VETRO Glassblowing Studio owner David Gappa with staff Lindsey Barker.
As a creative professional I am always looking to learn a new art form, and VETRO Glassblowing Studio & Gallery in Grapevine, TX definitely delivered. You’ll be surprised by what types of hands-on creative outlets you might enjoy. The key is to get out there and try something new. Glassblowing proved to be extremely exciting!
VETRO Glassblowing Studio & Gallery is owned by artist and founder David Gappa, who interestingly transitioned from a career in architecture. David Gappa and his team not only assist visitors in blownglass creations, but they are also professional artists in their own right, creating a wide range of gallery art for the discerning eye. David Gappa’s architecture background has given him a unique approach to this art form, allowing him to construct the most advanced sculptural glass art that I have ever seen. This studio is definitely worth visiting.
During my visit VETRO’s team of expert glassblowers showed me around the studio and educated me on the history of glassblowing, which is a much older art form than I would have ever imagined. I learned that archaeologist have found glass creations as old as 5000 years old, and that today glassblowing still uses the same tools and processes that were utilized originally. Fascinating!
The Glassblowing Process
Here I begin the process of making my own stemless wine glass at the VETRO glassblowing studio. Their team assisted me in the process of making my own glass item step by step. With VETRO’s public workshops you can stop by to make a range of creations from a wine glass, to a glass flower, a bowl, and more. Sometimes they even offer wine nights where you get to create in their glassblowing studio (assisted of course) while enjoying a glass of wine.
One tip before you participate is to make sure that you wear close toed shoes and avoid wearing any synthetic fibers since you’ll be around fire and furnaces. There is no reason to be nervous though because the assistance provided is thorough and attentive. My VETRO tour guides for the day were amazing; great artisans and teachers!
I selected my custom color combination for my wine glass.
You would be surprised by how many tools it takes to create one blown glass product! It’s also generally a two person job! There is a lot more to glassblowing than you would expect. Just to create a single wine glass I feel like I went through nearly a 10 step process. Seeing this art form in person gave me a new appreciation of the skill and effort it takes to create the type of glass products we see at stores and galleries. Glassblowing artisans go to school to learn their craft and have to be aware of many formulas when creating various types of shapes and vessels.
I am looking forward to making another glass creation with VETRO’s expert staff. The glassblowing experience is really addictive!
Tools of the trade shown above.
If you happened to be wondering… glass blowing actually DOES involve blowing the glass.
VETRO also offers workshops for private groups where you create alongside a group of your own friends or co-workers, separate from their public workshop offerings. It’s a really great idea for a party or celebration or possibly for a team building activity, and everyone gets to take home their creation.
As far as the quality of VETRO’s glassblown products, I was truly impressed! The quality and heavy weight of their stemless wine glasses exceeded my expectations, and I didn’t lose out on any quality even though it happened to be a guided DIY. I have seen other glassblown wine glass products that are extremely lightweight and thin, the kind of product that would easily break, but VETRO delivers on aesthetics and quality every time. If you enroll in one of their wine glass workshops, your creation will look similar to this (see below).
Advanced Artisan Creations & Customization Options
Now for a look at one of the VETRO team’s more advance creations. Below you’ll get a behind the scenes look at them creating an artistic glass bowl with a really unique textured pattern. VETRO’s team of advanced artisans are capable of creating a wide range of custom options for your home or art collection. Being the design-lover that I am, I am always looking for home decor items with a more unique touch to them. VETRO will deliver on originality when it comes to their custom creations.
VETRO’s storefront offers a selection of ready made blownglass products and works of art that you can take home with you the same day. However, if you need inspiration for a custom product, browsing their storefront is sure to give you some ideas. I came home with SO many ideas for customizing my home with blownglass. The possibilities are endless.
From an interior design perspective, I love the idea of a collage of multiple sized glass bowls as a wall art feature like shown below. Perfect for a statement wall!
Also, consider some of their other decorative selections for enhancing your home’s decor. The works shown below are advanced creations by VETRO professionals that you can purchase or have custom made for your own home or real estate project.
Custom items to consider having VETRO create for your home or business:
(1) Wall sconce light fixtures or pendant lights
(2) Figurative sculpture art (like the incredible dinosaur head shown below) – Created by VETRO owner and artist David Gappa.
(3) Custom chandeliers – of any shape or size you can imagine!
(4) Abstract glass panels as sculptural art (shown below)
(5) A collection of oversized glass bowls for a statement wall installation
Special thanks are in order for Jorma Rahja and Shannan Shumate for showing me the ropes at the VETRO Glassblowing Studio & Gallery. I will definitely be back again! My plan is to create a matching set of stemless wine glasses and serving platters for the dining table. What will you create with VETRO Glassblowing Studio? Schedule your visit today and let them know that Interiors by Jacquin sent you!
Photography by Zoe Martinez