Summer fireplace stand-ins

Berkeley glassmaker Jeff Benroth has created a cool art piece for the idle summertime fireplace. His quartz logs are cast in sand impressions of real wood. "The first question everyone asks is, 'Can they be used in a gas fireplace?' " Benroth says. "Most definitely not. This was a big issue in development, and there was no way to guarantee they would not explode." Duly noted. The 8- to 9-pound logs look like crystal and also can be displayed as tabletop decor, refracting candlelight ("as long as the flames do not come in contact with the glass,") Benroth says. OK, we get it. Perhaps we'll try those LED faux candles. Each log sells for $350; a set of three is $1,000. They can be ordered directly from Benroth's studio, www.benroth.com.

-- David A. Keeps

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