The Budweiser commercial for the 2011 Superbowl XLV featured the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales and an old-west bar scene. But did you notice the lighting in the saloon? Maybe not, but people in White Pine County, Nevada were watching for lights made by local craftsman Pat Fillman of D Bar X Lighting and Horns-A-Plenty Antler Art.
Fillman got a call from the Budweiser commercial production company in November. “The guy asked me if they could have 4 wagon wheel chandeliers and 8 lantern wall sconces by the next Thursday,” Fillman recalls. “You bet, no problem! I said and I dropped everything I was doing to get the order done and shipped it by Monday. You don’t often get a chance to do something really big like this.” Unfortunately the wagon wheel chandeliers were never shown in the commercial, but several of the sconces were visible on the walls.
Fillman has been making custom, hand-crafted rustic lighting for 21 years. He started making antler art in 1993 when he and his wife Kristi lived in Ely, Nevada. At that time, Pat had a whole pile of antlers in the garage that he and his friends had gathered in the mountains near town.
All species of antlered animals shed their antlers naturally each year. Thus they are a natural, renewable resource and shed hunting has become something of a sport across the U.S. Looking for big sheds and matched sets is like a wilderness treasure hunt.
Fillman saw an antler chandelier made by another artist when he went to a convention in Las Vegas in 1991 and decided to try to make his own. It wasn't as easy as he thought, however. It took a couple of years to come up with designs that were strong, symmetrical, and beautiful and to find suppliers for specialized lighting parts.
Meanwhile, the Fillmans moved to Phoenix and continued to work full-time at other jobs while Pat made and sold antler art after work and on weekends. Eventually, the business had grown so much that Pat couldn't keep up with both jobs any more and in March 1995 he decided to go into antler art full-time.
The business expanded even more quickly after that, and soon Kristi left her career and became the office manager.
Pat's work was featured in the Arizona Republic in March 1998 and ABC News 15 in Phoenix also did a short news program about his work in July 1998. Since then numerous other magazines have highlighted Pat's products including Log Home Design Ideas, Log Home Living, Estates West, and Nevada Magazine. He was also featured on Las Vegas television when he attended the Las Vegas Home Show.
In July 1998, after five years in the Phoenix area, the Fillmans moved the business back to their hometown of Ely, Nevada located in the high mountains of east central Nevada. They now live and work at the historic D Bar X Ranch 45 miles east of Ely which is about 5 hours north of Las Vegas, 6 hours east of Reno, 3 hours south of Elko, and 4 hours west of Salt Lake.
The Fillmans run ads in regional and national magazines, and they display their work at shows throughout the West. They've shipped antler art to customers across the country, to Canada, Spain, England, Japan and even as far away as Fiji!
The largest chandelier Pat ever made was an antler chandelier that was 10-feet in diameter by 12-feet tall with 67 lights that went in a home in June Lake, California. It had to be assembled on-site because it was too large to be shipped by freight truck!
In 1998, the Fillman's began creating new product lines and marketing them under the name D Bar X Lighting & Home Accessories. These hand-crafted items include wagon wheel chandeliers, lantern wall sconces, and mica shades. Rawhide shades and chandelier hoists are also available in this line.
The wagon wheels are hand-crafted from natural hickory and oak wood by the Amish in Ohio. You can get sconces and chandeliers in nine standard sizes from 12-inches to 7-feet in diameter. The largest chandeliers are made from wheels taller than we are!
Fillman uses authentic old-fashioned Dietz oil lanterns in all of the company’s lantern light designs including chandeliers, wall sconces and lamps. He takes the oil lantern parts out and replace them with electric parts and you can safely use these lights indoors or out.
All direct-wired light fixtures from D Bar X Lighting and Horns-A-Plenty Antler Art are approved by Underwriter’s Laboratories for safety.
There are many restaurants across the country that now feature rustic lights from D Bar X Lighting and Horns-A-Plenty Antler Art. These include rawhide pendants in the Old Spaghetti Factory/Blue Sage Cafe in Oregon, wagon wheel and antler chandeliers and pendants in the Roadrunner Cafe in Las Vegas, Nevada, and wagon wheel and lantern lights in Cowboy Slims in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
A wagon wheel chandelier from D Bar X Lighting was seen in “The Hannah Montana Movie” released in 2009. It was shown in the scene where Billy Ray Cyrus stumbles into his mom’s shelves with her famous people plate collection. He catches the plate of Elvis before it hits the floor, stands up, puts his hand in the air and says “I got it” and accidentally breaks the plate on the wagon wheel chandelier.
A number of wagon wheel chandeliers from D Bar X Lighting were also used in the restaurant set for the 2012 release of the movie "Joyful Noise" starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah.
Two lantern wall sconces were part of the CMT show “Trick My Truck” (Season 4, Ep. 4: David Goad's Rawhide). The crew customized the truck to look like a stagecoach and the lantern wall sconces were mounted inside the sleeper section.
In 2005 the Fillman's were happy to donate a wagon wheel chandelier for the Barrett Home Makeover (Episode #303) of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." The chandelier is an integral part of the living room’s rustic decor.
The Fillmans are also proud to support the wildlife conservation efforts of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, the Federation for North American Wild Sheep, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the Mule Deer Foundation. They also support the local 4-H Clubs, the National Rifle Association, and the Great Basin Water Network.
You can order directly by calling 1-800-467-6599.