Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The perfect fire pit

It doesn't feel like it, but fall is just around the corner. In the Lowcountry, we'll begin to gather around fire pits and roast oysters- a syrup kettle is perfect for this.

I had this syrup kettle made about 2 years ago for a client. This custom fire pit was hand forged using a sand cast at a foundry in the upstate. Rusty Fowler (I love that his name happens to be Rusty), a DNR agent from Walterboro, forges each kettle individually from iron.

A syrup kettle fits well into a southern landscape because it creates a sense of place. At the turn of the 20th century, almost every farm had a syrup kettle. A fire would be built under the kettle, and this vessel was used to render lard, scald hogs, reduce cane syrup or make soap.

The lip of each syrup kettle can be customized from Carolina Kettles. In this case, our client was a sailor, so we ordered it simply with compass points. Most of the time, the kettles are personalized with the family or plantation name.

It is an investment, but the craftsmanship behind each piece is worth the price. If you are interested, visit Carolina Kettles in Walterboro, South Carolina. I talked a little about these kettles on an episode of GardenSmart.

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