Internationally recognized glass and metal artist Dana Robbins has created his artwork using these materials for the last three decades. Notably, his work was chosen by the Corning Museum of Glass and featured among the top 100 glass artists in the world in its exclusive magazine New Glass Review. Images of his glass and bronze sculptures, “The Gator Bowl” and “Artifact #7,” are in the permanent archive collection at the museum.
Dana’s formal training in glass and metal began in the mid 1980‘s. He studied at San Jose State University where he started blowing under the instruction of Robert Fritz and Mary White. He also worked in the foundry with instructor Rand Schultz. Here he learned to fabricate sterling silver jewelry and cast metal sculptures with bronze. Dana earned a BA in Art Education and Studio Arts, which included graduate courses in advanced glassblowing and metal smithing.
In addition, Dana attended two summer sessions at the prestigious Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. In 1989 he studied advanced glass blowing under Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick. Then in 1994 went back to work with with Dan Daily and learned how to make architectural elements, including doorknobs. These experiences were very influential in his career as a glass and metal artist and were the foundation for Dana’s glass blowing, metal smithing and design skills.
In 1992 Dana established a successful design company with two partners, called Icon Studios. They worked mostly with flat glass, sandblasting and deep carving one of a kind designs. Their clients included many small businesses, restaurants, casinos and private homes in the San Jose and San Francisco Bay Area. Although Dana mastered his skills sandblasting on two dimensional sheet glass, his true calling remained working with hot glass.
Finally, in the fall of 1995, Dana married his best friend Karen. Then, in just one year, they took off to New Mexico to build a home and glass studio. They planned to create a life together on the old family cattle ranch. In 1998, just a few years following their union, they officially launched their business, Robbins Ranch Art Glass.