Charlie is a sculptor who likes to fuse his work with fire. I first saw the 'Hearth'at the Burningman festival in September 2000. He and his partner Syd Klinge built a large heart and from within it fire burst out of every available hole. The installation was phenomenal. The cold weather nights in the desert were shaken off by the heat the hearth generated. It glowed and was the bloodline of the festival there. Charity and I got to meet Charlie when he came to Los Angeles in February 2001. We spent the night talking about his works past and present.


HEARTH by Syd Klinge and Charlie Smith

This is their discription as written for the Burningman 2000 listings.

Where the heart meets the earth you'll find our HEARTH. We're building a 20' tall ironand steel sculpture representing the human heart. Positioned above a giant firecauldron, the Hearth will be loaded with wood each day in preparation for a nightlyburn. Bring your wood and combustible offerings to help fuel the cauldron and keepit burning through the night. Come give the heart a pulse by pumping the hugebellows which forces air into the center of the coronary furnace. Around thecircumference of the pericardial cauldron will be containers of alchemical powderswhich will issue various colors and sparks when tossed into the flames. Someperformances are planned including Thursday's cremation of Yukon prospector SamMcGee. Our hope is to not only provide a living heart f
or the man, but also to createa meeting place, a stage for ceremony, and a furnace to warm the chill of late nightwanderers.