Before finding out about the Arts and Crafts movement, I had always thought that Arts and Crafts lighting fixtures were those used to create arts and crafts. Looking back, I realize what a silly mistake I made! However, there are many homeowners who still believe the misconception that I once held. This article offers an in-depth explanation of the arts and crafts movement, and what arts and crafts lighting entails.
When the industrial revolution was in full swing in the 18th a 19th century, a growing movement emerged. It was a reaction of sorts to the reliance of mass production and the Victorian style of decoration that involved heavy ornamentation on everything, including indoor lighting. This reaction was later dubbed the arts and crafts movement.
The Arts and Crafts movement sought to simplify overbearing designs. Strong emphasis was placed upon light fixtures that had simple, easy shapes. Popular styles of ceiling lighting included those with exposed joinery, spare ornamentation, and bold, strong lines. Another trend that emerged was to make lighting pendants and other fixtures look as natural as possible. To accomplish this, neutral colors were mostly used. Burnished brown was another popular color choice, as this most aptly represented the woods in the forest.
Embellishments were still used in Arts and Crafts home lighting fixtures. Most artisans used rich metals, stained glass, and painted tiles. To again honor nature, floral motifs were also employed. The appeal of Arts and Crafts fixtures was that they displayed an almost raw and obviously handmade design. To accomplish this, hammered copper and burnished brass were commonly used to fashion ceiling light fixtures. Later on, artists employed more color to add a refreshing feel to arts and crafts designs. Common colors used were forest green, sapphire blue and dusty rose.
As mass-produced industries slowly got bigger and bigger, arts and crafts lighting fixtures became rarer and rarer. Today, they are more associated with homeowners who want to incorporate a bit of old-fashioned design in their homes. They are also a common sight in homes that wish to express a kitschy and unique feel.
Presently, it is becoming more of a challenge to hunt down authentic arts and crafts lighting, meaning antiques that back to the 18th and 19th century. However, homeowners who are set on getting authentic looking light fixtures can find them in various lighting galleries. As the arts and crafts style is slowly regaining popularity, more and more lighting companies are producing fixtures that carry this distinct and unique style.