When building a stone fireplace, look beyond the usual "suspects," i.e., sources, for inspiration. Think not only
outside the firebox . . . but out-
side the firePLACE, as well! Stone is an incredible artistic medium for creative expression and -- for millenia -- has been used to erect every-
thing from temples to tombs.
Why not look at other architectural and sculptural elements for exciting ideas when building a stone fireplace? One that is truly unique. One that reflects both your individuality and your personality!
Welcome to a new way of seeing what is possible for your fireplace de-
sign! By the time you finish reading and viewing the photographs in this two part series, you will never look at a fireplace in the same way again. More importantly, it will stir your imagination and curiosity to seek addi-
tional sources of inspiration for building a stone fireplace that you may have not previously considered!
Enjoy Your Journey Of Discovery!
Enjoy Your Journey Of Discovery!
Creative Stonework above & at top, right, by Ancient Art Of Stone
PART I OF II
(For Both Indoor & Outdoor Fireplaces)
One of my favorite sources of inspiration for designing and building a stone fireplace is to look at stone walls
and fences -- particularly
dry stone (without mortar) walls and fences. Dry stone walling techniques have evolved over the centuries into a veritable art
form, and the pride with which many practitioners of this art take in their work is enviable. It is a nearly global
phenomenon and, thanks to a growing number of helpful
sources, this age-old art form is making a comeback with a new generation of enthusiasts!
The four close-up images that follow provide just a small sampling of dry stone walls and what is possible when building a stone fireplace. Note the dramatic differences in type, size, shape, color, texture, and pattern in the placement or arrangement of the stones. The potential combinations are virtually limitless!
Pictured below, left (Photo Credit: Royston Vasey), is a striking dry stone wall by British artist and sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy. The intricate stone wall pictured below, right, is located in Bali.
The beautiful stone walls pictured in the close-ups below were created by British stone masonry company, Riverdale Stone. Both very colorful, the design on the right boasts an unusual herringbone pattern.
Each of the four dry stone wall designs pictured above could readily be worked into a fireplace mantel and/or overmantel design -- in whole or in part -- or any combination thereof. With a little imagination and creativity, countless design schemes for building a stone fireplace can be created by incorporating any one of the stone wall designs pictured above!
To give you a better understanding of how the use of decorative stonework in wall construction can be applied to
fireplace design, the image below (with close-up at right) provides a good vis-
ual example and overall perspective of one of many possibilities for creating a truly unique stone fireplace. Crafted by master stone mason Chuck Eblacker of Eblacker & Stone, based in Rochester, New York, USA, it is the focal point of a wine cellar . . . except, perhaps, for the wine itself!
Another stone artisan with a very unique and distinctive style is Robert Pierson of Pierson Masonry. Residing
in a remote area of the Sierra Neva-
da Mountains in California, USA, he derives his inspiration from nature and the wildlife that abounds around him.
Pictured at right is a section of an in-
tricate stone (and brick) wilderness wall mural created by him. Crafted
with bricks, quartz, ledger stone, riv-
er rock and granite, its undulating ter-
rain and variations in depth evoke the natural environment. The multi-col-
ored stonework above the trees repre-
sents mountains, sky and clouds.
Pictured below is another section of the same stone wall mural. Crafted from the materials referenced above, in addition to slate, it features a raccoon walking along a streambed.
Wilderness and wildlife scenes such as these would be great for a striking overmantel -- that area extending upward
from the top of the
fireplace mantel shelf to the ceiling. Alternatively, it could be reduced in size and placed along the frieze -- the area between the top of
the firebox opening and the bottom of the mantel shelf. Either way, it would be a striking ad-
dition to your fireplace design!
Pictured at right and below are two more examples of Robert Pierson's extraordinary stone wall mural work. The
beachfront scene at right fea-
tures snowy plovers scampering a-
midst the froth of ocean waves rush-
ing ashore. It is crafted from sand-
stone, quartz, serpentine, and bou-
quet canton ledger, as well as sculp-
The majestic mountain lion mural pictured below was created with ledger stone, quartz, limestone and granite. Though part of an outdoor stone wall, it would make a dramatic overmantel above your fireplace!
To see more of Robert Pierson's unusually creative work, please view the six minute video that follows.
CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR PART II:
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