Dale Johnson Fireplaces

Vlado Family Room Fireplace

Based on an original design by Leonardo DaVinci.
Kansas Limestone

This client handed me a sketch from the DaVinci Sketchbooks, and asked if I could actually make it. I don’t know if it had ever been made before or not. This may be the only interpretation of that sketch in the world, so far as I know. His version would have been marble, but I […]


Fallon Fireplace

Indiana Limestone

The Bishop. There is a story behind the design elements of this fireplace, all my own. I enjoyed poking fun at the bishop.   The client is the subject of the mantle piece. From behind the curtain… Matthew Palmer carved the figures, and did a beautiful job. A piece like this a team project. The […]


Koepple Gargoyle Fireplace

Indiana Limestone

This fun piece is based on caricatures of the homeowners. This is the wife. This is in the bar/billiard room, and the homeowner chose the wording on the hearth. I will make it a point to call and get better pics. This is a local job, so I can. “Eat with us/drink with us/laugh with […]


Karlsson Fireplace

Karlsson Fireplace
Mankato Limestone
Design by Erik Karlsson
Details carved by Dale Johnson
14' x 9' x 2'

This beautiful fireplace is another collaboration. It was designed by Erik, and he and his assistant Brett did the shaping and cutting, and I did the chisel work. Erik carved the mantle himself, and did a great job. He and Brett did the installation. This is a very hard limestone, and will last for hundreds […]


Karlsson Fireplace

Karlsson 16

Erik was one of my first employees in the early 90’s; he went on and eventually started his own shop. This fireplace is our first real collaboration. Erik and his crew did all the profiling and shaping, and I did all the carving and chisel work. This is the crown in process. Mankato is a […]


Mathur Fireplace

Mathur Fireplace 
Kansas Limestone, Pennsylvania Black Slate
6'-6" x 5'-4" x 30"

This enormous header required some extensive planning to install. Originally over three thousand pounds, I hollowed it out so that it was “only” 1200 pounds when we installed it. The header, seen before we installed it. I drilled a hole at exactly the balance point and passed a chain through so that it raised up […]


Ceko Fireplace

Ceko Fireplace
Original Design by Dale Johnson and Matthew Palmer
7' x 54" x 12"
Indiana Limestone

  This client was very open to ideas, and liked everything we offered. Sometimes it only takes a phone call and a sketch. I designed the structure and indicated where I wanted the cartouche, and Matthew and I drew it in.  After the client approved the drawing, we finished the job, and found ourselves happily […]


Mallory Fireplace

Cast Bronze on Limestone
14" x 14" x 3/8"

This fireplace was aged via horse poop and peat moss and rain for several months. It was buried under the mixture (50/50) on a hill for a few months. The result is the best faux aging of limestone I’ve ever seen. Recipe taken from a seventeenth Century French marble worker’s text. This casting, based on […]


Koepple Great Room Fireplace

Koepple Great Room Fireplace
Original design by Dale Johnson
Texas Leuders Limestone
18' x 7' x 3'

This one was designed by me and fabricated and installed by Jack and me. My scary height thing was in full force the whole time. Yes, every stone was hand carried up a scaffold with absolute terror in the carrier’s eyes if the carrier was me. But I love this style.


Ball Fireplace

Ball Fireplace
Ohio Limestone
6' x 54" x 12"

This fireplace I made for a home in Oakland, California, and my son Dorian and I had a wonderful cross country trip to install this and a concurrent project in Napa. An area blacksmith did the doors; I can’t remember her name. Nice job though! The piece as it sat on the bench. Hand made […]


Betley Fireplace

Original Design by Dale Johnson
Kansas Limestone

This is a great example of of how oiled natural cleft slate can be a great alternative to a polished marble or granite. It has a wonderful satin finish. And a great example of the warm tone of Kansas Limestone.


