November 1, 2007

Hanging my Crystal Chandelier

    Who do I call on when I want a crystal chandelier cleaned?  I trust this job to my friend Anthony Cassano at Greenwich Metal Finishing in Stamford, CT.  I use his business frequently because he and his crew do a fabulous job polishing, refinishing, and repairing metal objects of all kinds.  But another service his company provides, and does so well, is washing and refurbishing chandeliers, a delicate and complex process, as you can well imagine.  With regular dusting, a chandelier doesn’t need to be cleaned very often.  In fact, the last time this one was professionally washed was more than 35 years ago, when I first moved into my home on Turkey Hill.  But, when I moved from Turkey Hill to my farm in Bedford, I decided it was the perfect time to brighten up my lighting fixtures.
    Greenwich Metal Finishing begins the job by cushioning and protecting all the crystals with layers of bubble wrap.  The chandelier is then removed from the ceiling, suspended in a protective crate, and transported to their workshop.  There, each crystal is catalogued, removed, washed, and polished.  Missing or broken crystals are replaced with exact matches from their extensive inventory.  Once the metal frame is cleaned, refinished, and rewired, the crystals are meticulously rehung in their original places with special gold wire.  Then, the crystals are cushioned and protected once more in bubble wrap and the sparkling chandelier is recrated for delivery and installation.  As you can see from the photos below, moving a chandelier is rather nerve wracking and I’m glad to have these fellows to entrust.


This is Anthony Cassano sliding my crated chandelier out of the back of my cute, old Martha By Mail delivery truck.  The chandelier is actually suspended inside hanging from that iron pipe he’s holding onto.

Here they are standing on stepladders in order to lift the fixture up and out of the crate.  You can see how nicely padded the crystals are.

This is Landis Kauffman and Natalie Marchant.  They are very talented lighting designers who work for my company and are busy designing a whole new line of beautiful fixtures.

Here they are sketching and photographing my chandelier for inspiration.  I told them that it was just too fancy, so we’ll see what they come up with.

These are the parts used to hang the chandelier.  The pulley is necessary to lift and hoist it in place.

Because I wanted to hang the chandelier in a center hallway from the second floor ceiling, Anthony needs a very tall ladder.  He doesn’t seem to mind ladders or heights.

Here they are using the pulley and a rope to raise the chandelier to its proper height.  The whole thing weighs about 200 pounds and it’s definitely not something you want to let slip!

Here I am looking a little nervous.  With the chandelier at its proper height, it’s attached to a hanging chain and the excess links are removed.

Here it is – Grandmother Gilbert’s most beautiful and sparkling crystal chandelier.  Doesn’t it look perfect hanging here?