February 12, 2017
Grapevine’s Vetro Glassblowing Studio a hot
date spot for Valentine’s
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Vetro Glassblowing Studio in Historic Downtown Grapevine — a full working studio with a
team of artisans that hold live glassblowing demonstrations daily — is a hot destination
through out the year.
But during the Valentine’s holiday, the heat really turns up.
For three days beginning Friday, the studio and gallery offered Flaming Cocktail Hot Date Night.
The Valentine experience featured flaming cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and hot molten glass. Guests
created their own Valentine heart or flower with the assistance of the professional glassblowers.
Each participant chose colors from four preselected mixes and applied the colors to the hot
molten glass. The participant stayed by the glass artist while the colors were heated in the
2,000-degree furnace and then blown out.
“After all, nothing says love more than fuel, fire and hot molten glass,” said Vetro owner David
In 1999 he founded Vetro, which is Italian for glass.
Gappa created the event several years ago for couples and families to make glass art — with some help, of course.
“It takes a little bit of skill,” master glass artist Gappa said.
Gappa said the hot date night reservations were made mainly by men for their sweethearts, which
always causes a little headache for the business owner and staff.
“Guys always wait until the last minute, sometimes even the day of,” he said, adding that frantic
mates offer “double or triple” the $195 per couple fee to get a reservation.
Gappa accommodates everyone, even though it is tricky making last-minute changes with
Gappa said he is always a planner — his business requires it — but always spends Valentine’s
Day working instead of taking out his wife, Jeannine, the mother of their four children.
“I am always busy planning around all these holidays, but we never participate in them,” Gappa
Jeannine doesn’t mind, he said, because every day is a special day with his wife.
“I am kind of romantic,” he said.
Romance is also a huge part of Sarah and Stephen Pepper’s lives, who came to Vetro on Friday
for his 34th birthday.
The couple made blue and yellow flowers to coordinate with their Arlington home. They left
their two children, Alice, 6, and Andrew, 3, with his parents.
The Pepper’s love story began at Georgetown High School where they met as freshman. The two
were good friends and even went to the 2000 and 2001 proms with the same big group — but
with different dates.
Sarah, a psychologist, and Stephen, who is in real estate acquisitions, coincidentally went to
Texas Tech University in Lubbock but had little connection because his interest was law and hers
was music. But when both decided to switch their majors to psychology their senior year, they
wound up having two classes together.
An encounter at a Halloween party sealed the deal and they married on Dec. 30, 2006.
Of his birthday gift, Stephen said, “It was awesome transforming molten glass into flowers.”
Gappa, who was listening to their vignette, said to the Arlington couple with a smile, “Their lives
were sealed with the fiery love of Vetro.”
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Clayton Sievers and Taylor Farmer watched recently as glassblower Spencer Crouch created the
petals on a glass flower. Richard W. Rodriguez [email protected]
By Marty Sabota