Stained glass finds a welcome home in Alameda

IF stained glass is jewelry for the home, Alameda has itself a wealth of riches. If you've been dreaming of adding a bit of color to your home with a sparkling piece of stained glass, Alameda has plenty of pieces to see in homes, churches and restaurants.

Ken Matthias -- a stained glass guru after more than 30 years of practicing the craft of making it -- says the city of Alameda has more stained glass windows per capita than any other city in the nation.

That's right, Alameda. The Isle of Style, the Home of the Victorian, the Land that Time Forgot is the Bay Area's stained glass capital.

St. Louis and Savannah, Ga., get honorable mentions, says the owner of Alameda Art Glass, but Alameda is numero uno.

Matthias ought to know. For years he's been biking around Island streets, looking for gleams and glitters coming off decorative glass. He says he's surveyed 1,500 homes in Alameda, promising the owners he wouldn't reveal their addresses.

Twice a year, he gives a 75-minute slide show of the homes. He also keeps a Top 10 List and a binder full of his designs to prove his passion.

Matthias is compiling a book about Alameda's stained glass in hopes of preserving the history of the decades-old work and getting newcomers interested in the art. Matthias is passionate about stained glass, but he does have ulterior motives.

Matthias is co-owner of Alameda Art Glass with Wendy

Wilson Zellick, a 13-year stained glass artist. The two teach classes, restore vintage pieces and take commissions for custom designs for homes, including Alameda's large stock of Victorians and Craftsman bungalows, churches and restaurants.

Custom pieces for homes start at $200 a square foot and go up to $900 a square foot. Prices for finished products vary depending on the quality of the glass, the complexity of the design and the size of the piece.

"It's jewelry for your house," he says.

Matthias is the type of guy who will stop at nothing to photograph stained glass (he says he's knocked on hundreds of front doors of strangers), and this summer he launched "A Bike Old Alameda Cavalcade: Critical Glass," a maiden voyage combining the history of the Island's stained glass windows, exercise and fresh air.

Admission included a map with historical and architectural footnotes and color thumbnails of some of the sights along the way. The tour also included a trip to the Meyers House and Gardens, where some of Matthias' favorite pieces are on public display. He says he may do the bike trek again next year, but he's still gauging people's interest.

600450 Stained glass finds a welcome home in Alameda
Date: 22 September 2003

See more news about:

Others also read

Southwall Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:SWTX), a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of thin-film coatings for the electronic display, automotive glass and architectural markets, today announced that on Dec. 18, 2003, it secured an agreement for a new bank loan guarantee and equity financing package of up to $7.5 million from Needham & Company, Inc., its affiliates and Dolphin Asset Management.
Local quality glass producer Emirates Glass Limited has won contracts to supply 68,000 square metres of its high quality EmiCool glass to five major projects in Dubai.
Co-Ventures in Glass Containers (CVIGC, Ltd.) of Tampa, Florida, USA and Micro-Tek Canada, Inc. Of Toronto, Canada are excited to announce the beginning of a long term joint venture to combine their extensive experiences and resources to offer the Glass Container Industry globally a best value alternative for all their outsourcing needs in manufacturing, operations and technical assistance agreements, specifically targeted to the smaller manufacturers who have found the larger service companies to be cost and profit prohibitive.The principals of the two companies have found a global need for smaller glass companies who require excellent technical resources to properly compete within the industry without the high costs of employing their own staffs or outsourcing their requirements to the larger service companies whose own operating costs and overhead are substantial.
China's largest automobile glass maker Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co, Ltd, won its case against the dumping ruling of the US Department of Commerce (DOC).
When did the wine industry start using glass bottles, and how did they settle on their current size of 750ml? For the answer to these questions, you have to go back in time - back thousands of years to when wine was first cultivated and enjoyed.
Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) today announced that its subsidiary Praxair Canada Inc.'s specialty gases plant in Paris, Ontario, Canada, is one of Praxair's first specialty gases plants in North America to complete the upgrade to ISO 9001:2000, the latest ISO 9000 standard for quality.

Add new comment