Cultural Trust Blog: Dan Sullivan Artist Profile

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Dan Sullivan creates unique glass art in many forms. At his studio in Mt. Washington, he diligently crafts glass jewelry in a variety of shapes and colors. Curling spirals for your ears and thick glass pendants compliment perfectly round glass beads. From the jewelry he moves onto making glass sculptures; an elephant made of frosted glass, a chessboard with all of its pieces, a tree made of rare red glass with twisted branches and roots.

Dan Sullivan
Dan Sullivan for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

When he is not working at his flame shop on Mt. Washington, Sullivan blows glass at Vessel Studio in the South Side on the weekends. I went to Vessel to see Dan work and photograph the experience. The studio is easy to overlook, a garage door opens in the middle of a residential area off of 16th street. The heat is intense inside and the door stays open to let in the cool air and any curious eyes that may be passing by.

In the hot shop, Sullivan creates glass cups and bowls. These seemingly standard items have his creative twist to them. The cups have faces, grinning and leering with indented eyes and mouths. These pieces are quirky and have a whimsical air to the, but Sullivan is intensely serious about his work. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, he speaks about the difficulty and the beauty of the work. “Glassblowing is both art and craft,” he tells me. “It’s all about learning to control both heat and gravity, in order to achieve perfection.”

Dan Sullivan will be at the Three Rivers Arts Festival selling his glassware and sculptures, as well as his glass jewelry. Other weekends you can find him selling his work in the Strip District at 20thand Penn on Saturday afternoons. Stop by his booth next week and check out his unique visions for yourself.

Dan Sullivan
Plaza Booth 78
June 8-12


Originally posted June 3, 2011 11:12am by Emily O’Donnell at

The Three Rivers Arts Festival’s Emerging Artist Scholarship Program helps local artists new to outdoor festivals show their work for the first time, providing them with a tent and booth space free of charge. The scholarship helps these artists launch their art careers and also hooks them up with established artist mentors who can give them advice and direction on how to succeed in the festival setting. 

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