Irish Independent Style Nov 22 2015

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  • November 22, 2015

When award-winning glass artist Bianca Divito (35) isn’t painstakingly conserving the intricate glass windows of St Patrick’s Cathedral, she is creating hanging glass sculptures and art pieces inspired by nature and light, some of which have even found their way into husband Damien Keane’s garden designs at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

As a child Bianca Divito spent hours watching and helping her father – a self-taught glass blower – with his work. “It was always in my blood,” she confesses. After completing a Fine Art degree she went on to do a BA Hons in Architectural Glass at Swansea. She then worked with some of Europe’s top stained-glass studios, earning herself no less than nine awards in her nine-year career, and remains one of the few female glass artists in Ireland.

Her crystal ‘Layla Boo’ pendants have even found their way into the homes of David Essex and Danny Devito. “My work is so varied, from decorative windows to bespoke lamps, wall hangings and smaller items such as hearts and flowers.” Prices vary from €65 for the pendants, with bespoke work higher. Her favourite piece is her best-selling outdoor pendant, the ‘Evie Flower’. “It is made with light reflective crystals so creates the most wonderful array of prisms in sunlight. It’s also named after my friend’s daughter so it’s extra special to me.” Divito’s technique is intricate and involves engraving, blowing, sandblasting, etching, painting and leading. “I like to create using time-honoured techniques but also to innovate with them using new and interesting materials.”

Her use of crystals and semi-precious stones has become her signature along with gold foil techniques perfected by world-renowned jeweller Tiffany. “I don’t like the look of flat glass, it’s too one-dimensional.” Despite it being delicate work, she has never dropped a piece. “I’m very careful – plus, I need the money,” she laughs. She admits there is nothing more creatively draining than worrying about finances but she makes a modest living and is the master of her own studio, a 1930s old school house in Coolgreaney. “There is a certain romanticism about being an artist but not having a steady income can be difficult. On the plus side, I’m doing what I love every day with nobody to answer to.”


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