Hearth & Home May 2017

Cast-bronze Strangler Vines

This was a massive project for a private residence in Miami, Florida. It’s a 16-ft. tall, cast-bronze rendition of strangler vines in a koi pond. There are three 300,000 Btu vertical burners and fog makers in the project.

Parting Shot: In Her Prime

As her fame spreads, connoisseurs around the globe are seeking the talents of Elena Colombo.

Through the years, the artistic work of Elena Colombo has been featured in Hearth & Home because it represents the epitome of The Art of Fire. A classically trained sculptor who studied in Italy, Colombo, like many of our readers, has been attracted to fire for most of her life.

Like many artists, she struggled to become known, secure commissions, and be free to create the pieces she loves. Her work ranges from a simple Corten steel bowl to a 28-ton Corten steel arc that spans a road at the old Bethlehem Steel plant in Pennsylvania.

Elena Colombo originally worked under the name Colombo Construction Company, a business owned by an uncle. About five years ago she changed her working name to Fire Features, but there is clearly more than a bit of construction/engineering talent in her DNA.

Many of her commissions have come from the best hotel chains in the world, while others are for high-end residences, such as the one from Saudi Arabia featured in this article, and businesses such as Amazon.

What follows is a description of a few of her recent projects, in her own words.

Sea Grass Insert

This piece was for a private client in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, through Julia Roth Designs NYC. The burners are by Fiamma; the rods are stainless steel, and the fireplace is 59 in. wide and 47 in. deep.


Slab Base with Branch Insert

This welcoming fire element was made for a private client in Greenwich, Connecticut. It’s a fabricated bronze with inset pancake burner and manual pilot ignition. The piece is 63-in. square, and the rods are all bronze and welded together.


Cast-bronze Cypress Knee

A fabulous cast-bronze cypress knee made for the permanent collection at Longhouse Reserve for a hero of mine, Jack Lenore Larsen, the textile designer. He’s still vibrant at 89 and has a fabulous property in East Hampton, New York –www.longhouse.org. We are able to make limited editions of this piece as we have a mold for it. It averages 4 ft. in height.


Branch Twist

(image is a rendering)

This project was for the Auberge Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas. We were awarded the job through the Dallas architectural firm HKS, and the job architect, Robert Stovall. We also have worked for the Auberge Group in their Calistoga Resort, Auberge du Soleil. The 10-ft., 350,000 Btu sculpture sits in water that ends at the coping; the rest is hardscape decking.


Frond Bowl in Palm Beach

We call these “Frond Bowls.” This project was for a private client in Palm Beach, Florida, and we were awarded the job through Nievera Williams Design. It was a pair of cast-bronze bowls using leaves from the “Zamia furfuracea” palm. We assembled it in Brooklyn with our master metalsmith Tim Kohchi. The piece is 4 ft. in diameter and is equipped with electronic ignition.


Cast-bronze Rock Set on Round Base

Ammaria is the name of a private villa in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I did the job through the contractors, and architect Mazen El Khatib. They put a lot of trust in me and I was very grateful for the collaboration. I chose the rocks from the east end of Long Island, near my house in Greenport. Each rock was cast individually in bronze, and each rock has a hole providing a release for heated air.


Twig Bowl on Rock

A cast-bronze twig bowl was mounted on top of a chunk of sandstone sourced, cut, and delivered by Burke Stone in Throop, Pennsylvania. The rock is close to 4-ft. square, and the bronze bowl – made from curly willow vines – is 2-ft. in diameter. It was purchased and resides in Waverly, Pennsylvania.


Fire Features a division of Colombo Construction Corp., 342 Park Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205. Office: (718) 399-2233; Mobile: (212) 334-5069 or visit www.firefeatures.com.

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