Indeed it is possible to set the world on fire (literally and figuratively) with Fire Pit Rick’s Third Rock Fire Pit. There is something otherworldly about the concept of this earth globe fire pit. The multiple meanings connected to “setting the world on fire,” the meditative nature of flickering red and orange flames as a backdrop to the cut out silhouette of world continents, not to mention the aesthetic beauty and function of this magnificent steel sculpture. All these components work together to bring those gathered around on chilly nights, warmth and inspiration to stoke the coals of friendly philosophical fireside chat.
Fire Pit Rick (aka Rick Wittrig), of Fire Pit Art is not the only structural steel artist producing beautiful sculpted fireballs. Among the ranks of these highly specialized artisans are included Andy Gage, Tom Davis and of course Fire Pit Rick. Each artist has their own unique approach, each provide functionally and visually different interpretations of the spherical fire pit.
Fire Pit Art
Several years ago Rick Wittrig and his wife wanted a fire pit for their backyard. They went to a big box store, bought one and installed it. The problem is, it set his yard on fire and fell apart in no time. He told his wife he could make a better fire pit, and so that is exactly what he set out to do. Fire Pit Art is the brainchild of Rick’s discontent with his big box store fire pit experience.
Fire Pit Globes – Made of Carbon Steel
Fire Pit Art’s fire pits are made from one quarter inch thick carbon steel, the heaviest used in the industry (according to the company’s website). They are made to have an iron oxide patina on the outside that will darken over time, eventually becoming permanent. “Created in Tennessee by Tennessee craftsman using 100% American steel.” Each pit is treated on the inside with a high temperature resistant paint and has a drain built into the bottom. Fire Pit Art offers a variety of designs and fire pit accessories.
The Fire Pit Company
Andy Gage’s story starts with his need to utilize the inherited family farm in lucrative ways and his wife’s desire to have a garden fire pit. Years ago Andy took over the family farm from his grandfather. The Fire Pit Company is one of the creative ways he is able to pay the expenses of the small family farm in the English countryside.
The Fire Pit Company is known for their custom commissioned “fireballs,” but they also offer the Andy Gage Collection, which is a series of popular themes, created by the artist. Fire pits can be ordered with the natural changing patina, with an optional heat resistant surface paint if you do not want the rusty looking patina and/or an optional 16 color, color changing LED light that can be easily inserted or taken out.
Tom’s Fire Pits
Tom Davis from Paris Missouri considers himself a farm boy, “born and raised” who can draw and who can cut and weld steel. Steel is his constant muse. He says, “as a artist your mind is constantly thinking of what you can draw or build or make by your hands.” Left Tom Davis’s Tree of Life fire pit globe (Photo Tom’s Fire Pits).
Tom’s Fire Pits offers a selection of designs with the option to personalize. According to the website they will “consider” customization. The website shows some of their globes that have been turned into water falls and foggers, which is an interesting interpretation. However, they do not seem to customize the water feature themselves. According to their website “some customers have made their fire pit into a water feature by adding their own water pumps or water falls. Others have added LED lighting or foggers.” Tom’s are made from 1/4 inch thick steel or 3/16 inch thick stainless steel. The stainless steel option is recommended if the globe will be adapted into a water fall or fogger.
According to Tom’s website, “The stainless steel sphere can be cleaned up and maintained with 3M Scotch-Brite pads. I have done a large part of this but I can not get all the areas that will show up with outside exposure. The sphere is made out of 304 stainless steel and the pedestal base is made out of regular steel that will need to be maintained.” Below Tom Davis “cuts up” in one of his hand crafted fire pit globes (photo Tom’s Fire Pits).
Different Artists, Similar Visions for Unique Firepits
Even though each artist mentioned has a unique approach to their craft, they do have certain things in common. For one, each fire pit is a magnificent work of art that looks great with or without a fire in them. Each artist is passionate about their art and that passion is reflected in their finished product. In this day and age of personal technology, where we isolate ourselves to the glowing screen of our smartphones, tablets and computers, the fire is beckoning us to reconnect to the outer world of nature and the people we love. Rick, Dan and Andy not only offer a functional product, they each, in their own way, offer us an opportunity to connect to the things that really matter.
Fire Pit Globe Pricing and Where to Buy
If you’re ready to add one of these functional sculptures to your backyard, be prepared to spend a bit more than your typical firepit. Pricing starts at under $1000 for some of the simpler designs and goes as high as $8000. If you prefer to DIY your firepit, be sure to check out our article on how to build your own concrete fire pit.