Shop Tour: Authentic Designs Lighting

Authentic Designs crafts light fixtures based on historic originals with a variety of finishes.

Authentic Designs Peragine family
 Michael Krauss and Maria Peragine stand between sons Luke and Sam, who recently joined the
company as marketing and tech handlers.

Founded in 1966 by Danny Krauss, Authentic Designs makes replicas of early American lighting. Michael Krauss and Maria Peragine are the second-generation owners of the company that occupies a restored toothpick factory off the beaten path. 

The showroom is hung with terne, brass, and shaped-wood fixtures glittering with electric candlelight. In keeping with the company objective to be as self-contained and domestically sourced as possible, “everything you see is built here,” says Michael. 

A talented, close-knit team hand-forms or lathe-turns bases, then applies finishes, inserts concealed electrical wiring, and UL-tests each fixture. Wiring fixtures with skinny arms requires a special knack: the wires must be forced through the bent arms and are almost impossible to thread once passing 360 degrees. “For the most part we make lighting to order because we have so many models and so many finishes,” says Peragine. 

Authentic Designs
The West Rupert, Vermont, showroom was formerly a toothpick factory.

Most if not all fixtures on display are based on historic originals—some brought in by clients. Authentic Designs keeps “build” books with exploded drawings of each model they make. Fixtures with wood bodies are produced, from octagonal wood blocks, on a duplicating lathe that exactly follows the contours of the company’s many pattern blanks. While the duplicating lathe is a time saver, Krauss says, “functionally, it is pretty much identical to what a lathe would do in the 19th century.” 

Authentic Designs
One of their proprietary finishes, gun metal, can appear blue or dark bronze.

Finishes are a mix of alchemy and artistry. Some, like the pewter finish—actually, pewter over brass—will continue to darken with age. Others can be enhanced with verdigris or other treatments. Painted finishes begin with application of paint in a spray booth, followed by brush-painting by hand. The subtle finishes are best seen in person. 

Authentic Designs
Patterns for every center-body fixture on display.

Authentic Designs
West Rupert, Vermont
(800) 844-9416
authenticdesigns.com


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