In designing contemporary fireplaces, the project commences with a basic design concept. Then a simple measured image is drawn up, which then is transformed into a life-size representation that permits a more detailed look at the moldings and the carving details so that more minute dimensions can be determined. After all of this information is ascertained, the details are sent to a stone mill, and the materials are ordered (10-ton blocks are commonly ordered as a starter piece, but each project will require something different).
In the end the fireplace is installed by a stone mason, who will connect the carved piece or pieces directly to the wall with specialized galvanized wall ties. The shaped stone pieces are usually connected together with bronze pins, the gaps filled in with mortar, and finally sealed with grout material. The whole process can take many days to complete, but the result is a magnificent custom modern fireplace with a distinctive style.