Dezeen Magazine

Verto Orto by Dana Arbib

Dana Arbib shows colourful glassware informed by root vegetables for New York exhibition

New York-based glass artist Dana Arbib has exhibited a series of hand-blown vessels and wall sconces from Murano glass that were informed by gourds, brassicas and root vegetables.

The seventeen-piece collection is named Vetro Otro, which translates to "Glass Vegetable Garden" and includes glass wall sconces, chandeliers, vases and bowls.

Dana Arbib

"The collection Vetro Orto originated from the process of the glass itself, something growing, sprouting, changing form," Arbib told Dezeen.

"From a seedling to a gourd, from a grain of sand to a glass vessel — I tried to capture the texture of the soil and seedlings, the essence of a bud, the movement of elongation and flourishing, and finally the shape of a fully ripened form."

A room with a green window
The pieces were made from hand-blown Murano glass

Arbib used Murano glass in earthen tones of green, brown, red and yellow across the collection, which contains organic forms topped with protrusions and thick fingers of glass.

The Fiorire wall sconce features a small, emerald green body wrapped in bubbles of glass, while pale green stalks shoot upwards from its centre.

Wooden furniture with colourful glasswork installed on top
The exhibition includes chandeliers, wall sconces, bowls and vases

Another wall sconce, called the Radice, contains a metallic backing with a saffron-yellow sheath of glass wrapped around the front.

It was topped with columns of cherry red glass that extend upwards from the bottom.

Three glass vases shaped like vegetables on wooden stands
An earth-tone palette of greens, browns, yellows and red evokes natural forms

The Rami chandelier contains an amber bowl and metal hardware that is encased in the same saffron yellow and pale green glass.

Curvilinear legs drift out from the central bowl and were capped with textured orbs, with additional orbs installed at the bottom of the chandelier and along the column.

light green glass lighting
The pieces are covered in bubbles and protrusions of glass

Vessels in the collection include the Pezzi Due vase, an earthy clay glass vase with thin, snake-like handles and applied organic spots.

The Carciofo vase features three emerald green legs topped with a wrinkled pale green body, while the Petalo bowl was made of a similar three-legged amber base and a bowl adorned with off-white polka dots that were extruded along its edge.

The pieces were produced in Murano, Italy, where Arbib has developed relationships with master glass artisans.

Vetro Otro is on show at TIWA Gallery as part of TIWA Select, a showcase that seeks to champion self-taught artists and makers.

A green glass orb
It is on show at TIWA Gallery in New York City

"Dana's pieces in Vetro Orto continue to demonstrate her fascination with the complexities of patterns found in the natural world," said TIWA Select founder Alex Tieghi-Walker

"The pieces mimic fractals and logarithmic sequences that push the physical capabilities of glass in a spectacular fashion."

TIWA partnered with Alan Eckstein of Queens-based vintage design gallery The Somerset House on the exhibition design. The team displayed Arbib's work among a range of vintage tables, chairs and other furniture including pieces by Alvar Aalto and Tucker Robbins.

Dana Arbib previously worked in the design industry before pivoting to glasswork in 2022 after learning a family member was a glass blower in Venice in the early 1900s. Her inaugural glassware collection, Vetro Alga, or "Seaweed Glass" paid homage to marine plants in the Venetian Lagoon.

Other recent glassware exhibitions include Helle Mardahl's Wes Anderson-inspired glass objects displayed in a Copenhagen apartment and a massive sculpture made of glass cylinders installed on an Apple campus by Zeller & Moye and Katie Paterson.

The photography is by Brian W Ferry.

Vetro Otro is on show at TIWA Gallery in New York City from 20 September to 17 October 2023. For more exhibitions, events and talks in architecture and design, visit Dezeen Events Guide.