The Alcala legacy lives on through two generations of innovative makers. Starting with sand art and evolving to kiln formed glass, this family is inspired by nature and fueled by a passion to create.


Sean Free Alcala is a contemporary glass artist who lives and works in Modesto, California. A West Coast native and nature enthusiast, he has always been deeply connected to the environment, especially the beaches, rivers and lakes of California. His glass aesthetic is centered on the color, movement and energy of water.

As a child, he was blessed to be surrounded by a family of artists and makers, who showed him how to live a creative lifestyle. His step-father Jerald James was a metal sculptor and candle carver by trade. While his biological father David was a world renown sand painter and established glass art educator. He earned a BA from Sonoma State University while graduating from the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies.

Shortly after graduating college, Sean was introduced to the art of kiln formed glass while working at his father’s studio gallery in Carmel, California.  Fueled by curiosity and a pure fascination with process, he spent years experimenting with the medium seeking to “find the balance between heat-work and cold-work”. He continues to discover the boundaries of glass by staying inspired by objects made from other materials such as wood, ceramics, metal, resin and concrete.

With humble beginnings rooted in California's central valley, David Alan Alcala exemplifies the path of an artist. As a youth, he was drawn to the natural beauty and serenity of the ocean. He invented the art of 'Sand Tapestry' while experimenting with different colored sand inside terrariums and planter boxes. Once his newly discovered art was refined, David dedicated his life to sharing his art across the globe. Over the decades he built studios and galleries to create, demonstrate and display his works.

After spending time in San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Arizona and Hawaii, David finally decided to call Monterey Bay his home. While in Carmel, California he began kiln forming glass, and applied his sand pouring techniques to create solid glass sculptures. Though he spent many years as a prolific artist and creator, he discovered his true calling later in life as a teacher and instructor spreading his wisdom and inspiring all. David taught his glass fusing techniques to art students far and wide, throughout the United States and Europe. Sadly, David Alcala passed in 2014 but has left behind an amazing legacy based on his many contributions to the art world. 


As a teen Markus Anthony Alcala was blessed to have an immersive sand art apprenticeship with his father David, while working at their studio gallery in Cannery Row, Monterey, California. From there he took new found sand art skills to the beautiful islands of Hawaii, where he honed his craft on the famous Front Street of Maui. He later began fusing glass and developed many styles of dichroic jewelry that reflected the vibrant and colorful scenery of Hawaii. Today Markus lives near Portland, Oregon where he still practices his sand and glass art along the Pacific Coast.