David Gappa is surrounded by a highly skilled, creative and hard-working team. Glassblowers truly and literally work through their blood, sweat and, yes, sometimes even tears to make the piece a success. And the glassblowers on this Studio Team have what it takes. Dedication, determination, perseverance…nothing less.
- David Gappa
- Shannon Shumate
- Kevin Doerner
- Katy Fenley
- Travis Reid
- Stella Ran
- Becky Foster
- Mitch McCormack
Watch this team in action through the Vetro Video Library.
Kevin Doerner - Shop Foreman, Glassblower
Kevin first saw glassblowing at the Philadelphia Folk Fest when he was around ten years old. Some glassblowers from Wheaton Village N.J. had their traveling furnace there and he thought it was awesome that they were creating art out of lava. He continued his interest for the next eight years until he finally received a gift certificate from his Dad to take a paperweight class at Glass Light Studios in St. Peters Village Pennsylvania with instructor Joel Bless. After taking several classes he started looking into glassblowing for a job. He found Vetro Glassblowing Studio online and noticed it had an apprenticeship program. So, he moved down to Texas in July of 2003. He got his foot in the door just by hanging out there every day and helping out whenever he could (sweeping floors, changing water buckets; etc.) little by little he helped out more and more until he was hired on as a full time glassblower. He continues working at Vetro currently and loves it!
Becky Foster - Glassblower
Becky Foster was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She relocated to Texas several years ago, and currently resides in Dallas. Even as a child, Becky held an appreciation for many kinds of art, as well as for those blessed with the talent to create such beauty.
Becky attended Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio and graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor’s In Business Administration. After relocating to Texas, she attended Dallas Baptist University and obtained her Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Becky and her daughter took a paperweight class together and Becky found herself hopelessly addicted to the unlimited possibilities of glass blowing. She continued to take additional paperweight classes and subsequently applied to join Vetro’s apprenticeship program. Becky has also had experience in the media of ceramics and glass fusing.
Vetro was very pleased to welcome Becky into the program in October of 2002. She has a natural talent for artistic vision and the resolve to bring that vision to fruition. The Vetro artists recognized the determination to succeed in Becky…plus she could weld! All in the studio have come to depend heavily on Becky’s many artistic talents as well as her organizational skills.
Becky’s extended family also includes a 100 lb baby great dane named Jagger.
Mitch McCormack – Apprentice
Mitch McCormack, a musician/ visual artist based out of the DFW area had begun drawing and writing music around the age of five years old. Introduced to a variety of artistic mediums in his early teens Mitch discovered the fine world of the ceramic arts. Although his eye was attracted to the intensity of hot glass only recently has he dove into the craft. After focusing on ceramics and only taking a few classes with glass, he soon relocated to Austin, TX and began working with Austin Art Glass in the fall of 2008. Returning to the DFW metroplex in July of 2009 he then began working with Vetro Glassblowing Studio in Grapevine, TX later that month. Since then the passion and the urge to manipulate molten glass has only increased, without doubt this craft will forever be the focal point of his life.
Travis Reid - Glassblower
“It is hard to explain my feelings on glass. For me, making glass is lifelong pursuit of perfection and creative impulse. This material is nothing like any other medium I have ever worked with. Glass has a life of transparency and colors with endless possibilities which forces me to always be on my toes.” – Reid
As a teenager growing up in the DFW metroplex, Travis’ life was changed with his dis-covery of this semi-solid liquid know as glass. With encouragement from his family, he eagerly started down a path into the world of art glass. At the time he was not aware of the journey that was in store for him.
Travis began by studying glass blowing with David Gappa at Vetro Art Glass in Grapevine, Texas. Gappa helped shape Travis’ abilities in glass through experience and the opportunity to create and explore with hot glass. Travis has been a part of Team Vetro since 2001, where he is now one the key developers in the studio’s art production.
Travis graduated form the University of North Texas with a degree in fine arts with a concentration in sculpture. After his completion of his undergrad, he moved to Berlin Germany to study and produce contemporary art. Although he loved the culture in Berlin, Travis decided to move to Murano, Italy to pursue his ultimate passion, art glass. Travis had the privilege of studying glass with the world renowned Italian Meastro, Afro Celotto.
With his return to Texas, Travis is using his world experiences to create art. Travis’ art has become a playful view on the science of how the world works. His simplistic approach to art allows him to use the material of that medium to depict the feeling he wants his art to display
Shannon Shumate - Gallery Manager
Shannon is the ray of sunshine that warms the heart of every person who walks through the doors of Vetro’s gallery. Everything she does and says carries with it a contagious enthusiasm. Shannon joined the Vetro team in 2005 bringing with her a Bachelors of Fine Arts with an emphasis in sculpture. That, combined with her past retail experience and natural desire to devote 110% of herself to every person she meets, results in exceptional customer service and satisfaction.
Katy Fenley - Gallery Assistant & Instructor
Katy Fenley has been a glass artist since 1999. Born and raised in rural East Texas , Katy has always been involved in the arts in some way. When she moved to Dallas/Fort Worth in 1996, she played the local music scene as a talented musician and singer. Although music will always be her first love, she is now pursuing her passion for the arts through glass. Her love affair with glass began shortly after the birth of her first son in 1999. She was hooked after her very first session on the torch. About two years later, Katy began experimenting with fused glass and recently began metalsmithing courses to take her creations to a new and even more exciting direction. She finds glass to be such a dynamic medium that the possibilities for expression really are endless. As a self-taught glass artist, Katy has developed a unique style all her own.
In 2004, Katy arrived on the Vetro scene not only as a contributing artist, but also as a Gallery Team member to assist customers and maintain a polished look throughout the facility. Katy has also played a key role with inventory and supplies management. As a firefan belly dancer, she even provided key entertainment at Vetro’s 10-Year anniversary event. Now we just need to figure out how to bring her beautiful singing voice into play!
Stella Ran - Gallery Assistant
Stella has been a dedicated Gallery Team member since 2007. Her hard work is evident as she assists customers with their questions and purchases. In addition to her assistance with data management, she does a fantastic job in helping to maintain a beautiful and comfortable gallery atmosphere.