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Northeast Ohio is full of creative people following their dreams while trying to make a living. From jewelry crafted out of broken street glass to sound equipment engineered for rock stars, see what people are "making" in the community.

Making It: Cleveland Street Glass Finds Beauty After Break-Ins

Deanna Dionne examines a newly created pendant [David C. Barnett / ideastream]

MAKER: Deanna Dionne

BUSINESS: Cleveland Street Glassmakes jewelry out of the shattered glass from car break-ins.

HOW STARTED: “A week after I moved to Cleveland, my car was broken into.  And my neighbors just said: ‘Yeah, that’ll happen. That’s just a part of living here. ‘”

IS GLASS SWEPT FROM THE STREET SANITARY? “Sometimes people ask me if the glass is clean, if I’ve cleaned it?  Through the process it definitely gets cleaned several times.  No more traces of cigarette butts and rocks.” 

WHERE DO YOU FIND THE GLASS? “It’s often right around where I live. I live between a couple of homeless shelters, and it’s not the homeless that are an issue so much as it is drop-off, early release criminals who have no home, no money, nothing.  So, if someone’s inclined to break into cars, there will just be a rash of car break-ins every once in a while. Well, not every once in a while.  Pretty often.”

IS THERE A FUTURE IN THIS? “I am making a living from this.  During the summer months it’s about 80% of my income.  In a couple of years, I am certain that I will fulltime be doing Cleveland Street Glass.”

SHATTERED, BUT STRONG: “There’s so many layers of how you can interpret the glass metaphorically.  The glass itself is not beautiful, until it’s broken and the light just shines through it.  I find that, in a lot of us, we often find our strength and our power when you hit a moment in your life that could shatter you, but that’s when you are sometimes your most beautiful.” 

David C. Barnett was a senior arts & culture reporter for Ideastream Public Media. He retired in October 2022.