Lawrence Grown Founder, Lead Designer
Metro Lighting was founded in 1993 by Lawrence Grown to fulfill a need for architectural lighting–fixtures designed to compliment unique architectural environments. Lawrence earned his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Cincinnati in 1990. His passion lies in product development, merging new technologies with old-school handcrafts to create original designs of timeless beauty and functionality. A sustainability activist, Lawrence seeks to promote environmental stewardship throughout his work and his networks. He is a graduate of the Inner City Advisors Entrepreneurship Institute/the8factors, East Bay Leadership program, a charter member of Buy Local Berkeley, and founder/Executive Director of the West Berkeley Design Loop. Lawrence has been an Executive Board member for Nia House Learning Center, the Berkeley High School PTSA, and the Berkeley High Academic Choice Advisory Council, (ACAC). In 2018 Lawrence lead a team to produce a large scale environmental art project of his own design for Burning Man: www.chilopod.life. This project utilized Lawrence's skills in leadership, team building, design, metal fabrication and carpentry, and represents his biggest lighting "fixture" to date.
Christa Rybczynski Co-owner, Designer, Operations
Educated as an architect at the University of Cincinnati, Christa has enjoyed creating new lighting designs at Metro Lighting for over twenty years. In addition to being a designer, she wears many hats–bookkeeper, graphic designer, operations manager, and IT specialist. Whether it’s managing inventory, paying bills, or networking the computers, Christa keeps Metro Lighting running smoothly. Christa is a longstanding member of Walden Center & School’s Foundation, founded the Walden Parents Association and serves on Walden’s Finance and Building Committees.
Cora Customer Service Manager, Merchandising
Knowledgeable, patient, and insightful, Cora has a knack for helping customers realize their personal design vision. Since 2009, she has guided hundreds of customers through the design process to come to their unique lighting solutions. A visual artist by training, Cora brings over 16 years experience in home furnishing and gallery sales, customer service, and retail merchandising to her work at Metro Lighting. Cora earned her BA in Art from UC Davis and completed a 10 week business course at Urban FIRE–Financial Intelligence Responsible Entrepreneurship.
Boun Lead Fixture Fabricator
As part of Metro Lighting’s production team since 2007, Boun has over 25 years of metal fabrication, finishing, and lighting fixture production experience. A true master craftsman, Boun is our problem solver for anything metal or electrical. He is fastidious at keeping Metro Lighting's fixture production on schedule, even when he occasionally travels to visit his family in Laos. Boun is best known for his can-do attitude, as his answer to almost any custom fabrication question is: “No problem!”
Mike Metal Fabricator
Mike has been an invaluable part of our shop team since 2013. His prior experience includes a decade in lighting fabrication at Classic Illumination, 2000 Degrees, and Lightspann.
Alex Glass Blower
Alex is an Oakland based glass artist who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000 with a Bachelors Degree in Glass Sculpture. Our Mirage and Dune lines are created by Alex and his team, who are committed to blowing pieces that are consistently beautiful and of the highest quality. In addition to his lighting work, Alex is also a prolific artist who has exhibited nationwide in several galleries including Colorado Springs Museum, Colorado Springs, CO; Adam Whitney Gallery, Omaha, NE; Pismo Gallery, Denver, CO; San Francisco Design Center at the A. Rudin Showroom.
Carl Glass Blower
Carl has been working in the highly specialized medium of Lustre Art Glass for almost 40 years. Originated by Tiffany in 1881, and popularized in the early 1900's, Lustre Art Glass had fallen out of favor by 1925. But in the early 1970's, Carl was part of a small movement of artisans who became fascinated with the medium and caught up in the challenge of mastering this sophisticated art form. Besides the materials being quite expensive, there are other factors which limit the production of Lustre Art Glass. Foremost, the glass blower must be chemist as well as craftsman. The raw glass can only be maintained in the furnace for a short period of time before the color, quality and texture of the batch begins to degenerate. Today, Carl is one of a handful of glass artists in the United States who continues to work in this traditional glass technique.
Bob Glass Fusing Artist
Bob creates custom masterpieces in fused and slumped glass in a variety of shapes and designs. This highly flexible medium allows us to design pieces custom-fit for each project. Color, pattern, and transparency are manipulated to create unique works of art in kiln-formed glass to suit the style, palette, and scale of each location. Also a stained glass artist, Bob's incredible creations are the result of time-honored traditional craftsmanship and a fusion of his own design vision with historical and contemporary trends. His stained glass windows are featured in homes and churches across the country and around the world.
Justin Glass Blower and Cold Worker
Metro's upcycled bottle shades begin as simple bottles which are then expertly cold worked and fire polished by Justin. Justin's adventure in glass began when he picked up his first blow pipe in 2001 at San Francisco State University. He was hooked; soon he began working for professional glass studios around the bay area. For 10 years Justin worked in the glass factory setting where he honed his skills as a glass blower and a meticulous cold worker. He now uses many classic techniques as well as developing his own to make original pieces of art.
Lundberg Studios Glass Blowers
For over 40 years, the master artisans at Lundberg Studios have produced some of the finest art glass of our times. Located in the small coastal town of Davenport, California, they individually create an exquisite array of vases, scent bottles, paperweights, lighting and custom commissions. Melting all its own exotic colors, Lundberg Studios has refined the art of making quality glass by using a blend of techniques both traditional and innovative. Signed and dated, to own a limited edition piece of Lundberg Art Glass is to own an heirloom of tomorrow.