Thomas Gottschau, Journalist, Lebach, Germany
Design with symbolism: The gas fireplace “Seed” is shaped like a seed capsule using “SCHOTT Ceramat” as burning medium
“Slit and Slab” is the name of the gas fireplace whose shape is reminiscent of the strongly geometrical, early 20th century Art Deco style.
Playing with fire
The British fireplace manufacturer CVO is betting on the “SCHOTT Ceramat” burner medium for different models of its gas-powered fireplaces, thus achieving beautiful flame aesthetics.
Since primeval times, fire has exerted a unique fascination on human beings. Although fire is no longer the main source of warmth and light, it nevertheless keeps radiating a magical, hypnotizing force that enthralls us. How else could we explain that even today many people cannot live without their own “hearth” in the form of a fireplace?
In order to satisfy this need, the British manufacturer CVO (Christian & Carolyn van Outersterp) from North Yorkshire offers a top line of gas fireplace heaters, designed according to the highest of standards. The company’s industrial designers are not satisfied with creating attractive and efficient fireplace heaters, rather they go beyond mere functionality by stressing the symbolism, spirituality and dynamics of fire. The CVO designers believe that these aspects had been neglected in fireplace heater design for a long time.
In the CVO philosophy, these aspects play a central role. Christian and Carolyn van Outersterp allow themselves to be influenced and inspired by nature and art, creating products whose names point to their creative origins: “Plane and Scallop”, “Seed”, or even “Slit and Slab”.
Fire as a Symbol for Life
The “Seed” model, for instance, embodies the constant flow of life itself. Just as the destructive powers of a bush fire allow other forms of life to emerge later, the CVO designers have incorporated this concept in the “Seed” gas fireplace, shaping it like a giant pod that opens up to scatter its seeds.
Vivid Play of Flames
In order to achieve an atmospheric fire pattern and a vivid play of flames, CVO manufactured the “Seed” and the strongly geometric “Slit and Slab” model using the “SCHOTT Ceramat” burner medium. This burner mat is made of ceramic fibers coated with silicon carbide, which form a highly permeable mat structure. The gas can easily permeate the entire mat surface and burns off on its surface in the form of a flame carpet. The result is a vivid play of flames.
Ceramic fibers welded together and coated with silicon carbide ...
... form a stable, self-supporting mat structure with a porosity of approximately 95 percent.
Following the slogan “less can definitely be more”, the designers purposefully avoided imitation wooden logs and charcoal. After all, their aim was not to imitate a conventional fire, but offer unconventional fireplace heaters featuring their own type of flame. This was clearly achieved, as the flames seem to hover magically above the black burning chamber of the heater.
The CVO designers are sure that this novel approach to fireplace design will definitely open up new markets and point the way to exciting new perspectives.