Thursday, September 02, 2010


                My wife Fern, and I, have named our home "Longreach".

The name has double meaning for us.
In the world of sailing, a reach is a powerful exhilarating sail where the boat often seems to rise out of the water and fly.
Also, this home has been a long time in coming into our lives, a long reach.

The fireplace original to the house had long ago failed. It had significant cracks and was leaning decidedly toward the neighbor's house. A year ago we decided to tear it down and build a new one. This project tripped an array of dominoes throughout the house that coincidentally needed attention. Its always amazing how much extra work is involved in creating an elegant, graceful, seemingly simple product.

The firebox interior is a herringbone of firebrick "splits". bricks that are half the thickness of regular bricks. They create a much finer look inside the firebox.

The fireplace itself is a modified Rumford design. The throat of the fireplace is much more streamlined and the back and sides are angled to reflect heat more efficiently. I found Jim Buckley of The Buckley Rumford Company  to be an astonishing resource in building this. I would highly recommend that before anyone designs a fireplace that they contact him first for technical advice.

The facade is five large 2' x 2' travertine tile cut to fit around the lintel. The lintel and bases are a dense hard dark green stone we found in the remnants yard at The Stone Center.  I hand drew the lettering in Autocad and asked Peter Andrusko to carve it for me. Peter is an amazing craftsman. He is a professional stone carver with a studio in Oregon City. He is very well known and thought of in the world of custom stone carving and big commercial projects. Among his many commissions, he has worked for Maya Lin.

The hearth is Carerra Marble scraps I cut into tiles and laid as a herringbone in a green marble border.

The antelope is "Stanley" he's been with me a long time. I "bagged him" in a pawn shop in Bend, Oregon.

1 comment:

Patrick Gracewood said...

I know the feeling, one starts on the back porch and suddenly the entire back of the house needs work!

How wonderful to light your first fire in a completed project! ... on one of our rainy days? It' looks beautiful.