There is some real meaning behind the old proverb “You can’t rush greatness.” Artist David Gappa is not in the habit of hurrying through the creation of his glassblowing masterpieces. He purposefully shapes and cuts the glass as he moves it in and out of the furnace and then slowly cools it so as not to crack the new sculpture or vase. It is a time-consuming yet enchanting process that he has transformed into a collaboration with interior designers and homeowners to create one-of-a-kind art glass installations for homes and interiors worldwide.
Gappa’s intentionality in design continues with his latest series, Wallscapes. He began the brainstorming process for the handblown glass wall sculptures 10 years ago.
“I began working on a series of collages studying shadow play, layering and color transmission. I created a couple of collages and was trying to figure out how to translate this work into glass,” says Gappa. “It has been boiling in my mind for many years, and I had a chance to play around with it during the shutdown.”
Fast-forward to today: Gappa’s first design in the Wallscapes series, called Waterscape, hangs on the wall of a happy homeowner. A series of waves in blown glass combine with aluminum to show a natural wave of motion reminiscent of the sea.
“Designers spend a lot of time on wall materials for their clients, whether color, paint or texture,” Gappa says. “The Waterscape design becomes a part of the wall itself, as my sculpture uses not only glass and aluminum but the negative space of the wall as part of the composition. The shadowing and color refraction on the wall that happens as light transfers through the glass completes the design.”
The second piece of artwork in the series, Cosmic Quest, is Gappa’s interpretation of the creation of our cosmos and planet through the collision of particles rendered in glass and metal. This piece is an expression of adventurous travel through a molten glass and metallic universe full of galactic turmoil. “Light passing through the piece illuminates the family’s space, allowing for something not only beautiful but meaningful,” the artist says.
Gappa’s attention is now directed toward the third installation in the series, titled Icescape, which is his expression of icicles translated in handblown glass, crystal and metal. He is in the concept phase and plans to add this new design to his portfolio in early 2022.
Gappa is eager to continue designing new variations of Wallscapes by working with designers to fulfill their clients’ dreams in this versatile medium. Any of the Wallscapes pieces can be customized in size and color to fit within a designer’s plan for a client. To begin the process, he takes sample color palettes and fabrics, letting designers inspire him and turning their ideas into sketches and later tangible blown glass art that fits within their clients’ prescribed spaces.
“Whether a designer wants a turnkey wallscape or prefers to be hands-on in choosing the look of the final piece, we welcome both working styles,” Gappa says. “We can use the approach the designer wants. We also can provide a portfolio of past Wallscapes installations so designers can help their clients imagine and visualize the final piece.”
The process is simple: Designers review Gappa’s portfolio, choose the formulated colors from the catalog that fit their project and provide measurements of the space to fill. From start to finish the process takes three to eight weeks for a custom design to be installed in the client’s home.
No matter what Gappa is designing—a wallscape, chandelier, vase or decanter—he holds faith and family at the crux of everything he does. “God has given me a talent to work with my hands and this medium of glass,” he says. “Being able to create is the closest I can come to being a part of God’s creation. It’s a way to have my thumbprint on this planet.” *
Dana W. Todd is a professional writer specializing in interior design, real estate, luxury homebuilding, landscape design and architecture.