Most Interesting People 2017

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mip_article_deannadionneMost Interesting People 2017: Deanna Dionne

After her car was broken into, the designer turned the broken glass into beautiful pieces of jewelry.

Why She’s Interesting: Within a week of moving to Cleveland in 2014, Dionne had her car broken into near her artist loft studio in AsiaTown. But her creative mind saw beauty in the broken glass, so she swept it up and crafted art. Soon it turned into Cleveland Street Glass, a jewelry line featuring large statement necklaces and dangling earrings. 

Broken Record: After the break-in, Dionne was shocked her neighbors simply responded to the incident with a shrug, claiming that this happens frequently in the city. “They were like, It’s like an initiation. You’re one of us now. It happens a lot.” I would walk around and explore and see it everywhere. I said, ‘OK, this is a part of Cleveland, and it’s actually kind of beautiful.’ ” 

Swept Up: After weekly drives around her neighborhood to find glass, Dionne brings the pieces to her workshop and spreads them all onto a white tabletop. Often, there are pieces that immediately stand out. “It’s more like the glass is working with me. It’s exciting because I never really know what I’m going to find. I leave a lot of room for the organic falling together.” 

Critical Thinking: Dionne wants people to walk away with a deeper meaning behind her jewelry. “It reminds me of when a tribe will stick the head of their enemies on a stick outside their village — it’s empowering. Just looking at the piece itself, we all feel broken at times, but you can still be beautiful too.” 

Numbers Game: Dionne spends half her time as a freelance designer working on websites and book covers. “I fell in love with being able to create something artistic through code, numbers and letters. It’s like magic.” 

Mental Break: Dionne grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. So when life gets hectic, she finds comfort in water. “It always centers and grounds me. It’s more of a mental relaxation thing.” 

Radio Frequency: Dionne is a voice actor for Cleveland Radio Players, a troupe that re-enacts broadcasts from the past and performs plays in a recording studio and then shares them online. “I’ve been a pirate, a doctor, a robot, the granny in Big Bad Wolf. The more outlandish and silly you act, the better it sounds.”