My dear friend and cousin-in-law is a fine Creole lady who would not let me stray from accuracy in this project. She said I needed a proper firescreen in the fireplace. She took her camera to several architectural recycling places in New Orleans and sent me this picture for inspiration.
The rectangular part attaches to the fireplace stone or bricks. The arched part is hinged to open so you can get to the fire.
This is Marie Laveau's firescreen. The round center part is a brass jewelry finding partly painted black. The rectangle, the rope trim around the arch, the flowers and the strip across the bottom are black polyclay. The mesh at the bottom is a bit of a metallic pot scrubber painted black. Once I had an inspiration piece, it all came together.
This is what it looks like in place.
It's amazing how something even as complex as the inspiration piece can be duplicated in miniature if one keeps an open mind about how to pull it together.