Meet The Maker: Dana Arbib

This month we meet Dana Arbib whose work caught our eye at the recent Tiwa Select exhibition in New York. Dana’s principal medium at the moment is handblown Muranese glass, though she has been exploring global crafting techniques for over 10 years, working in collaboration with artisans around the world to produce her pieces.

You describe glass as your ‘principal medium at the moment’. What drew you to glass and which other craft traditions would you like to explore?


I love working in artisanal crafts that have been passed down through familial generations and have a historical geographical relevance in the country I choose to work in. I love working alongside artisans and creating work that feels both unique and personal. I’m really into the art of stone carving at the moment and just went to the library this week to research it further. My interest came from seeing Alabaster used in lighting, specifically in the French Art Deco movement. I love taking ancient techniques and using them to create modern design pieces.


“Radice” Sconce in Amber and Saffron, and “Pezzi Due” Vase by Dana Arbib, 2023; “Checkers” Rug by Beni Rugs; “Zig Zag “Dining Table by Tucker Robbins, from Somerset House


What feeling do you hope your pieces bring to their eventual owners’ homes?

I want to design pieces which feel modern but also feel like an heirloom that you would keep forever.


Could you tell us about what you are working on at the moment?

I am exploring new materials – Italy is a country that is so rich in artisanal talents and spans many different materials depending on the region you are in. I would love to try working with a new material and mixing it with glass.


“Fusto” Floor Lamp, “Radice” Amber Pendant, and “Zucca” Vase by Dana Arbib, 2023; ceramic tray by Jordan Macdonald; screen attributed to Alvar Aalto from Somerset House


How do new ideas emerge for you and what is the process for developing them into finished pieces?

I usually do a tonne of research into a specific material. When I researched Ancient Roman glass I was inspired by the colors that were used and that is where I got my palette. Researching helped me identify the possibilities of how glass can be manipulated, noting the techniques that were used to make different textures and the shapes. I then collect hundreds, sometimes thousands of references and inspiration images so I understand the material and its opportunities and limitations. I then think of a point of reference, whether it be an art movement, a vegetable, or a random image I saw and I start sketching ideas. I start out with rough 10 second sketches, then a more defined sketch, then I move onto the computer where I make renderings with precise measurements. I will then travel to a country like Italy and sit down with the artisans and explain my vision and be there while they produce it to ensure it is as close to my original idea as possible while still embracing their own hand and perspectives.


Spina Vase


Which other current artist-makers’ work do you admire?

I have so many talented friends! My friend Laila Gohar uses historical references and creates “other wordly” culinary installations which would take your breath away. She has a brand called GOHAR WORLD with her sister Nadia and they work with artisans globally to create surrealist products for your tabletop.

Visit Dana here
Follow Dana on her Instagram here

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