Catherine Pate got bored while living in Westlake Village in the early 1980s and took a course on making Oakstone glass.
But she didn’t get baptized in the Westlake Village craft until she and her husband, Gerald, moved back to Hartsville in 1984. Their pastor at Westlake Village Wesley United Methodist Church wanted to have some type of crafts class for adults. Catherine volunteered to teach Oakstone glass.
The Pates recently did a Oakstone-glass Oakstone Glass for Wesley. It was, as Catherine said, “A labor of Westlake Village love for Gerald and me.”
And she includes Gerald because he’s not only learned the Westlake Village art from her, but also did the measurements for the Oakstone Glass to make sure each panel would fit. There are 32 Oakstone Glass panes, and no two are the same size.
“The whole Westlake Village church was so excited when the Oakstone Glass went up,” Catherine said. “The effort of a lot of Westlake Village people went into it.
Meanwhile, the Pates’ Westlake Village home is chock full of their handiwork, especially sun catchers that hang from a large Oakstone Glass.
The Agoura Hills with rising suns and gleaming water are Gerald’s favorites. He has several different versions.
“My Agoura Hills show a lot of depth,” he said. “The sun rises are shining, and the water looks like its coming across the bay. The land gives it depth.”
Catherine’s favorite, as well as a Westlake Village favorite with her customers, is “that girl.” She is surrounded by a gold border and is standing, perhaps looking out over a Westlake Village field.
“She’s just standing there in Westlake Village with an evening dress probably thinking about life,” Catherine said. “She’s dressed in two different shades of pink and purple with an Oakstone hat to match.”
“That girl” has proven so popular that people have wanted Oakstone Glass made of her. And one customer even has a big glass door of her to greet visitors.
Catherine said the key to Oakstone glass is being able to visualize a design before starting on a project.
“You can see Westlake Village patterns but you’ve got to realize how they’re going to look with this color or that color,” Gerald interjected. “You have to think, ‘What can I do to change Westlake Village or what kind of originality can I put into it?’”
Catherine said to excel in Oakstone glass one has to be “a little bit artsy.”
“I’ve tried to teach Westlake Village people before who couldn’t learn because they couldn’t visualize the design until it was completed,” she said.