Artemio Jimenez moved from Crescent City to Humboldt County in the mid-1990s to study natural resources planning and interpretation at Humboldt State University when he was offered a part-time job at a stained glass establishment. Over a decade later, he’s now teaching the art, selling supplies and gaining a following with his own business in Arcata: Jimenez Stained Glass Studio.
“I had never done the work before and when I got hired I was doing cleanup at first,” Jimenez said of his start. “I’ve always been artistic and have liked to draw. Gradually I advanced in the business. They taught me how to actually assemble the windows and prep through computers. I became studio manager and then general manager.”
Jimenez said he went back to the university in 2006, when he decided to change his major and create an interdisciplinary study in business, communications and art. A few years later he dabbled in the church stained glass industry, which he said he ultimately wants to end up in, by designing windows for the Lutheran Church of Arcata.
“I graduated in 2009 and opened my own studio in November with $25,000 I won as one of the grand prize winners of the Economic Fuel competition,” Jimenez said. “I really like the artistic part of the work. One of the best parts of running my own business is being able to be my own boss. I make up my own schedule, since I’m the only one who really works here. I have the freedom to do what I want to do. Some clients come in and have an idea of what they’re looking for and we sit down and sketch things out, but some clients ask me to design something for them completely on my own around a broad topic like daisies and they just give me measurements for how big it should be. Some pieces I make by myself and sell on my Etsy page.”
Studio customer Janyce Hinckley said Jimenez is a highly-motivated and skillful stained glass artist.
“I’m very impressed with his creative process and detailed plans of three exquisite stained glass windows made for my home, which took about six months,” Hinckley said. “I was always satisfied. He’s such a professional and expresses a great passion. He’s prompt, fair, patient, caring, sensitive and always positive. There probably aren’t enough words to describe him. He’s trustworthy, which is important when you invite someone in your home. Everyday I’m most grateful and feel privileged to have his work. It’s very special and it will be treasured forever.”
Jimenez said he has two part-time employees who mostly help with commission work. He said the average price of what he sells his art for depends on different factors.
“A basic geometric piece that’s not too intricate runs about $175 a square foot. I’d say the median price is around $225 a square foot,” Jimenez said. “On June 7, 2014 I opened the retail section of the studio, which has stained glass making supplies for sale. I received a business loan from the Arcata Economic Development Corporation this year to invest in the store, which fills a space that was missing in Humboldt County. We carry foil, solder, irons, glass and more.”
In June the studio also began offering 12 hours of instruction for $95 split into six hours over two consecutive days. Students purchase their own materials and Jimenez gives them a list of what they’ll need when they sign up, which range in price from $250 to $450 depending on style or type. Jimenez said some classes teach the lead technique, which is a little bit more intensive and intricate than the other classes that teach the foil method.
“Using lead makes it like a jigsaw puzzle where you start at one corner. It generally takes longer than a foil window, but a foil window could take just as long if it’s a very complicated design,” Jimenez said.
Rick Roberts, the owner of Glass Works, which did business in Arcata for 11 years, said Jimenez was a customer of his for many years and now he’s a friend.
“He is one of those guys who is one of the nicest people in the world,” Roberts said. “He’s very artistic, meticulous, detail oriented and his honesty is way up there. You trust him almost instantly. He’s tireless — he has worked day and night to get his business going.”
Jimenez lives in Arcata with his daughter and fiance.
For original article, visit Times-Standard.com.
Jillian Singh can be reached at 441-0509.