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A Virtual Factory Tour

February 4, 2009

Copyright 2009 – Niermann Weeks Company.  All Rights Reserved.

The view from our factory in Maryland looks beautiful today after a light snow.  The ground is blanketed in white while our roads are safe and the sun is shining.  However, it’s 27 degrees outside, so here’s what our factory looks like in the summer.

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We’ve come a long way in 31 years from the original studio in our back yeard in Memphis.  At first, we operated in a dark ground floor space that only had one window and one door.

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Which makes us really appreciate all the light and air we now enjoy.  Our building has windows all across the front, and the lighting fixtures cast the equivalent of daylight all over our work stations.  Joe and I have been in some factories that were so dank that we didn’t know how the workers could make anything beautiful in that environment.  We, however, designed this space in 1994 so that each artist could thrive, and our products could reflect that.

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Niermann Weeks makes all of our 600+ designs by hand, which makes for a more enduring piece of furniture.  All of the joints are well attached and smoothed over, so the finish can be applied into the very pores of the surface.  All of this takes time, of course, but we’re making furniture to last.

When a raw piece comes into our finishing studio, the artist pulls a master sample of a standard finish from our archive of 500+ finishes.  Sometimes, the master sits on an actual piece of furniture, and sometimes it’s on a board.  Either way, that guides the artist throughout the finishing process.

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The process of forging steel pulls the metal tightly, exposing even more surface area.  Wood’s pores are opened up by sanding, then filled with a base coat.  Gary is pushing gesso into the table on the right.

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Other hands use small brushes to spread overglazes on the goldleaf of a mirror frame,

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or apply silverleaf to a metal chandelier frame.

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Chandeliers are all beaded by hand, which can take several days for a really large fixture like this Brindisi.

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Fortunately this gigantic Brindisi for the Danny Ganz Theatre in Las Vegas didn’t call for beads.

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When we’re all done, we pre-wrap the product and get it ready for shipping.

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Have a lovely day, wherever you are!

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