Behind the Scenes: Finishing and Accessories
August 14, 2018
We take pride in being dedicated to the details at MacKenzie-Childs. In fact, we believe that the details are what makes our furniture quite fabulous and our dishware delightful, not to mention unique.
So, let’s get down to details that include antiqued brass finials and tacks, decoupaged transfer decorations, ceramic knobs trimmed in gold lustre, as well as the crystal prisms on our elegantly illuminating lighting. They all come together in Finishing and Accessories, two of the smallest departments at our Aurora, New York, studios.
The Finishing Department, staffed by three artisans, is a curiosity shop of sorts, where all kinds of bits, bobs, and doodads are added to our hand-painted furniture. It’s where miniature mirrors are glued to the windows of our Chicken Palace Armoire to give it extra sparkle. It’s where accent tables and benches are adorned with decoupaged flowers, stamped brass trims, and beaded fringe. And over in the nearby Lighting Department, our hand-painted ceramic lamps and chandeliers are assembled start to finish.
The three artisans in our Finishing Department each specialize in a different craft. One handles assembly, adding knobs, brass studs, and other embellishments. Another trims transfer decorations and wallpapers and applies them to our dressers and cabinets. The third works in the spraying booth, giving a final shine to many furniture surfaces. They’re also multitaskers, deftly moving from one job to another and pitching in on occasion to help in other departments.
Meanwhile, over in Accessories, the sole artisan in the department works to assemble our lamps and chandeliers, like the small Merrifield Chandelier. This piece of lighthearted lighting is a medley of ceramic accents crafted here in Aurora and hand-blown glass from an Upstate New York glassmaker. Like the Finishing artisans, our lighting expert wears many hats and might be gluing ceramic pieces together or tying bows on vases in between lighting jobs.
Working from a detailed drawing, the artisan assembles the chandelier step by step, adding everything that you can’t see on the inside (wiring, washers, and all sorts of screws and nuts) to all the pretty things on the outside. Topping the chandelier are ceramic birds handmade here, plus multicolored glass prisms and wands.
When the chandelier is completed, it receives a nameplate—a small golden charm that bears our company name and thistle logo. A similar but larger nameplate goes on the bottom of the furniture pieces. It’s truly the final finishing touch and how we put our signature on our one-of-a-kind creations.