Volume 34, Number 6, June 1999


A Lesson Learned

by Melissa Thomson Light

In a publishing office you can pretty much pick items up without fear of them breaking. Most of the time you’re dealing with paper and magazines. On the other hand, in a glass shop you have to watch what you’re doing at all times. I learned that lesson right here in our new offices, located in Stafford, VA.

As part of their training, a class from Glass Industry Career Technologies (GICT) located in Goochland, VA, cut, prepared and installed the mirrors at the office of Key Communications Inc. The class traveled to our offices on three occasions to install new mirrors, beveled overlays and a 7-foot, 6-inch by 4-foot etched greylite 14. While our office served as a training ground and provided a hands-on learning experience for the GICT class, it did the same for me.

According to John Martin, Sommer & Maca territorial manager for Virginia and North Carolina, the goal of the class is to learn about safety, proper tools and applications and then put the students in touch with industry professionals. "The class starts with the history of the glass business and works them up through single-story commercial business glass," said Martin.

GICT held its first class December 1998. Those same students will graduate in July. The whole course is offered twice a year, however individual classes are offered at varying times throughout the year at a community college. To be admitted to the course, students must meet all the state requirements for J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College. The course instructors prefer to have students either interested in working in the glass industry or who are already working in the industry. The hopes, according to Martin, are that students will not be taking the class to fill college credit, but to gain knowledge to give back to the industry. The instructors include Martin, Doug Cannada of AC Glass of Glen Allen, VA, Fred Shumaker of Goochland Glass of Goochland, VA, Dave Case of Kawneer of Norcross, GA, and Chuck Creider and Bob Thurman of U.S. Aluminum of Waxahachie, TX. (See related story USGlass, Sept. 1998, page 4).

Students Barbara Martin of Millennium Glass, Betty Burns, owner of Sterling Glass, Jasen White of Bay Area Glass, and Martin measured for the mirrors and the grey lite.

The mirrors were installed by Martin, Cannada and Burns. Donnie Overcast of More Than Glass of Mechanicsville, VA, donated the etching. The four bathroom mirrors, mirror cover plates and all accessories were donated by Al Cannada of AC Glass. The bevel overlays were designed and donated by Gino D’Alessio of Traverse Bay Beveled Glass & Mirror in Traverse City, MI (see box at right).

On the day of installation, I was put to work as a willing participant. I quickly learned an important lesson for anyone working around glass–watch what you are doing at all times. Now mind you, I was paying attention, but in the process of picking up gloves (so I could handle the mirrors properly) a glass switch plate fell and shattered (still in the wrapper—whew!). I didn’t even see it until it was lying on the ground. Now, maybe the switch plate shouldn’t have been under a set of gloves on top of a commode, but nonetheless, working around glass—out in the open or not—calls for a little more caution than working around paper and magazines. Thankfully no one was hurt (except my ego) and I survived to talk about it—even with all the teasing I received from everyone.

Melissa Thomson Light is an assistant editor for USGlass magazine.

Oooh, What Colors!

Gino and Jeni-Su D’Alessio of Traverse Bay Beveled Glass & Mirror in Traverse City, MI, donated the beveled overlays for the office mirrors. The blue overlays were installed by Doug Cannada of AC Glass of Glen Allen, VA, John Martin of Sommer & Maca and Fred Shumaker of Goochland Glass of Goochland, VA.

The overlays can be used to enhance the look of a mirror, cover up peeling corners or holes. The overlays and frame kits are available in 2-, 3- and 4-inch widths, and no edging is required when applying the overlays. Double-sided tape and mastic are applied to the overlays, then the overlays are placed on the mirror, creating a whole new look.

Traverse Bay is the only company in the country that designs, produces and direct ships to its customers, according to Gino D’Alessio. "We are also the only company in the country which offers seven different overlay colors. We offer, green, blue, black, peach, as well as the industry standards of bronze, grey and clear." said D’Alessio. The company tries to update the colors every six months.

A test market was conducted by Sommer & Maca from July 1997 to July 1998 in the Midwest. Due to the strong response, Sommer & Maca asked to handle all of Traverse Bay’s marketing and orders. The orders are called into Sommer & Maca then transferred to Traverse Bay where they are filled and direct shipped to the customer. Sommer & Maca are the exclusive distributors of Traverse Bay’s beveled overlays.




Copyright 1999 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.