Photo: Glass Shawl, torch worked glass chainmaille
Tell us about yourself!
My name is David Licata. I'm from White Plains, NY and have always wanted to be an artist and teacher. I attended SUNY New Paltz for sculpture and art education. I began working with glass my sophomore year during a metals class and fell in love with the medium. I worked as an apprentice in various studios and took classes to learn everything I could about glass. I fell in love specifically with torch working because it allowed me to create small and detailed sculptures at home. I began creating chainmaille jewelry and attended graduate school for metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. I currently teach sculpture and ceramics at Scarsdale High School.
Why do you work with glass as a medium?
The medium of glass works well the concepts and ideas that I am interested in. I also enjoy the process. I am fascinated by the idea of taking a fragile material and creating large sections of chain that were once meant for protection. I enjoy challenging myself and the material by creating complex patterns in color and shapes using various techniques all based off of traditional metalsmithing. With this technique I create everything from installations to wearable pieces that play with light and shadows. I am also interested in how the viewer's relationship to the material.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work references the fragile human connections to nature and each other. I am inspired by hikes and nature walks, studying our relationship to the world around us and how we all are constantly trying to find balance in this world. My first large exhibition for my BFA in sculpture featured a forest of 22 clear borosilicate glass trees that were interactive and lit up when people walked around the sculptures. Conceptually, this sculpture portrayed how people walk in an out of our lives and can sometimes leave lasting effects without even knowing it. That theme of connections has become more literal with the my current body of work. Chainmaille was used as a form of protection and by creating it out of glass plays with the fragility of our relationship to our environment. I have been creating large wall pieces inspired by frozen waterfalls and icebergs. I love the process of creating my sculpture that is very much like knitting, but just with a flame. It is very complex, repetitive and I challenge myself with the patterns and contradicting the idea of protection.
What is your dream project?
I have a lot of dream projects but the major one I am currently working on is for the GAS conference in June. For the past few years, Laura Donefer has asked me to create something for the Glass Fashion Show and I finally feel up for the challenge. I am planning to create a large glass dress and another outfit to wear for the fashion show which I began working on a few months ago. The process is very laborious and this will be my first time creating something using such complex patterns and scale.
Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS because I enjoy being a part of groups that support the arts and focus on glass art. The resources and connections help my work both as a teacher and glass artist.
Member Profile: www.glassart.org/cgi/page.cgi?mid=23871&cmd=show_profile&_id=1430