Stained Glass Artisans Start Their Own Shop in San Leandro | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 20 December 2012 16:34

122012b1By Linda Sandsmark

San Leandro Times

A group of stained glass enthusiasts has decided to open their own shop in San Leandro, now that their favorite studio has closed and its owner retired.

The Stained Glass Design Studio opened last summer on Washington Avenue, just after I Love Stained Glass Shoppe closed in Castro Valley.

“They had given classes for years and years, and a lot of friends had been made there. I’ve seen people meet and get married there,” says Steve Hill, who has also been a stained glass instructor for 15 years.

“We wanted to keep our group going to make windows and do repairs,” says Hill.

Twila Lively, one of 11 “stockholder” partners in the new venture, says the group started thinking they could actually create a viable studio if the right space was found. All of the partners have full-time jobs, yet the group pulled their new business together in just 30 days. They located a vacant fabric shop at the corner of Washington and Harlan Street and got to work.

“On June 1 we got the lease here. We put in a new floor, painted, built tables, added workstations for the grinders, and put up a few walls,” says Lively.

The group chose the location for its large size and proximity to downtown.

“It’s very well centered, and easy to get around San Leandro,” Lively adds.

A visual record of their speedy renovations may be viewed online at

The new venture is open seven days a week and offers classes, workspace, materials, and completed stained glass items for sale.  They  specialize in restorations, custom designs, and custom framing for windows.  Also on display are stained glass jewelry, a Raiders window, and a mosaic-covered bookcase.

122012b2“Stained glass is not just for church windows,” says Hill. “We make glass lamps, cabinet doors, and hundreds of restorations.  You can make something pretty out of just about anything.”

Students can come in at any time from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and weekends.  Hill says that out of the hundreds of people he’s known who have taken stained glass classes over the years, only a handful decided it’s not for them.

The Stained Glass Design Studio offers beginner through advanced classes to help people new to the hobby, or who want to learn a new technique.  New students don’t have to put a lot of money up front, and the tools are provided.  The studio has about 20 students already, with plenty of room for more.

“We give a variety of classes at a reasonable price. We already have a customer base, so our goal is to maintain it and keep the enjoyment going on for many years to come,” Hill says. “I grew up in San Leandro and went to Marina High and am glad to be coming back.”

The Stained Glass Design Studio is located at 2000 Washington Ave. in San Leandro.  Classes include Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Stained Glass and Lead/Bevel, Beginning Fusing, and Mosaic Garden Art, Jewelry, Coasters and seasonal decorations.  For more information, call 352-8044, drop by, or see their website at

CAPTION 1: Instructor Steve Hill,  Twila Lively and Frank and Janette Franco show off their stained glass work at the new Stained Glass Design Studio.

CAPTION 2: Steve Hill shows how to cut glass at the Stained Glass Design Studio that opened this year on Washington Avenue.




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