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 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).
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. She also coordinates a massive volunteer effort to support Walden School’s annual musical theater production each spring.
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!”
Elizabeth Metal Fabricator
Elizabeth, known as Biz, has been fabricating lighting for nearly a decade. She first learned the technical skill at a part-time job while earning her BA in Fine Arts from Alfred University. Biz studied at the Cyprus College of Art in Larnaca, Cyprus and has volunteered at The Crucible. She has fabricated hundreds of custom lamps and fixtures at Metro Lighting since 2008. Born and raised in the East Bay, Biz also loves riding horses and creating sculptural art.
Mike Metal Fabricator
Metro was happy to add Mike to the shop team in 2013. His prior experience includes several years in lighting fabrication at Classic Illumination and Lightspann.
Alex Glass Blower
Raised in Trenton, New Jersey, Alex was introduced to glassblowing while attending Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire. In 1993, Alex began working at Belle Mead Hot Glass, a production glass studio. “In the four years that I was employed at Belle Mead, I had gathered glass a staggering amount of times. It was the nuts and bolts of my glassblowing education.” In 1997 Alex and his family traveled across the United States to Sonoma, California where Alex was employed at Bacchus Glass. Since being in California Alex has worked with numerous glass artists. “The studio movement in the Bay Area has been an amazing influence on my life and my work. I am happy to be a part of a great tradition that will carry into the future.”
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.
Guy Glass Blower
Guy, designer, glassblower, and master craftsperson, and his wife Leanne, have been creating beautiful art glass since 1980. Committed to fresh design innovations, they've been making contemporary glass for over 30 years. The studio atmosphere allows each artisan to pursue their commitment to quality, making each piece with loving care. Guy and Leanne grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and they have always been inspired by the natural, urban, and human elements of this special region. Since Guy discovered the art of glass blowing, he has been dedicated to promoting the art and supporting the movement throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
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.
David Glass Blower and Cold Worker
Metro's upcycled bottle shades begin as simple bottles which are then expertly cold worked and fire polished by David. For almost thirty years, David has relied on glass to make a living: making and marketing tabletop ware, exhibiting in glass art galleries, designing and making prototypes for industry, teaching workshops at craft schools, gaffing for artists, and contracting to architects, designers and lighting companies.
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.