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Made in Maryland: Niermann Weeks' mission is crystal clear

Made in Maryland: Niermann Weeks' mission is crystal clear

Chandeliers were the first thing Joe Niermann designed. And it was five years before he sold one. Now the bejeweled iron and crystal silhouettes are his signature. "I don't really care for the crystals, one way or the other," said Niermann, though millions of them are stored in large paint buckets in the Millersville strip mall he converted into the Niermann Weeks company factory. "I want the design to be strong enough so that it doesn't need crystals." But it is the crystals — from tiny, man-made beads imported from the Czech Republic to the fist-sized rock crystals found in nature — that identify Niermann's light fixtures, some as small as a...

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