Dana Smith

After seeing glassblowing several times in his childhood, Dana Smith knew that this was something he eventually wanted to try …

Shortly after he moved to North Carolina in 1983 for graduate school, he discovered Cedar Creek Gallery and knew right off it was a very special place. Once Lisa Oakley opened her glass studio there, he returned many times to watch her work, each time re-exciting his childhood fascination.

Finally in 1999 Dana got his first chance to take a glassblowing class and was immediately hooked! Dana began practicing his craft and ultimately met three like-minded souls (Pringle Teetor, Will Kurylo and Stephen Galla) who convinced him that what they really needed was their own studio. And so, the idea of Four Winds Studios was born. Dana reconnected with Lisa Oakley and found that there was a small studio available at Cedar Creek – in fact this was Lisa’s first glass studio space!

Dana (was?) volunteered to design the equipment they would need and he, along with the other three “Winds”, rolled up their sleeves and built their very own glass studio from scratch. It took 16 months of nights and weekends (since everyone had day jobs). Finally, in October of 2006, Four Winds Studios opened its (glory hole) doors for business!

Dana continues to study glassblowing and has taken several classes at the Corning Museum of Glass, Penland School of Crafts, and Pittsburgh Glass Center.

When Dana is not at his day job as a computer systems and application administrator, he can be found exploring color application techniques and pursuing simple, elegant forms in glass.