I seem to have spent a good deal of time building fireplaces. Each takes me a couple of days or more and tends to have a vast amount of thinking over beforehand. This is, of course, where I find out that I’m working on one of the periods of history where there was a tax on the number of smoking chimneys or something similar!
I know there is at least one more full fireplace to make, with possibly a couple of smaller ones, and I want to review what has been made, what needs finishing touches and how the parts came together. There’s a need to assess if I seem to have learned much in the way of planning and skills in the process. Hopefully then I can work out how I use any knowledge gained and how to fill in the skill gaps, in order to do better when I build the others. The problem with knowledge gained by the ‘doing’ is that it is hard to judge what you definitely knew before and what you certainly did not.
In the case of at least half of them I’d already bought bits that might be suitable to dress up the chimney breasts in a more or less suitable style, or had tiles and items modelled in Fimo left from other jobs that were ready to hand when messing about with ideas.
I need to review them one at a time starting with the first I had a go at.
This is built imagining a chimney rising up that corner of the house with others directly above it in Solar and upper bedroom/office areas as the flue got smaller.
I made it with a full wood frame which was a mixed blessing. It provided great structural integrity and once I felt I’d got the height correct for the ceiling to stone platform it was to sit on, it didn’t vary or lozenge.
On the down side I’d built it so strongly that sections of the frame got in the way of wiring and the side smoke cupboard and forced my hand over sizing decisions.
It’s covered with mountboard and the back of the fire opening is made with real pebbles stuck on. I enjoyed doing it but not sure that it gave any better effect than if I’d used dobs of plaster and painted the lot.
The smoke cupboard has a faux stone backing made with bits of egg box. Real stone would not fit and I was trying to steal as much space back for hanging a side of meat in there.
The bread oven is not so good but seems to fit in (at least for the moment). I bought a proper door for it but its finish is so good and more hard-edged than the wood I used that I’ve left it as it was for the moment. I may go back and rebuild that area some time.
Not happy with the pot hanging apparatus and may make my own, stronger version when it comes to putting the fire in place. Have already added the wiring for fire effect and made a fire back and log irons, which I might not use.
- Blakesley Hall, Birmingham – built 1590
- Tudor Kitchen range
- Ordsall Hall Kitchen
- Another day another fireplace (theinfill.wordpress.com)