Shipping & Handling
Before we explain the Shipping and Handling process, we want you to know more about our unique production cycle, so that you will better understand what it takes to realize a handcrafted lighting fixture, and why we require a minimum 10 to 20 days production time.
Any item you buy from us online is yet to be crafted, and that is our strength, since we are able to customize every piece to your taste and desire.
The Production Cycle
The clay is the main ingredient to our recipy for the ceramic that compose our lighting fixture. There are three types of clay work. Press molding, Cast molding and Hand molding.
- Press molding is used for ceramic Shades. We cut a slice of fresh clay and stamp the desired shade with a press machine.
- Casting is far more complicated. Clay and water are mixed together to produce a thick smooth texture, which becomes a casting slip. It is tipped into a gypsum mold and in minutes a layer builds up against the walls of the mold as the water content is absorbed. The excess is poured out, leaving a coating or shell of clay in to form the shape of the mold.
- The hand molding is just what it is our artisan have been creating application decòr to embellish the lighting fixture with roses, sunflower, tulips, fruit, pendants, hearts and much more to come.
Once the clay has been molded it needs to dry out completely. If any water is left inside when firing there is an high risk of exploding. Usually it takes from 5 to 7 days for clay to dry out depending also on the weather (ex. during summer month the process is faster). All the items that need a carving, open-work or need openings have to be worked when the clay is still leather-hard.
Now that the clay is dry, the pieces are refined and turned at the wheel, to remove imperfection and to even sides. The next step is the so called “Bisque firing”. This is the first time the clay is fired. If we want to create the Special unicolor like White or Black Sand, Coral red, Blue marine, Red Roof tile than the clay, before going into the kiln, has to go through another process (acidification of the paint).
It is now painting time! By “dipping” the Bisque piece into the desired enamel we can give the first stage to our ceramic creation with what is called the Base Ceramic Color. (Check the chart at customization page). Glossy white, Aged white, and other simple colours are obtained by dipping the pieces in their specific paint. Crystaline paint is used for the craquelè effect and to give an extra shining look to the ceramics. Any color can be done craquelè, so if you would like your lighting to be green craquelè we can do it but remember that the painted patterns can only be applied on white or Ivory base. Once the base painted Bisque is dry, we can apply the color drawing. This is done exclusively by hand, Check this video.
At this point the kiln is used again. In this second firing the corlors are fixed and we can start calling our work Ceramic. It is only now that it takes the shiny look! Also at this stage we can create the craquelè effect, that is simply done with the use of crystaline paint, as stated before, since when the ceramic starts cooling down it shrinks and the surface starts cracking. The ceramic is then dipped into a bowl with loose black paint so that the color enters the cracks which are in this way highlighted.
Ok, the hard part is done. Let’s check the work on the Frames. This is a job that IMAS decided to outsource since wrought iron specialist was needed to create well balanced structures. The items that we order from our partner Valentino, the wrought iron artisan, arrive at IMAS in the base color desired. We than apply the shading if needed. The Brass structures also are outsourced and arrive at IMAS already aged while the plates are aged by hand at factory. The process consists in soaking the plates many time into an acid solution until the right aging has been reached.
Once we have all the ceramic parts and the structures ready we can assemble your lighting fixture. We use braided wire to give a more elegant look to our items, the locking rings to lock the ceramic plates in place are also embedded with ceramic. The items is than tested and ready to be packed.
As you can see the process of creating Handcrafted lighting fixtures is long and complicated and many things can go wrong during this several steps, however IMAS has enough experience to avoid most of them. Slight difects in the products are only the result of hand working the whole process.
Shipping & Handling
IlluminItaly has partnered with Poste Italiane Crono a specialist in air freight forwarding from Italy to the USA and worldwide to give you the best affordable shipping rates. It is our desire to give you a piece of art “Made in Italy” which will be also affordable, and transportation cost is where we need to act to make sure you save money. Poste Italiane has advantageous rates for all countries. However we always suggest to select the option “Pay for Shipping Separately” this way we can quote you the best rate for small or large purchase and wether to choose air or ocean fright. We feel confident that working on shipping will be the best way to have your Unique lighting fixture shipped to your house from Italy at a reasonable cost.
When ordering at IlluminItaly.com you will find 2 types of shipping cost options.
- Air Freight-Shipping via Air through “Poste Italiane”
This rate is applied to small packages (up to 30 kg per package) and rush deliver. Although is more expensive it represents the fastest way to ship our Lighting Fixtures. Prices are charged for Kilos up to 30kg per package.
Note on Shipping weight. Being all our items hand made (ceramic pieces, wrought Iron and Brass) the weight will not be always the same for the same item this is why we calculate an approximate weight. For this reason, your final cost of shipping may change and need to be updated. To avoid this please select the option below.
- “Pay for shipping separately”
With this option, you will pay for your items and we will customize your shipping fee as for your request. You will pay for shipping before goods leave the factory or you can arrange your collection with your selected freight forwarders. This represents the best shipping fee for you because you will actually pay the REAL shipping cost and you are also able to decide which method to use to receive your goods.
Packing is done at factories by experts who have been dealing with broken goods for several years and we know how expensive can be to replace a broken item. For the safety of the items, in most cases, there will be 2 boxes for each item. The small box, containing the lighting fixtures itself and a bigger box containing the other box and extra bubble wrap. Some brands will use self inflated bags to prevent breakages. This is the best and economic way for our “piece of art” to travel.
We offers free packaging for a regular cardboard box and may require extra charge for palletizing. Should you need another packaging (ex. wooden crates) there will be an added cost to the shipping price.