The one upstairs
This fireplace will be directly above the last large one, and off the same chimney. At the moment it would be floating as there is, as yet, no floor up there. Why do it now, pre floor? Because to do it later means the whole chimney section and lower Hall wall would have been attached in place and installing the fireplace would involve faffing around within the narrow space of the Hall over the top of the floor/ceiling. As previously advertised, given the chance I can be one hell of a clutz and felt it was worth taking the risk of mis-sizing some part of it over the probability of inadvertently leaning on something I shouldn’t.
It’s somewhat of a dark chimney breast of stone effect so made the fireplace reasonably light.
I had bought, some time ago, Terry Curran brown embossed tiles with the intention that they would go on some fireplace or other and here was the opportunity to use them. They are earthy shades which blend well with wood and look good against creams and whites.
As you can see the opening is pretty small 1″ and a bit by 2″ and a bit, but the dark stone chimney breast is depressing.
The fire hole and inner lining (York stone slabs) were already set in as part of the process of building the chimney (and what a job that is proving to be). With a known size for the fire surround and chimney breast height, I cut out a cardboard template to stick the wood and tile and anything else I fancied throwing at it. On this I stuck a small, thickish piece of panel boarding I had lying around from when we boarded out the lower half of the walls of our own (real size) kitchen, and carved niches in it to stick bits of mangled banister spindles.
I had chopped off some of the length of them – from their tops and bottom square bits, and one I chopped off the square bits entirely.
I used Georgian oak stain on the lollipop sticks (used for the lower backing uprights and cross-piece) and the panel boarding piece. It’s not too dark and not too pale a stain and has a warm look.
A hacked piece of gatorboard, clarted with white wood filler and painted over with enamel, made up the semi-Jacobean/Tudor shape for the fireplace itself. Still looks a bit rough and I may either sand it down a little and repaint or give it a good coat of varnish. I don’t mind if this part of the whole looks shiny.
The chimney breast is a piece of cardboard bent and wallpapered over to give a sort of plaster finish look with Fimo cod coats of arms and edging applied. I used old buttons, bits of metal stencils and wood beading to impress the patterns along with knife marks.
Waiting for each section and layer to dry has taken one and a half days. The final overall size is 6″x3″ more or less.
I’ve offered it up to the fire opening and it seems to fit really well, but I’ll leave any amendments to it until the floor and any outer hearth are in place for it to sit upon.
Can’t put the floor in until I do the other six pillars ‘downstairs’ and frighten myself by cutting huge lumps off the oh, so carefully painted, stone walls. Help!
- Another day another fireplace (theinfill.wordpress.com)
- Antique dealer site – interesting period fireplaces, just type in the historical period and see what you get
- Earl’s Court Designs – article on modelling clays
- Terry Curran