Ulla Darni is as vivid as her art. A native of Denmark, she began her art education in her teens, with a four-year apprenticeship at Royal Copenhagen Porcelain. “It was great training,” she says, “Once you can feel through the brush, you can paint what is in front of you and what is within you.”
After completing her young career as a porcelain painter, her luck, beauty and vivacious personality led to a career on stage and screen. Ulla worked as an actress for seven years alongside numerous film stars, the culmination of which was a co-starring role in the international award-winning film, The Duel.
In 1967, Ulla and her young family moved to New York City, where Ulla channeled her endless creativity into her next career as a fashion designer, selling couture, hand-made dresses in her two boutiques.
Ulla began studying with Albert Handel and Daniel Green; then with David Lefell at New York’s Art Student League and her painting talents flourished. Ulla won numerous prizes and artistic recognition leading to election to New York’s prestigious Salmagundi Club and Pen and Brush Club the for her paintings on canvas.
A chance visit by an antique dealer in 1989 led Ulla to reverse painting on glass. Her colorful, artistically-rendered, hand-painted glass lamps were stunning, unique and quickly became highly collectable.
This business success led to representation in galleries and installations throughout the world and to the introduction to her husband and business partner, glass sculptor Lawry Swidler, in 2000.
Demand for Ulla’s chandeliers, table lamps, floor lamps, sconces and other unique installations led to the creation of a studio at their Catskill Mountain home. The studio houses a team of highly-trained artists who reverse-paint the Multiple Originals collection of Ulla-designed patterns.