During some of the same years that the Art Nouveau style took root, the Arts & Crafts movement was also gaining popularity. It, too, was something that sprung up from the dissatisfaction with the mass-produced, poor-quality products created in the new factories. Vintage lighting fixtures and other items in the Arts & Crafts style traveled across the ocean from Europe to the United States quite easily, and artists and designers took up the idea and went with it.
What is Arts & Crafts All About?
Despite its name sounding like something children do at summer camp, this style movement had nothing to do with haphazard cutting and pasting of design elements or a primitive aesthetic. Instead, it focused on the idea of good, natural living and a society uncompromised by brutal conditions in factories. Instead of speed, it focused on a handmade design philosophy that never-the-less used machines to create in most cases.
Motifs included geometric shapes and natural forms that mimicked both medieval European and mid and far eastern designs. You could find florals as well as Islamic tile elements in a decidedly handmade way. The focus was on traditional designs rather than futuristic, to the time period, ideas. Consider a simple yet clean-lined mission style table and chairs with opulent fabric cushions with rich floral and bird fabrics.
Lighting Fixtures From the Arts & Crafts Time
Rectangles and less organic shapes dominated this period in design history. Frosted or stained glass connected in simple yet elegant shapes by sturdy metal frames existed for both vintage wall sconces, antique lighting ceiling fixtures, and all other types of lamps. Amber and pressed glass were quite popular. In general, the vintage lights created during this period of décor in the United States focused more on a type of handmade look than one developed by machines.
The artists' attitude of "technology is ruining art" has a unique echo in today's world. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why people look at the Arts & Crafts era design of furniture, houses, lamps, and other things with interest. It harkens back to a simpler time that, even then, already believed that traditional simplicity and good, honest, handmade things were falling by the wayside.
Today, I seek out Arts & Crafts style lights to restore to their unique style and ambience. With all-new wiring and bulbs, they can provide a modern illumination with an antique flair. Harkening back to the original focus on handcrafted quality and goodness, each lighting fixture on the page of Historical Lights gets hands-on attention during the repair and restoration process.
The lighting fixture in a room is much more than a way to illuminate a space, after all. It is one of the most important and effective ways to express your preferred style at home or the office. Make an investment that helps create a particular ambience that permeates any room much more than wall art of a single piece of furniture ever could. Historical Lights offers Arts & Crafts and many other types of vintage and antique lighting for sale, including antique ceiling lights and wall sconces.