Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting Stoned

A Photographic Journal of Transformation
My client told me this fireplace reminded her of a Jack-o-Lantern!  Ha!
My reply: this fireplace needs to get stoned!  
Viola! A Fabulous Faux Fireplace.
Smokin' Hot!
Like a good plastic surgeon, I marked the stone shapes before committing to the sculpture.
The facade was cleaned and protected. The bricks were primed white.
I began by sculpting the "keystone" and worked out, right to left.
Work in progress, detail.
It's important to hold your vision.
Art in progress is often messy and unattractive.
The original bricks are buried under my "clay."
The sculpting clay is a special mixture of paper mache, clay and another binder.
It is sandable, paintable, lightweight and easy to work with.
We will soon find out how flamable it is!  (ha ha... just kidding Susan!)
With wet hands, I "surface skim" the stones to smooth
and level them, while carefully preserving the textured finish.

Now, we let it dry for 24 hours.  We will return to aerate the
special clay mixture stones by pricking them with a sculpter's pick.
This insures deep curing, not just surface set-up.
Spaces between are caulked and stones are individually painted.
Each stone is given 2 to 3 layers of custom colored,
tinted glaze washes for depth.  And sealed 3x with a dull varnish.
Stone details... (left)
The background was layered with a sand-additive mixed
with paint.  Then a top coat of Ralph Lauren's River Rock
was hand-brushed over that for additional fine texture.
Stone details (right)...
I wish this lovely family many beautiful moments as they celebrate life in front of a crackling fire!  (And I hope they invite me back to roast marshmallows.)

From my hearth to yours...



  1. Another stunning transformation!
    How about some Easter egg coloring tips?

  2. Nice work! Thanks for the step by step. Very educational.

  3. That's an egg-cellent idea! ha ha
    Thanks for your compliments everyone.

  4. That looks great! Really, quite amazing!