Weird and wild fire pits to spark your imagination (pictures)
From dragons to villains to a certain little droid, here are 11 fire pits inspired by sci-fi and fantasy, each of which would add an epic quality to your yard.
Winter might be coming in the "Game of Thrones" universe, but for many of us, it's here now. As the mercury falls, it's time to raise some flames. If you're a lover of all things sci-fi, fantasy and geektastic, there's no better place to get your glow on than in these fire pits, which provide epic spaces in which to light the way, even during the darkest months of the year.
One of the most prolific makers of geeky fire pits is UK-based Alex Dodson, which is why we'll start our list off with five of his designs, like this fiery Stormtrooper.
Dodson told CNET's Crave that he learned to weld with YouTube videos and an arc welder that cost £30, or about $43.
Dodson said the first fire pit he built was a minion from the "Despicable Me" movie series because the shape of the liquid gas bottles he uses to make his creations reminded him of the characters. That was "a bit lame," he said, but it gave him a start. From there, it was onward and upward to a galaxy far, far away.
"I'd been a huge Star Wars fan. And growing up with the original trilogy, the idea hit me to make one in the shape of Darth Vader's head," he said. "I posted this on Facebook and amount of likes and share and requests I got was amazing."
Dodson eventually made his Vader fire pit plan available on Instructables.com, where it earned the grand prize in a metalworking competition under the moniker Big Bad Vader Log Burner. He won a better welder, along with slew of accompanying gear. "And so it began," he said.
After winning the metalworking competition, Dodson launched his Facebook page, which now has more than 42,000 likes. The page also serves as the artist's storefront, where he sells quite a collection of models, including this one of R2-D2.
"The manufacture of each burner starts with an empty gas bottle [that] is cut and welded using various off-cuts of scrap," Dodson said. "I tend not to use [a] template which means each burner is slightly different from the last and unique in its own way. Each burner is coated with ultra-high-temp black stove paint or a heat-proof clear lacquer."
The path from hobbyist to retailer has had its challenges, Dodson said.
"It hasn't all been plain sailing," he said. "I didn't realize that cutting into gas bottles is unlawful here in the UK and I got a slap on the wrist when a popular gas bottle company reported me for stealing and vandalizing their bottles. Sad times. I was let off and have now taken to importing empty unused cylinders from China. They are even stamped with my company logo."
Dodson's love of all things geek clearly extends beyond Star Wars, as you can see with his rendition of Iron Man.
As any Star Wars fan knows, the Death Star got shredded when Luke hit it with a lucky shot in "A New Hope." This fire pit, also from KG Fire Pits, lets you sit back and bask in the glow of the Empire's spectacular defeat as you stoke the flames of victory inside the shell of the former planet zapper.
And yes, we know there can't be a cozy campfire in outer space because of the lack of oxygen. There can't really be any sound either, but that didn't stop George Lucas, did it? Now, back to basking...
Dragons and fire go together like Jedis and light sabers, so it seems only natural to have a fire pit modeled after one.
Unfortunately this fire-breather -- and burner -- isn't for sale. It's just to be admired. It was created by a friend of Flickr user Gunter Hausfrau who posted it to his account for all dragon lovers to enjoy.