January 18 & 29, 2017
This elemental class started with a hand-on exploration of the evolution of fire usage, and how fire works. We FIRED IT UP … moving from a bonfire to reflective bricks, to a chimney and a Rumford Fireplace …to a metal woodstove. Then we warmed water on a Rocket Stove Outdoor Cooker, which demonstrated the dynamics of the combustion unit of the Rocket Stove Mass Heater in the pole barn which heats a bench. Firing up the heated bench was a highlight and shear pleasure to sit on ! A joy to be Fire-making all day long !
The workshop included a class on the principles of rocket stoves and the brick mockup construction of the Rocket Stove combustion unit. The earthen materials used on a Rocket Stove were demonstrated: cob (without straw), finish earth plaster, and earthen mortar for the bricks.
Sunday we learned the basics of Earth Oven design, and made a small model of an earth oven first stages: laying the brick floor, removable sand mold for the oven dome, then shaping the oven mass over the sand mold with “oven mud”. The weekend culminated in making pizza in the Sun Earth Oven ! Yum.
Students: Chrystal, storyteller from Detroit, Tim & Emily from the South Bend, Indiana area. Tim works with kids and permaculture, Emily – a counselor for immigrants. Kelly, musician, works with disabled adults. Angela from Detroit, organic gardener & community spirited.