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Rustic Fireplaces    by Ralph Kylloe order for
Rustic Fireplaces
by Ralph Kylloe
Order:  USA  Can
Gibbs Smith, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Rustic Fireplaces is written and photographed by Ralph Kylloe, who presents over a hundred hearths in country and mountain homes, cabins and lodges, interspersed with quotations by writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, and his own musings on the mysteries of forests and the 'eerie spell' and comfort of sitting by a glowing fire, 'the center of life throughout all humanity.'

In the book, fireplaces are categorized as Traditional, Intimate, Lodge Style, Sculptural & Organic, and Outdoor, while a final chapter addresses Accessories. These solid, strong - and often tall and towering - fireplaces center the homes that enclose them. Works of art, they're made from chunks of rock and wood, some with stone lintels and mantels as well. Many are antiques that have burned through decades. Several particularly impressive ones have boulders as keystones. There are circular fireplaces, corner hearths, see-through fireplaces (that open onto two rooms) and exterior fireplaces that encourage us to linger outdoors in cooler weather. There's even a unique triangular fireplace.

Kylloe's rather dark photos create a cozy feel. Indeed, he writes lyrically of fire and hearth, telling us that 'Under the spell of a small, cozy fire, anything can happen.' Enjoy this splendid celebration of the traditional rustic fireplace. As Marcus Tullius Cicero said, 'There is no place more delightful than one's own fireplace.'

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