On Saturday 15 June, the UK celebrates National Beer Day, but we couldn’t help but open a beer or two early to celebrate the installation of our fabulous new spherical fire pit! Joined by the workmen who have been working incredibly hard at The Yealm over recent months, we enjoyed an evening together sat by the stone seating area, overlooking the river while watching the first sausages sizzle on the handmade firepit, which also doubles up as a barbecue.
This unusual bespoke fire basket was designed by local artist Fiona Waddy and created by Dartmoor-based craftsman Tom Harland of Dartmoor Fire Pits. Fiona hand drew the design onto a robust 6mm steel sphere before constructing an image that works in 3D from all angles. Tom then cut the image out of the sphere with a plasma cutter before the sphere was smoothed, finished and a heat-resistant black coating applied.
“This was a lovely commission for The Yealm,” says Fiona. “The design was inspired by the beautiful woodland setting looking out over the Yealm estuary. The sculptural focal point – the curved wave design – is influenced by the movement in the river and reflects the stonemasons wall. The bare tree surround gives an almost abstract pattern effect to the design with buzzards soaring above.”
Fiona, who is also based on Dartmoor, has taught art and design to students up to A Level standard. She has had several successful solo exhibitions of her landscape paintings of the area’s inspirational heatherclad moors and rugged tors. She has recently turned her hand to working in 3D, including the design of these unique spherical firepits.
“Working on firepit spheres has created interesting challenges,” Fiona explains. “The success of a piece is dependent on how a design works as a whole from all viewpoints. I love the way you can see through the metal image across to the silhouette on the other side of the sphere. It has to work as a stand-alone design, which then becomes even more interesting when the firepit is lit, and the illumination comes from within, constantly changing with the movement of flames and smoke.”
“The firepits look ‘wow’ as they are but ‘double wow’ when they are lit!” enthuses Dartmoor Fire Pits Tom Harland. “However, they are practical too. They not only keep you warm but can also be fitted with a barbecue, adding to a festival atmosphere of feasting, fun and celebration.”
Simon Friend, owner of Red Earth Developments, says: “We are delighted with our new addition to the woodland at The Yealm. Residents will be able to enjoy the fire pit throughout the year with friends and family while taking in the stunning views across the estuary. We wanted to create a unique firepit which was practical but also beautiful and captured the essence of The Yealm. We are really pleased with Tom and Fiona’s work,” concludes Simon.
Take a look at Tom’s video about how the firepits are made.
See more photos of the firepit in our gallery.
Reservations are now being taken off plan. If you’re interested in finding out more, please visit the pricing section of our website or do contact Claire Northmore from Marchand Petit (Newton Ferrers office) on 01752 873311 or email Claire. If you would like to be kept up to date with all the latest news from The Yealm, please register for our regular email newsletters.