Seen on www.theoutdoorstylist.com
'London based sculptor Cathy Azria has created a niche collection of sculptural outdoor fires (bonfires and pits). Her talent as a sculptor is doubled by a solid expertise in the real life challenges of safely and effectively running outdoor fires. She kindly shares her story, insights and names for your source book.
- How did you come to your current activity?
Pure frustration! When some years ago I wanted a fire for my own home and looked for what choices the market had to offer, there was only a choice of fake logs and fake coals. This market has now improved hugely but at the time the logs and coals were miserably sad and not in harmony even then with contemporary living.As a sculptor I could not choose these options for my own home so set out to create something I could live with, enjoy and never tire of. The surprise came when others loved my fire creation so much that I had no choice but to start making them for others...
Kicking off in California...
My sister-in-law in California was my first customer, then a friend of hers and so on.
I have been creating my fire sculptures ever since and sell them worldwide.
- For readers interested in installing an outdoor fire/ heating such as yours can you help them by explaining the actual issues they will need to consider?
I am happy to answer their questions by email, but basically different countries have different rules to be respected. As far as the gas installation and safety are concerned, my sculpture sits freely above the gas burner. The local builder usually knows what to do best. As well as the UK , other countries where I have outdoor sculptures include America, Italy, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.
- Can you share a few images, gardens and terraces you have worked on?
Only a few. Many of my fires are for private clients who don't want any publicity and I have to sign strict confidentiality agreements.
(The Outdoor Stylist's note: Cathy modestly does not mention she actually works with the A list of London garden designers.)
- What are your future projects and do they integrate new technologies?
My sculptures compliment projects which themselves can include new technologies. I am an artist to start with and have the upmost respect for all the world technicians who make it possible and improve the designs and performances of outdoors burners. Up to 15 months ago the outdoor fire market was almost a monopoly. I am very grateful to the manufacturers who believed and trusted in me and heard me when I asked them to develop safe outdoor burners. They created a rectangular outdoor gas burner which can stay outside all winter and resist snow and rain.. So far all you could find of truly good quality was a round burner ( you might see it on some of my outdoor pics on my website) , now you can have different set ups and forget the circle.. unless using a beautiful pot as base of fire.
Because of this new technology, I now have a chance to make really large outdoor fire sculptures - up to 1800 mm in diameter !!! ). At present, both gas and bio ethanol are options for outdoor fireplaces. I'm not sure what the future will bring!
- Can you share the names of the suppliers that helped you innovate in this way?
Robert Smith at Prestigious fires : http://www.prestigiousfires.co.uk/
Tony Young at Urban fires: http://www.urbangasfires.co.uk
Are you sold internationally?
CATHY's site: www.bd-designs.co.uk