Mid Century Modern Chimenea

Carl Andre chiminea base in our back yard
Carl Andre chiminea base in our back yard

We bought our first chiminea, a clay one with sculpted creatures crawling up the side like Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, from Jim at Animas Traders. He used to take two buying trips to Mexico each year and buy directly from the craftspeople and then have a truck deliver it all to his store on Clinton Avenue. Nowadays you can buy a chimenea at Home Depot. That’s where we bought our second one, something made by Hampton Bay. It was a piece of shit. The smoke escaped from all sides making it impossible to sit next to. We sold it or basically gave it away at our garage sale.

A few years ago I photographed this Carl Andre fire brick arrangement at MoMA thinking I had enough fire bricks left over from our fireplace project to make an exact copy, maybe in our back yard. I counted the bricks when I got back home. I didn’t have enough.

Yesterday we headed out to the Garden Factory to see if they had a chimenea that we liked. Our neighbors are always talking about this place. It sounds like a chain but it’s not. They gave us 20% off this floor model because it had some paint chipped off. We burned some sticks tonight to christen it.

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