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Handcrafted by Master Craftsmen in Milwaukee: Our finishing sets us apart

Handcrafted by Master Craftsmen in Milwaukee: Our finishing sets us apart
Tags: Handcrafted in the USA

Quality and passionate craftsmanship are the hallmarks of Brass Light Gallery. When it comes to quality, there are no shortcuts. Our artisan craftsmen take pride in every light fixture they make while every detail is meticulously cared for throughout the manufacturing process. Our make-it-by-hand approach to producing premium lighting fixtures creates not only elegant lighting to elevate homes and business, but reliable and durable fixtures built to last.

Our commitment to manufacturing the highest quality light fixtures in America led us to develop state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and engineering capabilities. This allows our talented team to control production in ways not seen elsewhere in our industry. Due to the innovative techniques used by our team, we are able to deliver a high-quality light fixture to every single customer in turnaround times otherwise unheard of in the lighting industry. Because of this exceptional approach to manufacturing, our craftsman are also able to dedicate more time to the metal finishing methods that give each Brass Light Gallery fixtures their signature looks.

Solid North American brass makes for high-quality fixtures that last

We begin each light fixture from sheets of solid premium North American brass. Before we get into what makes our finishes a cut above, it’s worth taking a few moments to talk about why we use solid brass in the first place.

We take our cues from the best practices of the craftsmen of the American Arts and Crafts movement by choosing brass as our medium. Arts and Crafts designers, artisans, and craftsmen bucked the trend of mass-produced, lower-quality designed fixtures, furnishings, and architecture. Instead, they focused on elevating the honest hard work and mastery of the skilled laborer. They valued quality, utility, and simplicity not just in design but in life. Forged brass was an ideal material for designing lighting fixtures. It was prized not only for its long-lasting quality, but for its natural beauty and approachability. Brass also offers a resistance to corrosion and formability that makes it a great choice for decorative metalwork.

Brass is an incredible material for applying our unique finishes. The subtle color variation of brass (from a dark reddish brown to a light silvery yellow depending on the amount of zinc present) gives us a beautiful starting point when it comes to applying one of our 13 metal finishes. It’s a material amenable to accepting the distinct colors used in our finishes, giving each fixture its authentic appearance.

[Did you know? Most products made from brass are recycled or reused, rather than being discarded in a landfill.]

Finishing above the rest

Art meets science when it comes to putting the final touches to one of our lighting fixtures. A combination of methods that include hand rubbing, waxing, and plating techniques to achieve the rich color tones and hues of our metal finishes. We give customers the option to choose from a wide range of standard finishes, variation of standard finishes or custom finishes to match or complement their unique home and style.

Our finishes on solid brass hardware are created through a series of refined finishing steps. The protective coating on all of our finishes are either lacquered or wax finishes.  Considered a "living finish", the wax finishes naturally age, resulting in a beautiful and unique patina based on a combination of factors including time, climate, environment and level of use. That means that no two of our fixtures are exactly alike.

[Interested in samples? Samples can help you decide on which Metal Finish to choose for your lighting order. Please contact our sales team for more details.]

Our artisan craftsmen possess years of experience, incredible skill, and the artistic eye for creating distinctive metal finishes that are recognized throughout the industry and loved by homeowners across the country.

Over the years, we've developed many custom authentic metal finishes such as Satin Antique Brass with Gold or Old Dutch Brass for special projects. Other finishes we offer include Raw Copper and Brushed Brass. Recently, we made some very special light fixtures in 24 karat gold. If attempting to match existing fixtures or hardware, and details really matter to you, we’ll do our best to develop a custom metal finish for you. Please contact our sales team for more details.

FAQ about our metal finishes

Q: Are your finished brass plated?
A: No. All of our light fixtures are made of solid brass. Depending on the finish, we either polish or scratch the solid brass. Metal finishes that are colored other than brass such as: Antique Copper, Verdigris Patina, Brushed or Polished Nickel, Architectural Bronze, or Architectural Iron are authentic patinas on the brass or plated over the brass. Our artistic, high-quality metal finishes age gracefully and last for years to come.

Q: Are the metal finishes on your light fixtures authentic?
A: All of our metal finishes are "real" and created through multiple meticulous steps to beget the desired look. Other lighting manufacturers may apply a spray-on finish to fake a bronze or patina but those usually chip or flake over time. Our finishing will stand the test of time, adding beauty to your home for many years to come.

Q: What is nickel plating?
A: Plating is the method we use to create many of our finishes and provide an extra layer of corrosion resistance to our fixtures. Combining chemistry and electricity, electroplating attaches a layer of metal onto another piece of metal. For example, our Polished Nickel sconces are solid brass with a layer of nickel plating.

When it is done correctly, plating not only looks great but also becomes a permanent part of the plated object. Plating doesn’t fade or crack like paint or powder coatings.

We take an environmentally responsible approach to plating.  We control all the important details while creating a quality finish under our own Milwaukee factory roof.  As decorative plating experts, we have taken what is often a filthy, hazardous process and turned it into an art form.

Q: Does your Polished Nickel finish require polishing or maintenance?
A: No. Our Polished Nickel metal finish is lacquered so does not require maintenance. Gently clean dust from your Polished Nickel light fixture with a dry, soft cloth. If further cleaning is required to remove spatters, dip your cloth in water with a mild dish detergent. To avoid harming the lacquer coating protecting the polished surface of your light fixture, never use harsh chemicals or spray cleaners such as Windex to clean your polished fixtures.

If you have questions or want to learn more about our metal finishes, we’d love to talk with you. Contact us directly or visit our Design Center & Showroom. Give us a call to set up a time at 1-800-243-9595.


Jun 30, 2021

Amy Joslin

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
I have an older fixture no longer produced by Brass Light Gallery. Angie and the team were extremely helpful in identifying and producing the replacement (lost) parts to get my fixture up and functioning again. They did this all remotely and shipped the parts promptly. Highly recommend!
May 14, 2021

Will Heelan

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
Brass Light Gallery is such an amazing resource: they can build your lighting dream. Angela in the sales room was just the best: listened carefully to what we were trying to accomplish and guided us through the process. She was a delight to work with and she persisted until she found EXACTLY what we were looking for: three sconces to match my Brass Light Gallery pendants from 20 years ago! We are so pleased!
Mar 17, 2021

Cathy Lindberg

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
I loved Janel who assisted me. She was professional and friendly and super competent. Love my fixture! Perfect....and Made in the USA!
Feb 22, 2021

Trevor Santarius

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
Always a fantastic experience with Brass Light Gallery. Their customer service goes above and beyond and their products are of the highest quality. It is great to support true artisans that create timeless and beautiful light fixtures that are made to last multiple generations. While certainly on the high end price-wise, their fixtures are well worth the investment.
Jan 22, 2021


Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
AMAZING!!! Breathtaking! Simply beautiful!! We are beyond impressed with the quality of these lovely fixtures and beyond impressed with the sales help from Janel. Janel was outstanding to work with! She took the time to understand that we wanted to modernize our 25 year old home with updated lighting. She asked about style, dimensions, pictures and layout information and helped us pick out coordinated fixtures for all rooms. Honest, very helpful but no pressure felt. We ordered 14 beautifully modern fixtures for the main level of our home. We live in MN and the lights came very well packaged and cared for. Our local electrician found installation easy and intuitive and commented many times on how high quality these fixtures were. "very well made, very very nice"!!! Am already planning the next lights we would like to update. We will definitely be ordering from brass light gallery again. HIGHLY recommend using this amazing company! Thank you Janel!!
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