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Designs and Finishes

April 8, 2009

Our patron Rodgers Menzies and my husband Joe Niermann once more developed a wildly successful product in 1997 with the debut of our Biarritz Ceiling Fixture.  Again, Rodgers gave us specific parameters:

– a ceiling fixture
– with five arms
– floral looking
– the final product ready to install in Memphis in three weeks (OMG!)

By then, fax machines existed and enabled sketches to fly between Joe in Maryland and Rodgers in Tennessee.  When they settled on a sketch, Joe then made a 3D model cut out of manila folders, which is his preferred way to work out a prototype.

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We photographed the paper model, fedexed a Polaroid to Rodgers for his approval, and then started the really hard part of working out the details.

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Translating a scale model from paper into an actual product from sheet metal is no easy task. When you think you have it right, then you work out the beading details, which forces you to re-make the arm, which forces you to re-do the bead sketch, etc.  I’m not a detail freak, and so it wasn’t me finessing the design.

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And presto….

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Rodgers was pleased with the result, and consequently so were we. Since then, other designers and architects have been fascinated with this basic design, leading us to present it as a standard chandelier with 5,10, or 20 lights, and a sconce with 1 or 3 lights.

The 1 arm sconce

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The 5 arm chandelier

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Several times we’ve custom beaded this chandelier with amber beads, giving out a gloriously mellow light.  I do wish we’d get photos of the final installations, hint, hint.
We introduced the triple-tier with 20 lights in our Washington, DC showroom, and Veranda showed the 3 light, 3 arm sconce in a story in luxury goods.  Remember when  luxury goods were all the rage?

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My favorite Biarritz, however, is the giant version of which we made 6 for the Dallas Ritz Carlton.  In our standard ceiling fixture, each arm is about a foot long, but for them we made each arm 6 feet long.  The fixtures hang in their grand ballroom, where I took this photo.  The hotel was recently ‘refreshed’ and our chandeliers replaced, so their website unfortunately no longer gives me bragging rights.

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Thank you, Rodgers, for leading us down this long, beautiful path!

Copyright 2009 Niermann Weeks Company, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sally McCardle permalink
    July 31, 2009 9:02 pm

    Would love to have information about chandelier picture in Veranda magazine May June 2009 page 117. thqnk you, Sally McCardle

  2. Sally McCardle permalink
    July 31, 2009 9:05 pm

    Would love to have information about chandelier pictured in Veranda magazine May June 2009. Page 117 Thank you, Sally McCardle

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