Dorothy Hafner received her BA from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, where she also completed her post-graduate studies.Trained as a painter and sculptor, Hafner first tried her hand at ceramics, both functional and sculptural in 1973. In the ensuing 15 years she created over 12 lines of tableware, both hand crafted and industrially produced, for such firms as Tiffany & Co. in NYC and Rosenthal in Germany. At the same time she also actively created one of a kind sculptural objects which were exhibited internationally. Museums owning these works include the American Craft Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Mint Museum of Art to name only a few.
In 1991, following a long held desire, Hafner allowed herself respite to travel, paint and write. While scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef she was so taken with the colors of the sea, its diversity of flora and fauna, and its captivating reflections, that she returned to her studio intent on celebrating this beauty in her art. This search led her to glass with its brilliant colors and sparkling transparencies. In glass she found the perfect medium for her painterly and sculptural expressions.
As Hafner’s flat glass mosaics evolved they began to acquire a unique beauty of their own, apart from the vessel onto which they were rolled.
In 1997, Hafner shifted her focus solely to the flat glass, as painter to canvas. Building layer upon layer of transparent cutouts, she began fusing them together to produce single multi-layered transparent panels, each rich with overlays of her diaphanous imagery.
Hafner’s glass works are in many major collections, including the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, NYC, the Brooklyn Museum, NY, the Musee des Arts Decoritifs, Montreal, the Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, the American Crafts Museum, NY, and the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach.