Sacred Circle Fire Ring

Sacred Circle Fire Ring by Hammerhead Stoneworks

Sacred Circle Fire Ring by Hammerhead Stoneworks

The Sacred Circle is a ceremonial fire pit, built by Hammerhead Stoneworks Inc. on the outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina. It is forty-five feet in diameter and required over 50 tons of stone. Used as a sacred gathering place for a diverse community of spiritual practices, it can accommodate groups of well over one hundred people.
Sandstone from Tennessee is used for the drystone walls, seating caps, and the majority of the flagstone paving. Rays of Absolute Black radiate from the fire pit to site boulders placed at the cardinal compass points. Immediately surrounding the fire ring, Pennsylvania bluestone and counter top scraps create a celestial design, depicting our solar system from multiple perspectives.
Built in the winter of 2013-14, this is Hammerhead’s largest project to date. Encompassing all of our craftsmanship and aesthetic ideals, it is a community gathering space as well as a beautiful and enduring work of functional art.

Fire pit project layout.

Fire pit project layout.

We confirmed the site layout with a rainbow of spray paint.

Cold weather stone work

A car port frame laced with sheet plastic protects us from the elements.

Construction started with the drystone walls. Mason Gary Wilson works beneath the winter shelter. The gray conduit is for lighting spaced around the perimeter.

drystone wall

A long curving free-standing wall as part of a ceremonial fire pit.

Culverts are placed in each wall to allow surface drainage to escape the central patio, which crowns in the center at the fire pit.

Seating wall with capstones at the Sacred Circle fire ring.

Seating wall with capstones at the Sacred Circle fire ring.

The seating walls are 18” tall. They are built drystone, though the caps are mortared in place for stability.

Rays of Absolute Black granite lead from the boulders to the fire ring.

Rays of Absolute Black granite lead from the boulders to the fire ring.

We purchased two slabs of Absolute Black granite to complete the rays that connect the fire pit to the boulders.

Jupiter and Mars made of granite scraps are set into a bluestone patio.

Granite scraps make a cool addition to this bluestone patio.


Mars and Jupiter, scrap counter tops transformed into planets, float in a sky of Pennsylvania bluestone. The seams that make up the orbit of each planet are slightly beveled; from certain angles, one can see arc they follow around the sun. Pluto makes an appearance in the next segment, as a small icy white orb with an odd elliptical orbit.

A panorama of the fire pit dedication ceremony.

A panorama of the fire pit dedication ceremony.

Over eighty people attended the first fire, a dedication event welcoming a diverse community of spiritual practices to the Sacred Circle. Taoist, Buddhist, Shamanic and Cherokee traditions were all honored.

First fire at the Sacred Circle

First fire at the Sacred Circle

Sacred Fire Circle Panorama

Sacred Fire Circle