GAS Member Monday

Sukayna El Hani


Tell us about yourself!

My name is Sukayna El Hani and I am from Baltimore, Maryland.  I am a senior in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Craft and Material Studies program.  I discovered glass blowing during my second year in VCU’s arts program when I transitioned from painting to crafts as my major: once I blew my first bubble, I was hooked. This semester I’m serving as a TA for an intro to glass class for incoming craft students.  Beyond VCU, I sharpened my skills with murrine at Pittsburgh Glass Center and helped build a Venetian chandelier at Pilchuck Glass School, and I attended the 2018 Murano GAS Conference.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?

Long before I discovered glass, I was inspired by the work of Caravaggio and his exploration of light and shadow, with figures emerging from the darkness.  The translucent qualities of glass enable me to explore how light can pass through and interplay with color, shadow, and reflection. I am also fascinated by molten glass, it’s glow and fluidity, and how it has a mind of its own and you have to perform a dance with it to shape it into the desired form.

What themes do you pursue in your work?

My identity as a Moroccan American has been a recurring theme in my work.  I did not grow up in Morocco, and I have been trying to define myself and connect to my Moroccan heritage for the past few years.  I try to express these themes through the relationship between comfort and discomfort, comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable.  My work has included elements such as apple pie and Moorish designs, but also distorted Moroccan mirrors cast in the glass that grabbed at my hair.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?

If I were not an artist, I would probably pursue chemistry.  I am fascinated by how materials interact with each other.

What's something about you that most people don't know?

A huge turning point for me as a young artist was in 2014 when I saw the James Turrell retrospective at LACMA.  It was the first time I moved beyond paint on canvas and thought of how light interacted with three-dimensional objects.  I had never seen someone work with light as a material, and now it helps my understanding of light and glass, as the interplay of two materials.

Why are you a member of GAS?

I joined GAS to be part of the larger community of glass artists, to connect with more artists from around the world and be informed of what is going on in the glass world. Attending the GAS conference has helped meet new artists and make friends.

To learn more about Sukayna El Hani, go to her GAS MEMBER PROFILE PAGE

Instagram @hernameissukayna


Jacci Delaney



Tell us about yourself!

I'm Jacci Delaney and I live in Columbus, OH. I from a very small town in Illinois and so when I went to college I wanted to travel around the country and see everything. I ended up in Seattle, WA in 2002 and went into a glass gallery and I saw all of these beautiful colors and thought to myself "I want to suspend color in mid-air like that." That was the seed that sent me back to college to get a fine arts degree in glass and an art history degree.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?

The light and transparency are what draws me to glass. I like making layers of imagery and using the light to make shadows and highlights. My two loves in glass are casting and glassblowing, I'll always love to do both of these because they are such different techniques for working with glass. My favorite tool in the hot shop is the ladle because I do hot casting. 

What themes do you pursue in your work? 

My themes are Bubble wrap because I like how it is so recognizable and its used to protect fragile objects. I use its organic formlessness to be the void in my cast glass cubes. It's interesting to see this hard bubble wrap interacting with the surface of this perfectly made cube.  

What is your dream project?

My dream is to make a glass bubble wrap wall that would be a room divider so people could see each other through bubble wrap and think about the fragility of the human body. 

What's something about you that most people don't know?

Most people don't know that I love teaching glass to kids because it is both art and science, and I like to tell them all about it. 

To learn more about Jacci Delaney, go to her GAS MEMBER PROFILE PAGE




YouTube CHANNEL: Jacci Delaney


Kagan Dunn 1


Tell us about yourself!

My name is Kagen Dunn and I live in Arlington, Texas. I am a senior at the University of Texas in Arlington and will be graduating this fall. I chose to attend UTA specifically for their glass department. Before attending this school, I had zero glass experience. While attending UTA, I have remained active in our student organization, 2100 Club, and currently, hold an officer position as President. Attending UTA has presented me with many opportunities such as scholarships to attend classes at Pilchuck Glass School, UrbanGlass, and Pittsburgh Glass Center. I also work as an instructor at SiNaCa Studios in Fort Worth, Texas in both the glassblowing and kilnforming studios. 

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chose the processes that you use in your work?

Glass is a very versatile material and I enjoy the challenge of trying to do something new with it. That being said, only working with glass can be a little limiting. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have found myself branching out in materials that are familiar from my childhood and finding ways to intermingle them into my work.  

What themes do you pursue in your work?

My work focusses on the use of traditionally domestic materials, such as fabric, thread, and paper, in conjunction with more industrial materials like glass, drywall, and wood, utilizing their varying qualities. Through my artistic practice, I have been drawn to the unique characteristics of objects made by hand, with a focus on the actions of the hand and the finished products’ individual subtleties. As the artist, I feel that it’s important to incorporate the use of my own body into my work to make it more meaningful but to also add personal intricacies.
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
If I weren't pursuing an artistic career, I would definitely try to be a dog trainer. 
Why are you a GAS member?
One thing I really enjoy about glass is that there seems to be a community created around this material. The Glass Art Society is just another way for me to be involved in that community. I enjoy the opportunities that are presented with being a member, such as the conferences and student competitions. 
To learn more about Kagen Dunn and her work, go to her GAS MEMBER PROFILE PAGE


Tell us about yourself.