Betley Vistain Fireplace

Betley Vistain Fireplace
Kansas Limestone
7' x 5' x 12"

Another construction shot. The harsh light and paper on the floor tell me there must have been paint prep going on. Sometimes houses go up so fast the crews are working all over each other. This was a guest bedroom fireplace in this home, and in that context, and imagining the furniture that might be […]


McDonald Bedroom Fireplace

Indiana Limestone

This fireplace, one of five I did for the home, was designed by the architect. I admire the simple lines. especially combined with the clean wood walls. Simple, but effective and somewhat dramatic at the same time. The heavy, suspended hearth is an unusual design, but I think it works very well. These clients wanted […]


Dioun Fireplace

Original Design by Dale Johnson
Indiana Limestone

This is one of the only fireplace shots I have that was taken by a professional photographer. The rest of this post makes clear the difference.This piece is an original design by me, but at the time I had three or four employees, so it’s hard to recall just who did what. This client wanted […]


Perry Fireplaces

Designed by architect Michael Hasara
Brass, Bronze, Glass, Wood

This is a team project at its best. The carpenter that built the forms, the electrician that wired them, the architect… me and my crew… it’s been almost twenty years, but I still remember this project distinctly. What a challenge! There are no visible fasteners on either fireplace. I had to crawl out from inside […]


Virginia Fireplace

Indiana Limestone

This installation was held up for various reasons, and when we arrived we were already late- not that we knew- our contract deadline was still a month out, but the builder didn’t know that or care. A classic example of the middle man not exactly getting things communicated correctly. At that point it was twenty […]


Bracken Fireplace

Crema Marfil Marble

Marble is SOOOO much different than limestone. I’m glad to have done this fireplace, but another… One of my first marble commissions. Matthew Palmer dealt with most of the particulars of this piece, although Erin Ennis was also part of it.


Healy Fireplace

Healy Fireplace 3

This heavily textured fireplace harkens back to ages long since past. Roman times. This limestone is filled with very hard fossils, and therefore takes the texturing process similar to the way it would take the evolutionary process of geological deterioration. Original Design by Dale Johnson Columbus Limestone, Steel It’s always a pleasure to work with […]


Eikholt Fireplace

Eikholt Fireplace
Original design by Dale Johnson
Kansas Limestone
22' x 8' x 2'

This fireplace took all of my skills to accomplish. Mine and my team’s. We measured up. And built something spectacular. Every detail was planned. BUT… I just realized there has never been a fire built in this firebox. Not my fault. And what a good light that day. Perfect! The installation of this piece challenged […]


McFarland Fireplace

McFarland Fireplace 2

This cool design is by the architect, Michael Hassara. The owners are collectors of contemporary and ancient Native American Art; over the years we’ve since done several other pieces together. It’s nice to know customers over time. Texas Leuders Limestone, Hickory Barn Beam Mrs. McFarland sent me these pics, taken when the whole family was […]


Niermeijer Fireplace

Original design by Dale Johnson
Indiana Limestone

This small fireplace fit just right in this 1920’s bedroom. The chimney had long ago been sealed, but the homeowners didn’t want to  shut off the charm of the fireplace opening. We invented this dummy fireplace surround together.   It’s all in the handling of the details. I try hard to be sure that my […]


Koepple Dining Room Fireplace

Original Design by Dale Johnson
Texas Cordova Cream  Limestone

Once again a picture taken from an unfinished project. Here the client wanted to finish the inner surround himself; he did a great job, but when I saw it I didn’t have my camera. This piece is mounted 45 degrees to the room, and is under a curved ceiling. The layout was a nightmare. Later […]


Brackle Fireplace

Original Design by Dale Johnson
Kansas Limestone

This enormous fireplace is a team effort. Matthew Palmer carved the center cartouche; I designed, carved, and installed the overall project… and others did the beautiful floor. This is a solid team in high gear. And check out the herringbone firebox! Details, details, details! Yes, every hand carved stroke matters. Acanthus by Matthew Palmer. An […]


Bruck Fireplace

Poplare Wood
3' x 9"

A rare example of a commission in wood. A carpenter did the structural work, and Matthew Palmer and I designed and carved the mantle detail. The home is near an old lighthouse, so we themed the design from there. Herons are common here, and the owner loves herons, so we incorporated them into the lighthouse […]