Once I decided I wanted to make a chimenea, it was time to address the “How?” I’ve spent 25 years slowly incorporating computer-aided design elements into my work, including patterns that are warped and deformed algorithmically. I had a vague idea of how I wanted the perforated pattern to look, but utilized the "mess with it 'til it looks good" method to arrive at a layout of hexagons, warped along a curving path. Not to get too far into the weeds, but that curving path acts as an attractor, deforming the hexes more strongly relative to their distance from it.
Since the humble hexagon was the seed for the pattern, I thought it appropriate to use it as the driving motif for the chimenea’s main form, too. Given that there are some immutable constraints at play - scale, containing the fire, supporting the wood, channeling the smoke, etc. - much of the remaining design choices were just a matter of adjusting the form to allow for said constraints. I worked up the basic shape, then stuck an average-sized human into the scene to check the scale. The initial 40 inch height just felt too small when viewed in this context, so I added a foot. Ta Da!
Once I have the design finalized, I lay out all the parts as flat patterns for the laser cutter, then send them off to be cut.