I am Karola Dischinger, a native German living and working in Switzerland. In 1999 I got in touch with glass by chance when a friend asked me to join her for a fusing class. In 2002 I took my first class in Bildwerk and quickly knew I wanted more, so in 2003 I took a break from my Human Resources career and attended a Penland School of Crafts 2-month session to learn the basics of glass blowing. Each year afterward, I took classes during holidays in Germany, the UK, Turkey, and the US to learn more about the material and the various techniques. Since 2014 I have been working full-time in glass, and this year I had my first solo show, “Modern Times in Our Working Environment,” in Basel/Switzerland.

What draws you to the material you work with and why have you chosen the processes you use in your work?

There are so many different techniques that express a different quality and “presence” of a piece and make it appear beautiful or ugly--heavy thick castings, delicate blown work, fragile and brittle pate de verre, cold work producing ceramic-like effects, and more. The wide-ranging possibilities made glass the perfect material in my project about our modern working environment because I could explore and transmit complex messages, often metaphorically, about the impact of organizational pressures on human beings.

What themes do you pursue in your work?

Since my background is in Human Resources, for the last 4 years I have worked around topics like personality, relationships, company strategy, connections, responsibility, leadership, gender and inclusion, organization, health, teamwork, and values of companies and employees. I’m now developing a project around a new theme, but my driving interest remains how people can enhance relationships and society through their ways of interacting.

What is your dream project?

Currently, I dream about showing my work in a corporate environment in industry, banking, or social media companies that have such a strong influence on our daily lives. I would like the management, in particular, to reflect on why taking more social responsibility should take precedence over continually making more profit. (I’m very aware that probably nobody in business would share my dream.)

If you weren’t working in this field, what career would you choose?

Working for a museum or managing exhibitions in order to learn more about the other side of the art business.

Why are you a member of GAS?

GAS is the biggest glass-related organization, and I appreciate all the information available from the US. Also, I enjoy catching up with friends and colleagues at the GAS conferences, such as the incredible Murano one.

To learn more about Karola Dischinger, check out a catalog from her most recent show, or her GAS Member Profile Page



Han de Kluijver


Tell us about yourself!

My name is Han de Kluijver (Sliedrecht, Holland, 1950). After graduating from the art academy in the 1970s, I started studying urban design and architecture. In 1983 I started my own desk HDK architects bna bni bnsp. I feel more architect than artist, but in reality, the two disciplines reinforce each other. My work as a visual artist serves as a catalyst and as a source of inspiration for my architecture.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?

For me, it was especially important in the first instance to do form studies, which I could extrapolate in architecture. The basis, namely the design process, is the same in both architecture and glass casting.  After countless sketches, an image is formed that can be captured in a model. Just like in architecture, all kinds of changes and improvements to the design are possible during the manufacturing of that model. In architecture, glass is used to let light into a building, to reflect the surroundings of a building, to create the illusion of space and to visually connect spaces. My glass works are architectural works.  

What themes do you pursue in your work?

With my glass objects, I want to show that the boundary between architecture and sculpture is less strict than is often assumed. As an architect, you create space with the help of glass walls and facades. The glass objects only create space in a figurative sense. They are a metaphor of the literal space experience in which architecture provides. I want to develop this further.

What is your dream project?

The opportunity to continue experimenting with the countless possibilities of this versatile material. To me, glass is a metaphor for life: fragile, not always transparent, sometimes colored and often enchanting.

If you were not working in this field, what career would you choose?

Design requires a specific attitude and a certain obsession. Once you have mastered that attitude, you can design objects as well as buildings or even a part of a city. Trips to other disciplines can stimulate creativity and innovation, challenge you to work with new materials, and strengthen technical knowledge.

Why are you a member of GAS?

Together we can draw more attention to glass as craftsmanship and glass as an art form.

To learn more about Han, or to see more of his work, visit his GAS MEMBER PROFILE PAGE


Lothar Böttcher


Tell us about yourself!

My name is Lothar Böttcher and I live and work in Pretoria, South Africa and run a coldshop studio called Obsidian Glass.

In 1994 I helped build our first furnace for the Glass Department of the Tshwane University of Technology - I was hooked! Thereafter I furthered my studies specializing as a cold worker/engraver in Germany at the Staatliche Glasfachschule Hadamar under masters Josef Welzel and Willi Pistor.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?

As a cold worker, I have become intimate with glass from another angle (pardon the pun…). I guess the discipline of grinding and polishing is inspired from my sculptural background, whereas the meditative process and material offer new unexplored possibilities.

Each piece is a personal journey. 

What themes do you pursue in your work?

Light is the constituent medium. Looking, seeing, exploring our immediate space and the universe as a whole. 

I am very much inspired by our inquisitive human nature and those moments in history which heralded new discoveries through a “looking glass” and the mind-bending magnitude of info a light-beam contains. 

In a contemporary context, I try to understand the impact of digital “lenses”, those we carry in our pockets, filled to the brim with info… 

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?

Architect or mechanic, maybe even astrophysicist or engineer. Something that will make this little blue dot we live on a better place. 

Why are you a member of GAS?

I enjoy being part of a special group of people, highly dedicated, in so many aspects, to the same material I love and its future

It’s like having an extended family with cousins living all over the world. 

To learn more about Lothar Böttcher, or to see more of his work, go to his MEMBER PROFILE.


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