CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Deanna Dionne moved to Cleveland, from Michigan, a few years ago to grow as an artist. Her parents were artists and fostered creativity at home. Dionne started her career doing illustrations, painting and website design. She founded the business Cleveland Street Glass in the Spring of 2016.
"My car was broken into within a week, so I just started working with the glass that I found on the streets," Dionne said.
Dionne turned her inconvenient experience into a chance to create something beautiful. She makes jewelry out of broken auto glass swept up from the streets of Cleveland.
"It's like literally reclaiming what was somebody's property... left for trash in streets," Dionne said. "So to take that and make it something valuable again - I think it's very empowering."
She makes earrings, necklaces, bracelets and cuff links. She's always thinking about what can be created next.
"I started this last year as like a fun project for the summer and now it's a business, and I'm living off of it," Dionne said.
Collecting the glass has become easier with time.
"I drive around the city, and I just look for piles of glass on the curb," Dionne said. "And now a lot of people tag me on social media. I had somebody stop by yesterday just gave me a bucket of glass."
Filtering the glass is a process. Dionne shakes the pieces through a metal strainer. She has to remove leaves, pebbles, cigarette butts, fur and feathers from the piles of glass.
She uses materials like copper foil and resin to complete her pieces. She's also become a master at soldering. Each piece is different which is both challenging and rewarding.
"When I put the metal around the pieces it's kind of like a stained glass technique," Dionne said. "So I'll take the piece of glass, and then I actually solder all around it. It will just melt all around it."
Dionne said she's grateful for the Cleveland art scene and for her parents who embraced her creativity.
"If you would ask for a hammer they would just give you a hammer and nails with no questions when you were like 10 and say, 'Go have fun.'"