See-through Fireplace

See-through Fireplace | Spokane, WA | December 2019

Explanations of how fire works never do it justice. A flame’s chemistry is like a magic trick, being a series of mundane steps that add up to something wondrous. In fact, knowing the elements of combustion — fuel, oxygen, ignition point, volatile gases, char and ash — only dulls the sorcery of transformation happening before our eyes. Something renders our solid world (wood, paper, cloth) into ethereal smoke, heat and light. We really should crumple to our knees in astonishment whenever someone strikes a match.

[In photo: A lounge interior, including a television above the bar, is visible through the flames of a gas fireplace.]