A Dubai resident for six years, Kenyan artist Suzan Gathoni specializes in glass engraving. Trained in Kenya with a British Master Glass Engraver and a member of the Guild of Glass Engravers, Gathoni is now a freelance artist participating in the ARTE markets.
Gathoni specializes in the technique of intaglio engraving, which she explains is the art of hand sculpting a three-dimensional design on to a glass surface, creating a negative image. As the light falls and plays on the deeply carved designs, the image appears as though it is in relief.
Safety precautions are vital to the engraving process as the glass dust is dangerous to inhale. Gathoni advises “using water during the process as engraving should not be done on dry glass. The work area should be kept humid at all times, preventing the glass dust to dry.”
Nature and culture are Gathoni’s biggest inspirations. Her work regularly features wild animals from her native Africa. Liking Dubai and its people and cultures more each year, she feels motivated to expand her horizons, which is why you will see local UAE designs incorporated into her engravings.
With both locals and expats buying her works, Gathoni believes ARTE has given her good exposure, saying that “It is amazing how Dubai people love handmade things.”
Images courtesy of Suzan Ghatoni.