Greene & Greene #2: Designing and building the Greene & Greene-style fireplace

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Blog entry by Sam Yerardi posted 09-24-2009 02:48 PM 1461 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Greene & Greene style fireplace Part 2 of Greene & Greene series Part 3: Completion of the Fireplace »

I was planning to do a series on ther living room that I am currently remodeling in the G&G style. I hadn’t thought of doing it on separate pieces but CaptainSkully had a wonderful idea of creating a series describing the Greene & Green style items I am making. I will try to do that as I continue with my business, and share what I learn along the way.

I don’t have any pictures to show the progress of the fireplace, but I will backtrack and describe the design & building process I went through.

Originally, we had one the fireplace shells made of MDF & oak with some applied carving that sat in a box for probably 4 years in my garage. My wife had bought a fireplace insert for $100 and it kept it company in the garage for the same perido of time. I was still working on converting our open patio to a closed-in 4 season room so I had no place to install the fireplace.

I began my design as I always do with a sketch and then a lot of research to just get ideas. I don’t try to completely copy specific elements of a style, but I try to see where those ideas take me. In this fireplace I did use a lot of G&G elements such as the cloud lifts and the pegs, but as I was drawing out the design I knew i would have a large area above the fireplace opening that needed something. I’ve always been fond of sunbursts, so I thought about that for a while. I didn’t want to do something that seemed out of place or was completely at odds with the G&G style. Actually, in the original drawings I did the sunburst never appears and it wasn’t until I got well into the building that I decided on something that satisfied me. I always second-guess myself on design, and even if God gave me the ability to design a masterpiece, knowing myself I would still probably stand back and say ‘Does that look right?’...

I knew whatever I would build it would be in cherry. I love cherry with its coloring and warmth. I wanted to incorporate another wood that might provide some subtle contrast so I chose red oak. I had consider maple (which makes a wonderful complement to cherry) but I wanted to maintain the subtle quality of G&G. The other woods that I used (hickory and walnut) provide the details that I wanted to stand out.

I gained a huge respect for the Halls brothers (the Greene brother’s woodworkers) , and anyone doing G&G-style work. It does require an amazing amount of tedious detail work that isn’t apparent when you are looking at the finished product.

Well, time for me to get to work… I will continue this blog and cover in more detail how I built this piece.

Thanks for stopping by!

-- Sam

6 comments so far

View CaptainSkully's profile


1600 posts in 3585 days

#1 posted 09-24-2009 04:27 PM

Thank you very much! As great as it is to see the finished project, I think it’s more important to be able to share the journey. I think it makes woodworking more attainable for all of us. Looking forward to future entries.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3330 days

#2 posted 09-24-2009 04:35 PM

all right sam…time to make some saw dust….im looking forward to this project…..have fun with it…and remember there are a lot of jocks watching this as it goes along…i wish i could do such a project…or even help you on this one….so god be with you on this…....

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3922 days

#3 posted 09-24-2009 04:58 PM

Thanks guys!

-- Sam

View Alan's profile


443 posts in 3431 days

#4 posted 09-24-2009 05:50 PM

Looking forward to this series.

-- Alan, Prince George

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3878 days

#5 posted 09-25-2009 03:06 AM

Sam, I will be watching.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3352 days

#6 posted 09-25-2009 03:38 AM

Me too! I love that stuff.

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