Saturday, 6 September 2014

Fireplace with chimney breast

In Womble Hall, there will be many fireplaces. They will all be different. When I was a beginner, I bought a fireplace front because I thought I would never be able to make one. I was so ignorant I didn't even know that fireplace fronts are - well, fronts. That they need a proper fireplace and a chimney breast. At that point I just added a black background.

After I had renovated the fireplaces in the Tudor house and especially after I had made a proper inglenook I had a leftover front which I decorated and used first in the art gallery and then in the Georgian house. I made a slight imptovement on a plain wooded fireplace, I have also made a half-scale fireplace. In other words, I have had some training as a fireplace-maker. What is the correct word for fireplace-maker? There must be one.

What I haven't yet made is a proper chimney breast, and now is the time. I will have to make chimney breasts for the existing fronts, but I also wanted to test an idea I got when I was at B&Q pinching wallpaper samples. I found this one and saw immediately that it was fireplace material.

Making a basic fireplace is easy. I used two jenga blocks from my endless supply and an unidentified bit of wood. Then I glued on bits of the wallpaper. I took pictures of every step because it was interesting to follow the improvement.

In the last picture in particular you see clearly the difference between left and right. I wanted to use the curved pattern from the wallpaper, but it was too large. I may use it elsewhere.

Now that the front was ready I needed a chimney breast. I made it from hard foam which the dollhouse parts came in. It's terribly crumbly, but it's easy to cut to shape. I glued the whole thing onto a piece of card, which also provided the back of the fireplace. I had to correct my earlier mistake: the horisontal decorations had to go all the way on the sides of the chimney breast.

As I started painting the inside I noticed that the foam created a very interesting stony effect. Therefore I collected the leftover crumbles and glued them onto the back.

I haven't decided which room this fireplace will go into, but I wanted to test it with wallpaper. This is just some bits I had from a previous project.

Now I needed a hearth. First, I had to add a bit of card as a base. I should have cut it when I made the back, but I hadn't, so there wasn't much I could do about it. But this is a moment when you are glad you have saved all those plastic lids. I cut a lid in half, and it was just the right size. 

Then of course I painted the hearth black, and here we go! The fireguard is from the old Victorian house and made from a metal belt. I guarantee that it is one of a kind! The fireplace set is made from paper clips and clock hands, and the coalbin is from an antique shop. 

I also wanted to test the whole thing in a room. As I said, I am not sure which room it will eventually go into, or whether I am going to use this wallpaper at all, but anyway: 

Mind, this is all white-tacked, and obviously only one wall and half of the floor is done, and I am not sure that the floor and the wallpaper go well together. Or maybe they do. Maybe I will have this wallpaper in this room. Now use you imagination. Richly decorated ceiling and an ornate chandelier. Two wall lights. Heavy matching curtains (there is a clever way to print on fabric). It's going to be a most gorgeous room. Come back soon.