Diving into the manufacturing workshops of CVL Luminaires
Before diving into the workshops of the CVL manufactory, you should know its history. Founded in 1960, CVL Luminaires was originally a company specialized in the production of decorative ceramics. The company quickly turned to the manufacture of lighting, which became its core business. CVL then mixed with different materials, first wrought iron for the CVL Manufacture range and then with solid brass, to which it gives its letters of nobility, shapes and light. By creating the CVL Contract range towards the beginning of 2010, CVL Luminaires has perfectly succeeded in combining tradition and innovation to produce unique pieces of very high quality intended for architects, specifiers and edition houses. Today, dive into CVL’s workshops and discover the talents that compose it.
In the manufacturing workshops : a remarkable perfected and sought-after know-how
Holder of a remarkable know-how that the company has been able to perfect over the decades, CVL Luminaires has chosen to control all the design and manufacturing stages of its products in its workshops. Thus, it guarantees its customers very high-end lighting. From the factory located near Angers, it has succeeded in imposing its fulfilled know-how on the international lighting market. Many interior designers and decorators around the world looking for this high-level hand craftsmanship entrust the manufacture of occasionally unique pieces to CVL.
From brass sheets to high-end decorative lighting: the stages of production in the workshop
Once the brass tubes and sheets have arrived from Italy at CVL’s factory, the work of the twenty-two craftsmen, women and men of art, can begin. “At CVL, there are no robots or assembly lines, everything is done by hand”. On the border between gold smithery and industry, each craftsman strives daily to preserve and enrich the unique know-how in the manufacture of brass lighting. Thus, according to the designers’ design plans, the pendants, table lamps, wall lamps or floor lamps are the result of different stages carried out by hand according to three families of occupations: manufacturing, realization of the finishes and assembly of the electric components. The brass is cleaned, cut, formed, machined and finally decorated in our 2000 sqm2 workshop to give life to the collection of decorative lighting you know.
The brass is received in the form of sheets, plates and tubes of different sizes which must first be cut. Then comes the moment of shaping the material. The craftsmen operate according to the recommended artistic direction under the leadership of Emilie Cathelineau, integrated designer and head of the creative office. For her, it is an ideal size of company to discuss and carry out each step as a team. Bending, drilling, tapping, threading, milling and turning are all actions carried out to shape the brass material. The welding still needs to be done as well as silver brazing. This is the most complicated manufacturing operation for which CVLs’ remarkable know-how is renowned. As is evident from the quality of the finished products! This complex technique, carried out according to the particular know-how of the firm, consists in bringing the white metal (silver) on the yellow metal (brass) to become totally invisible: an unequaled finesse of brazing !
The finishes are executed on each piece one by one. According to traditional techniques refined within the company, the decorative craftsmen share the various polishing and surface treatment tasks. It is during these phases that we obtain for most of our decorative brass luminaires the usual nickel, graphite, copper and satin or polished finishes. The surface treatments then reveal all the shades of brass and the depth of the material. Then comes the painting and varnishing stages, which allow CVLs’ products to stand out with an unparalleled quality of finish on the lighting market.
The electrification is carried out in the last step. It must comply with local standards and increasingly demanding international standards such as the UL certification for products intended for the North American market. It is at the end of the assembly that the product goes through high voltage tests: an obligation to be respected which ensures the qualification of our products according to very precise traceability. Once the lighting is finished, it is carefully packed to be shipped to our customers.
Discover the portrait of CVL
by Chiara Colombini, interior designer