A New Style Of Glass

A New Style Of Glass

Denise Lanuti adds one more creative endeavor


At least Denise Lanuti is at home wearing a mask. But then, it’s not a covid-19 adaptation for her. When you’re an artist working with powdered glass, it’s a safety precaution every day.

Lanuti is probably best known for her beautiful lampwork glass beads, but that’s not her first foray into wearable art. She was putting together jewelry in the 1980s, when a revolution in Czechoslovakia cut off her supply of cut-glass beads. Being “a naturally curious person,” she soon found herself sitting at a torch, holding rods of glass and teaching herself to shape them into ornamental beads herself.

“I’m always looking for other ways of doing things, so I experimented with my little bead annealing kiln, glass fusing,” she picks up the story. “I bought a little bit of compatible sheet glass and started melting stringers, latticino that we make, as well as millefiori and melting them into discs and flat glass, then slumping them into bowls and dishes.

“I had made a small fused glass dish out of some millefiori and glass rods, and while doing a trunk show at Crystal Bridges, I was displaying some of my beads in this dish — and a customer wanted to buy the dish. Up until that moment, I really hadn’t considered pursuing fusing. But that’s all the prompting I needed.”

Well known for her lampwork beads and other glass creations, Fayetteville artist Denise Lanuti has added a new style of glass called batik to her repertoire.
(Courtesy Photo)

Lanuti remembers the revelation that “glass screams for light to pass through it or play on the surface,” making lighting “by far my favorite dream to pursue.” But never content with what she knows how to do, she was soon answering the call of friends and acquaintances who wanted the ashes of their loved ones captured in a glass pendant — or a ceiling fan pull, bracelet or nightlight.

“I have experimented quite a bit with this with great success,” she says. “I do glass fusing with ashes between the glass as well as mixing the ashes with glass rods and adding that to the design of a bead. It has really been an honor and a privilege to make such a personal and treasured keepsake. It has meant a great deal to the families involved.”

And still, she wanted more.

“This new batik style of glass that I’m doing now was something I’ve seen on the computer in my fused glass groups,” she explains. “It looks interesting, and I have a pretty substantial collection of glass powders and frits, so I bought the tutorial and tried — with very exciting results. It’s a technique where I use fine screens, and wearing a respirator, evenly apply a layer of powder, then a few more layers and carefully ‘carve’ through the layers to make the design and then fire the glass. After it’s fired once, I refine it to give the glass its shape, such as a tray or bowl.”

Lanuti’s work is available at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art museum store — when it’s open; Zarks Gallery in Eureka Springs, which is open by appointment (zarksgallery.com); and at her studio in Fayetteville.

Well known for her lampwork beads and other glass creations, Fayetteville artist Denise Lanuti has added a new style of glass called batik to her repertoire.
(Courtesy Photo)

“I love local people coming to my studio to shop,” she says. “At this time, I don’t have regular hours that I’m open for business, but it may be something I consider in the future. But many, many people just call and ask if they can come over and shop. I’m almost always here working, so it’s rarely a problem.”


Go See It!

Denise Lanuti’s Studio

Email Lanuti at dlanuti@gmail.com to schedule a visit.

Categories: Cover Story