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Fine chandeliers are works of art November 27, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Homes & Gardens.
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You notice the opulent chandelier first, hanging on the porch of a weathered 1910 Craftsman house. Marcus pulls leaded Austrian crystals from plastic containers and attaches strands of the delicate beads to a 5-foot-tall chandelier steel frame suspended from the roof.
 
It’s not the setting where one might expect to find a designer of fine, custom chandeliers. The path to a workshop behind the house is littered with mailing boxes, giant bags of packing peanuts and stray wooden crates. Pear-shaped crystals lie on a mat next to a scooter. Just another day at the office, and that’s just the way Marcus likes it.

Little about Marcus’s rise as a lighting designer has been conventional. He became interested in chandelier design a decade ago when he was struggling to find vintage chandeliers. A lightbulb came on. “I was at home, and I thought, I can make that” he says.

Ten years after founding his business, Marcus has seen his chandeliers grace the catalogs of Anthropologie and Neiman Marcus. Formerly a sculptor, Marcus was drawn to the look and feel of the vintage glass beads and crystals he found at local flea markets.

Using centuries-old French and Italian chandeliers as inspiration, he started piecing together his own fixtures. “It was an easy transition for me” he says. “Once I started making them, I realized how much room there was for me to be creative.”

His repertoire covers a range of styles, from feminine and romantic to more masculine, modern geometric patterns. Marcus’s chandeliers are true art pieces, designs that have received the dubious compliment of being knocked off by imitators. He’s a trendsetter. 

Marcus chandeliers start at around $800 and cost as much as $25,000 for the most elaborate custom pieces. Fully leaded crystal, Austrian crystal or English-cut Czech crystal can raise the price substantially, but once a frame is laden with these beauties, it’s hard not to reach out and touch each one, sparkling like a jewel.

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