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The art of creating Jamb bespoke fireplaces.
27 January 2017

The process of making our bespoke fireplaces from initial design to completion, proves time and again to be an exciting and creative process. The beginning of this year has been no exception as we have got off to a busy start with many of our clients asking us to make custom-made chimneypieces.

Not a lot of people realise that much of our work is bespoke, from either creating a truly original and unique design to making one of our reproduction designs in a different size or material. Our own collection of marbles include blocks of grey, black and breche that enables us to offer alternate designs in different colours and textures.

Our Lincoln reproduction fireplace in black marble made for Michael Smith for the U.S. embassy in Madrid.

I always find it interesting how making one of our designs in a different colour changes the character of the piece. Michael Smith asked us to make our Lincoln design in black marble for the U.S embassy in Madrid when he was in residence. It was a wonderful commission and we felt proud to see it in the embassy.

A simple bolection mould in Occhi de pavone.

When I bought Hanbury Street I had a blank canvas to install any chimneypieces I wanted. At the time I had some Derbyshire fossil from Castle Howard and a large block of Occhi de pavone. With the Occhi I made a simple bolection mould and with the Derbyshire fossil I created a Lutyens style design.

A block of Occhi de pavone in our yard that will be used to make similar bolections like the bespoke piece in Hanbury street.

Our house in Camberwell has only antique chimneypieces installed in each room, however they have served as inspiration for many clients to make copies. The wonderful 17th-century breche Violette bolection has been reproduced by us many times with the marble we buy in Italy.

The range of what we have been asked to make has been enormous from huge stone French style chimneypieces to Art Deco, clean lined mantels.

If a client wants to buy an antique but the measurements or the cost make it prohibitive we can offer to make a bespoke copy. We take plaster moulds of the original carved elements and use them as templates to re-create the same detail when hand carving the marble.

Often we are asked to create a mantel that is unique. We are about to send out a finely carved marble chimneypiece with the clients initials carved into the frieze. Firstly we carved the initials in clay, then we took a fine cast of a French antique and joined the two together. Once the client had signed off the clay maquette we then carved it onto a breche background.

An example of a unique bespoke fireplace with the clients initials carved into the frieze.

We combine our expertise of historic references with the creative teams artistic and superb craftsmanship involving 18th and 19th century techniques. Anything can be realised. In some cases, we have even created pieces simply from a picture in a book! With each project, the challenge and process of actualising a clients vision, is hugely exciting and rewarding.