Meet the Artist: Deanna Dionne, Street Glass Studio

Broken and reborn: Chaos that can never be replicated.

By Kelli Comer

Many people walk by broken auto glass on the street and just chalk it up to another random break-in, most likely not giving it a second thought after they pass by. For local artist Deanna Dionne, this broken glass served as the muse for her uniquely beautiful jewelry and sculpture business called Street Glass Studio, formerly Cleveland Street Glass.

Deanna recently celebrated the re-launch and rebranding of her company at her studio, where she debuted a new collection of earrings and necklaces.

“Many metaphors come along in making beautiful objects from glass leftover from car break-ins,” Deanna explains.

“However, my drive as an artist is really in exploring materials. I have been fascinated by the qualities of auto glass—the balance of hardness and fragility. The translucency of its inherent green tinge. The way light moves through and bounces off the cracks. The way every shape of broken glass is created out of chaos and can never be replicated. I’m simply obsessed with tempered glass.”

Since moving to downtown Cleveland in 2014, Deanna’s car has been broken into an average of three times per year. Struck by how common it is for a person’s property to be destroyed and left for debris in the street, Deanna viewed reclaiming this glass to make something beautiful and valuable out of it as an act of empowerment.

Due to the small scale of shattered glass, Deanna started out creating jewelry from the debris and eventually expanded into sculpture.

She has plans to scale up her work even more.

“I work extensively with auto glass,” says Deanna. “Much of it is collected off the streets or brought to me by those familiar with my work whose cars have been broken into.”

Tempered auto glass is designed to break into small cubes, but often the glass will still be stuck together once broken, which results in inimitable shapes with an intricate cracked configuration. Deanna then sorts the glass by size and removes any debris. She continues processing the larger pieces of glass with a technique she developed to harden them. For most of her work, Deanna uses either a soft-soldering process similar to stained glass work, or she works with resin to create unique objects.

Working as a full-time artist since 2016, Deanna does not have formal art training, but has always considered art as a major part of her life.

She comes from a family whose creative juices have always been flowing.

Deanna Dionne, Street Glass Studio

“In fact, my parents met at an art show—my mother creating macramé and my father pottery,” she smiles.

Street Glass Studio is open to the public by appointment only, located in the Superior Arts District of Cleveland. Visit to learn more about artist Deanna Dionne and her work and to shop online.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment