Having all the specialist knowledge in the world won't achieve much if you don't know when to use which technique. At Camelot we embrace our knowledge of traditional skills and design, but we're not wedded to them. A flavour of tradition in a more modern setting provides a reference without looking out of place or irrelevant. Creating the right Camelot fire for each client is in-part about the overall design, but it is also about the materials and skills to create that look.
Creating a Thermovent woodburning open fire
Casting or forging dog irons or grates
Creating and refining the Camelot Thermovent fire concept has taken nearly 30 years. More specificially each Thermovent woodburning open fire with heat exchangers requires steel to be cut, formed, pre-assembled, welded and finished in line with our quality proceedures. It's the more industrious aspect of our fires due the weight of the steel plate we use to construct each fire, but accuracy, safety and performance require a more modern approach on a handmade scale.
Hand casting and forging are some of the oldest creative techniques known to man. We use foundries we have worked with for many years to cast our dog irons and other features. Smithying is just as rare an art today, but we have some dedicated and incredibly skilled people in our team to bring our clients the woodburning open fires they desire. Sparks fly, it's as hot as hell and you're under pressure as the metal changes its state by the second. Knowing when to do what and how fast is the key to making each task look easy. A passion for their work is the magic ingredient our foundrymen and blacksmiths posess. It's that ingredient which most often makes us stand back from our fires when they are finished in admiration of their skill.
Forming a canopy by hand
The craftsmenship and patience involved in creating a Camelot original canopy is often missed. Choosing the right angles and curves in the first place is a skill accumulated over many individual fire projects. Cutting the sheet blanks for each canopy, with the right profile to match the other face, and rolling the edges to develop that curve takes years to learn. You need a good eye, patience, and, often it seems, very long and strong arms! Pulling together those sheets as the canopy is assembled is a real skill - especially if the end result is to look the part.
Hand finishing a Camelot fire requires a knowledge of the process and the material in use. Selecting the right abrasives, paints, creams and polish is all part of achieving the right look. Hand scoring steel takes time but, when the finish coat is applied and brushed up, well worth the effort. Re-creating the black lead look is often about applying less rather than more, and knowing when to stay your hand.