Thursday I unloaded scaffolding from my truck then it wouldn't go back in gear! Had it towed to a mechanic and it turns out I need a new transmission :( This is a very costly repair, and to find a good part for a good price, I had to order one from TX.
However, I managed to get a stone delivery and get back to work on the StoneGarden guesthouse patio today. I'm following a unique design where I am mixing 4 or 5 types of flagstone to achieve a textured, mosaic appearance.
Other good news is, I received a package Monday containing new chisels! Its already made a huge difference in my letter carving. I made this for a friend s birthday.
Tomorrow I meet with the staff at High Country Home magazine to discuss an article they are planning on outdoor living. I'm hoping they will decide to feature either my business or some of my work. Wish me luck!
Finished the outdoor fireplace yesterday. The owner is very pleased and cant wait for the guests to come and enjoy!
My next project is to build a patio where the guests will sit and enjoy the fire. But first I had to excavate for a footing.
Next I fill the footing with gravel, which is what I will use to level the stones and provide drainage.
Now I just have to get some more stone, and the patio will be well underway!
After a week of good weather, we have made a lot of progress at our current project- an outdoor fireplace for Griner Waters of Stonegarden Guest House in Valle Crucis. The first order of business on Monday was to build the "throat" of the fireplace, which is constructed of brick with a technique called corbeling where the bricks are overhung each course and plastered to narrow the opening to the size of the flue liner.
The fireplace was now ready for flue liners, flue block, and-yay!- stone (all this block and brick work is really just a means to an end for me). The owner requested that we leave the stones as natural as possible in this fireplace. He wanted this fireplace to look old, like it had been standing here for 100 years. The way I achieve that look is by minimal trimming of the stone. The overall result is a more natural look and a weathered appearance. I also stepped the footing in from a wide base which started on a natural stone outcrop. Finally, I used a large stone over the firebox, called a lintel, instead of an arch to achieve a more rustic, primitive appearance. Here are some progress photos, finished pics coming soon.
Today we started a new project-building an outdoor fireplace for the Stone Garden Guesthouse of Valle Crucis (http://stonegardenguesthouse.com/). The owner wanted a small outdoor fireplace to enhance a seating area for the guests. First thing we had to do was collect the materials for the masonry core.
Next we excavated for the base and poured a concrete footing.
Then, after we laid out and planned for the size, we built a pad of block and laid the floor of the fireplace.
Our next and final step for the day was to build the walls of the firebox. This is a very precise job with little margin for error, and we had to make sure it was perfect.
Last week I felt like I was all over the place, working at 3 different jobsites, as well as 3 nights patrolling at Sugar Mtn. The projects I did were small, simple repairs, one of which involved synthetic stone. Synthetic stone is not a product I usually work with because I have serious concerns about its durability, on top of the fact that just flat-out prefer natural stone. In this case, however, the owners had a fireplace that was built without a raised hearth, even though the firebox was elevated. So I agreed the build a hearth and ordered a solid stone to top it, which is a significant upgrade. I also recommended my good friends at http://resourcewood.com/# to install a new mantel to replace the ugly generic one. Here is the result:
Franklin Smith, owner Living Stone Masonry and general stone enthusiast