“Antler Chandeliers are built using various methods. My clients expect every detail to be perfect and I use only the highest quality Antler,” states Jim Swanson.
Extra Large Antler Chandeliers and Large Antler Chandeliers are made one at a time in our Antler Shop in Stevensville, Montana.
Jim Swanson, Antler Chandeliers & Lighting Company’s owner, continues, “In the initial rough-out phase of construction and as I’m designing the arrangement I pay close attention to choose the best individual antlers for the particular design. I brace up “touch points” as I build, to obtain a strong, rigid structure. During this arrangement and the construction process, I am also dedicating areas that will be the best to pass wires from one antler to another in a concealed fashion. Once it’s roughed out and I am pleased with the look and functional design of the structure, I hang it and look at it from every angle to make sure it’s a well balanced piece.”
“The next phase is the wireway drilling phase. I decide upon the socket locations and determine how the wiring will run throughout the fixture. It’s like determining a route to take on a long drive….once the drilling begins it can take up to several days to complete a full 3 tier wireway drill. The wires are pulled internally throughout the fixture completing the entire scope of circuitry. The concealed hardware is installed permanently and the fixture wiring is initially tested and we move on the third phase.”
“In this third phase all internal hardware and wireways are filled and “ground out” in a way that recreates the texture or ‘’terrain’’ of that particular area of antler. The sockets are then installed and the chandelier is finish wired and tested with a special high voltage tester. This testing devise will identify any insulation leaks or loose connections in the wiring as per the UL Listed Antler procedures.”
“After testing, each socket stem is fitted with an authentic antler trim piece that is hand-coped at the bottom to appear as though the socket is “melted” on the antler at the base. The trim piece is then cut to length and finish chamfered.”
“That detail is something I’m proud to say, we still do the old-fashioned way and have not opted to use a cast “fake” piece in place of the real antler,” says Swanson. “It makes a big difference in appeal and my customers recognize it and love it,” Swanson continues.
“At this point, we begin painting the patch holes by hand, with a 4 color paint spectrum that will completely hide the construction process blending perfectly with the existing antler color.
“That is where our work really stands out and is appreciated.” states Swanson.“A final hang on the hook , and a complete, thorough QC inspection and it’s ready to proceed on to the crate shop!”