by the art glass of her father's Tiffany collection and Antique store. This early exposure to the Art Noveau movement has had a lasting influence on her work. While studying for a BFA in ceramics and a BA in art at the U of W, Native American artist Marvin Oliver asked her to research glass casting for an upcoming project of his. She was immediately taken by the molte n material and decided to branch out and study blown glass at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, WA.
She joined the staff of Pratt as a hot shop coordinator and studio technician and began teaching cast and blown glass. In 1996 & 2001 she assisted artists Paul Marioni and Ann Troutner at the Pilchuck School of Glass in Stanwood, WA and was nominated for the Saxe scholarship. Blown glass is the focus of her designs, but she has kept her hands in cast glass by working with many architects, designers, and artists as a consultant and fabricator of glass elements for larger installations.
While working for Salmon Bay Glass in 1993 owned by Frank Englesby, Dehanna met fellow glass artist Jacqueline Mendelson and soon after they began working together. After a series of successful collaborative designs and the need of their own private studio they decided to build their own hot shop and open Totally Blown Glassworks, located in Georgetown, WA, in the summer of 1997.
Being a partner in a glass hot shop has allowed her the resources to undertake much larger projects while still making her individual original creations. In 2002 she was able to work with the Tacoma Glass Museum by blowing the 750 floating glass apples needed for the outdoor installation designed by Berkley, CA artist Mildred Howard titled ‘Blackbird in a Red Sky (aka Fall of the Blood House). In 2003, she was to cast blue colored glass 12’x12’x1’ textured tiles to construct a 4 story glass staircase for a private home in Seattle, WA.