Local artisan Dyana Dulin creates unique glass jewelry and décor by hand – a trade fueled by her passion for art, color and fashion.
Dulin holds associate degrees in fashion merchandising and interior design. After college, she moved to Catalina Island for a full-time job. She lived there for a decade, leaving in 2000 to relocate to Signal Hill. While on vacation in 2005, Dulin fell in love with her first piece of art glass.
“I was fascinated with it,” she said. When she returned home, Dulin began researching glass making and enrolled in classes to learn more about the production process. “I went into it with everything I had,” she said. “Within three months of buying that piece of glass, I had a studio in my backyard.”
Dulin produces specialty cut and custom jewelry, art pieces, boxes, vases, platters, bowls and more. “There’s everything from sheet glass to a powdered sugar form of glass,” she said. “I mix and match for colors and effect.” Dulin practices pulling glass into liquid form, a process called vitreography, to produce a design. The design then goes into the kiln in her studio and is fired for 12 hours or more, depending on the size of the piece. Each piece can be fired one to four times, with the kiln burning at upward of 1,400 degrees.
In between firings is what Dulin calls “cold working.” That is, she takes the piece and places it on a lap wheel where she uses saws, grinders and other tools to create shapes and clean up edges. Replacing the piece into the kiln for final firings creates a polished effect, she said.
Dulin sold her first pieces in 2006, but her big break came when connections she had made at the Catalina Museum asked to sell her work. Today there are five stores on Catalina Island that carry her pieces in addition to the Catalina Museum, along with the Hilton Waikoloa on Hawaii. Dulin also participates in the Catalina Festival of the Arts each year, she said.
Dulin takes pride in her work and said the hardest part about being in the business of producing these unique pieces is competing with mass production and lower quality products. “You can buy things that look nice but aren’t quality,” Dulin said. “I don’t lower my standards to sell things. My work is done the right way. It may hurt me in the long run, but when people come to me they know they are getting a quality product.”
Considering that both her maternal and paternal grandfathers served on the Signal Hill City Council and that she now owns the home that her grandparents had built in 1940, Signal Hill artist Dyana Dulin has quite a legacy to follow.
Rather than retracing her grandfathers’ political footsteps, however, Dulin is making her mark in the hilltop city through her art and by preserving the family’s home.
Dulin, received the People’s Choice Award at Friends of Signal Hill Cultural Arts’ Show & Sell 2008 art exhibition, and she was selected as the organization’s first Artist of the Quarter for 2009. Last month, her home at was awarded the Second Quarter Planning Commission Beautification Award.
Dulin, known primarily for her glass art, turned her love of that medium into a business. In 2005, she, built a studio in their home, at which time, she says, her business, Dynamic Glass, was born. The line includes unique and specialty-cut custom jewelry designs, wire-wrapped jewelry, art pieces, glass boxes, vessels, platters, bowls, and other glass techniques. In her jewelry, she uses sterling silver, as well as silver-plated and 14-karat-gold-filled components.
Having lived in her parents’ vacation home on Catalina for 10 years, Dulin maintains a connection to the island, and her pieces are available at various locations there. “There are five stores in Catalina that carry my glass – also the Catalina Island Museum, The Catalina Conservancy and the general store at the Isthmus,” she said.
When she left Catalina in 2000, she moved back to Signal Hill into her father’s rental home. “When my grandmother became ill, I purchased her home on Gundry and moved into the home February 28, 2011– the same day my grandmother passed away,” Dulin said.
Soon after, she went to work on the home. “I planted all new plants, had a new roof put on, and painted, which completely changed the look of the house,” she said.
The award recommendation presented by the City of Signal Hill Community Development Committee to the City’s planning commission for Dulin’s home states: “The award recognizes the beautification efforts that Dyana Dulin has invested and distinguishes their home as a charming and classically preserved residential home that has been in the family for many years.”
Those “many years” began when Dulin’s maternal grandfather, Frank Boone Vaughan, moved to Signal Hill with his wife Willie (Willa) Louise Stanley in 1939. Four years after building their home, Frank joined the Marines, in which he served until January 1946.
Before and after his military service, he worked for Douglas Aircraft, from which he retired in the late 1960s. “They had three daughters that were raised in this home,” Dulin said of the Gundry house. “Willa Vaughan Dulin (her mother) the oldest daughter.” Frank was on the City Council from 1953 to 1959, serving as mayor from April 1955 to April 1956.
“Also, my father’s dad, my grandfather Homer Roy Dulin, moved to Signal Hill in 1928 and was on the City Council August 1937 to April 1938,” Dulin said. “He started his business in Signal Hill in 1933, which is still in the city and owned by my father, Ronald Homer Dulin.”
Two artists tie for FOSHCA’s ‘People’s Choice’ award
December 17th, 2010 •
Friends of Signal Hill Cultural Arts (FOSHCA) has announced that Dyana Dulin and another local artist have won the “People’s Choice Award” for Best Artist in its 4th Annual Show & Sell Art Affair. The artists were selected in a tied vote by those attending the art show, and the awards were presented by FOSHCA President at the Signal Hill City Council meeting on Dec. 7. Both artists were born and raised in Southern California and are residents of Signal Hill.
Dulin is a second-time winner of the People’s Choice Award for her fused-glass works. She earned associate in arts degrees in fashion merchandising and interior design from Brooks College and Long Beach City College.
FOSHCA’s Show & Sell Art Affair is an annual event which takes place on the second Saturday in October, designed to highlight the works of talented artists and crafters “on the Hill” and from surrounding communities who compete for the opportunity to show and sell a mix of artistic works.
Friends of Signal Hill Cultural Arts (FOSHCA) has announced that Dyana Dulin has been selected as its first Artist of the Quarter for 2009 and her outstanding fused glass works are now on display in the Signal Hill Library, 1770 East Hill Street in Signal Hill through the end of March. Andersen also received the People’s Choice Award at FOSHCA’s Show & Sell 2008 Art Exhibition in October, having been selected by those attending the event as the best artist in the show.
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