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.
Franklin Smith, owner Living Stone Masonry and general stone enthusiast