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Playing with FireContractor’s flare for outdoor fire feature design ignites a new business
Elemental Fire’s precast concrete fireplaces feature round or rectangular bases cast in handmade molds, with a separate concrete fire bowl that rests right inside the base. This model is integrally colored with a black pigment and features a fire water bowl.
Another fireplace with a fire water bowl, which uses an underwater burner to light the flame.
With a flame that appears to dance on the water’s surface, the fire water bowl combines the basic elements of water and fire in a unique way.
This fireplace features a fire glass bowl style, where the flames are pushed through colored glass to create a shimmering effect. The concrete bowls are cast in a fiberglass mold, then wet polished and sealed.
A close-up view of the fire glass bowl.
The fire bowls rest in a hollow in the concrete base and are removable to allow access to propane gas tanks.
Eric Mayne, president of Living Stone Concrete Design, Oakdale, Minn., has been specializing in decorative concrete countertops for four years. But growing competition in the concrete countertop arena has inspired him to explore new opportunities in a market that’s really heating up: outdoor concrete fire features. Recently, Mayne launched a new company, Elemental Fire that is allowing him to take his creative skills from the kitchen to the patio.
“Every little boy loves playing with fire, so I took the kid in me and am doing something fun instead of the usual concrete countertops. What started as an experiment (I made my first prototype a year ago) has turned into a new business opportunity,” says Mayne.
Design OptionsWhat makes Mayne’s precast concrete fireplaces unique are his concrete fire bowls, which he offers in two styles. Customers can choose from fire glass, where the flames are pushed through colored glass, creating a shimmering effect, and fire water, which uses an underwater burner to light a flame that dances on the water's surface.
Mayne also offers different concrete base styles, in rectangular and round shapes. His coffee table model has a 36-inch round base, allowing people to rest drinks on it, and his 36-inch square footrest model is designed to make it easy for people to pull up chairs, put up their feet and gather around the fire. All Mayne’s fireplaces are made of glass-fiber-reinforced concrete and run off propane or natural gas. As an option, he can design the base to hide propane tanks inside, with access doors to shut down the tanks after use. The bowl can be removed to easily change the tanks.
Although Mayne offers several standard base designs, he encourages customers to customize and design their own fire features. The bases can be custom colored with a choice of integral colors and acid stains. They can also be customized with decorative aggregate and various finishes.
Mayne says the typical customers for his fireplaces are homeowners, restaurants and resorts. “The fire water style catches the most attention because it is new and unique.”
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