Firespeaking

Masonry Heaters, Wood-Fired Ovens, Natural Building

Blacksmithed Shelf Brackets

shelf-brackets-web

I am excited about these recent results from the metal shop.  I’d like to make more of these for this holiday season and have them both in stock and as something of value that I can take to fairs, exchanges, etc.  Shelf brackets are a great way to mount shelves and so many of the options available at the hardware store are not as solid as you would like them to be.

Masonry Heater, Wood-Fired Oven and Fireplace Hardware


cob cottage masonry heater door

masonry heater, oven, russian heater firebox door

barrel oven metal parts

In our family’s effort to continue to move towards a land-based livelihood, we are fabricating metal components for masonry heaters, wood-fired ovens and joinery for custom construction in our shop at home.  We are very interested in finding clients who are interested in developing custom solutions for their projects.  Through the Masonry Heater Association of North America, we have obtained very favorable shipping rates which makes it reasonable for us to ship to anywhere in North America.  Support local craftsmanship!  Contact us! We’d love to discuss your project with you.

More about the Wood-Fired Barrel Oven Kit by Firespeaking!

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Natural Building Video Media Release

Here is a sample image and paragraph that can be used on your site to help promote the video:

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The best instructional video on natural building is now available with English-subtitles!  “Mud, Hands, A House” is a remarkable collaboration between a talented builder, cinematographer and musician.  The beautiful footage is organized into three sections: 1) an introduction to natural building 2) a step-by-step natural building technique library 3) how to build a natural house from start to finish including finishing details such as plasters, paint and tile.  Novices and practiced natural builders alike will enjoy and benefit from watching this DVD.  The detailed how-to demonstrations are as close to first-hand experience as you can get from home.   Find out more about the DVD, watch the trailer, order one for yourself or as a gift for someone you love through Firespeaking (Natural Building & Masonry Heaters).

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To include this image and text on your website, you can View…. Page Source…. select, copy and paste the section between the +++’s or let us know and we’ll send you the HTML by email.  Thanks so much for supporting artesans in their work!

Written by in: Mud Hands A House |

Bamboo Splitter

Firespeaking is now selling bamboo splitters that we hand-make in our workshop.  These splitters are made with welded steel.  They are bigger and more rugged than the ones commonly sold which are cast and imported from Japan.  You can use these to work with larger diameter timber bamboos and they will last longer than their cast counterparts.

You can use these to split a variety of bamboo into strips in with little force.
Strips can then be used for building, baskets, fences, etc.

We have versions that can quickly split 6, 8 and 12 strips.

Costs:

6-way splitter $80+ shipping, 8-way splitter $94 + shipping, 12-way splitter $130 + shipping.

Contact us with details of which splitter you are interested in.

Bamboo SplitterBamboo SplitterBamboo Splitter

Bamboo SplitterBamboo SplitterBamboo Splitter

Written by in: Products,Tools |

Masonry Heaters

If you are interested in heating your home with wood, masonry heating is an excellent choice.  While they may look like conventional fireplaces…. masonry heaters have channels inside them that absorb much more of the heat generated by the fire and then give that heat off into the space they are heating over a longer period of time.  They are amongst the cleanest and most efficient wood-burning appliances.  A well-designed masonry heater is sized so that a 2-3 hour fire in the evening supplies enough heat to the space for it to stay warm until the next evening when it is fired.

Take a look at the heaters that we have made in our masonry heater portfolio!

This masonry heater is designed into the center of a home and works as a normal fireplace until a damper is closed and the hot gases are forced through channels in the stone masonry which absorb and store the heat inside the building. The heater also serves as an oven, heats water and is a spiral staircase to the second floor.

Masonry heaters are part of a tried and true tradition that dates back centuries in Europe.  They are slowly gaining popularity in North America as knowledge about this clean-burning, easy and beautiful way of heating homes with wood becomes available and more and more of them are built.  They are also a part of a cultural renewal that recognizes the importance of craftsmanship and site-specific design as opposed to industrial manufacturing.

Firespeaking is proud to be a member of the Masonry Heater Association of North America.  We are especially interested in combining the sophistication of the internal engineering of masonry heaters with the beautiful and comforting look and finishing possibilities that natural building has to offer.  We are interested in working with owner-builders and creative architects to seamlessly design these heaters into the aesthetic and functionality of their home.

Please contact us if you are interested in discussing and exploring further this option for your life.

The following two photos are of masonry heaters constructed by colleague Holger Laerad and exemplify the kind of integration into homes that we would like to achieve with our heaters:


(photos included with Holger’s Permission)

What’s a Masonry Heater? (from MHA website)

A MASONRY HEATER ALLOWS YOU TO HEAT YOUR HOME WITH WOOD IN A UNIQUE WAY.

The main thing that distinguishes a masonry heater is the ability to store a large amount of heat. This means that you can rapidly burn a large charge of wood without overheating your house. The heat is stored in the masonry thermal mass, and then slowly radiates into your house for the next 18 to 24 hours.

If you burn wood fairly rapidly, it is a clean fuel. If you try to burn it too slowly, the fire will change from flaming to smoldering combustion. The burning process is incomplete and produces tars. Atmospheric pollution increases dramatically. This is important if you are planning an energy-efficient house. The average energy demand of your house will be quite low. For most of the time, it may require only 1 to 2 kW of heat. For most conventional woodstoves, this is below their “critical burn rate”, or the point where they start to smolder.

Masonry heaters fill the bill perfectly. If you need even a very small amount of heat, such as between seasons when you simply want to take off the chill, you simply burn a smaller fuel charge–yet you still burn it quickly. The large surface is never too hot to touch. You have a premium radiant heating system with a comfort level that simply cannot be equaled by convection or forced air systems.

Take a look at the heaters that we have made in our masonry heater portfolio!

More Resources on Masonry Heaters:

Mentor:

Other Masons Doing Inspiring Work:

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The Wood-Fired Barrel Oven

The book Build Your Own Barrel Oven is now available!
Click here to find out more and order yours today!

THE “BARREL” OVEN is a very practical and wood-efficient oven which can be built at very low cost using mostly natural and recycled materials.   The oven is sometimes also called a “mixed” oven because the heat generated by the wood burned cooks both by directly transferring heat into the cooking chamber as well as by retaining heat in the oven’s mass and slowly returning that heat to the inside of the oven.  For these reasons, this oven is much more practical to use and requires much less wood to do the same amount of baking as in the retained-heat mass ovens and traditional domed earthen ovens.  It allows for quite a bit more spontaneity too since you can be baking just 15 minutes after lighting your fire.  The firebox and the inside of the oven are sealed off from each other so the baking chamber is always clean of ash and carbon-black.

This is the kind of oven that you can easily cook for large groups of people with, run a cottage-industry scale bakery or a farmer’s market booth several times a week with.  Another great feature of this oven is that all the operational parts of the oven can face indoors while the bulk of the oven can be outside.

We have both built as well as cooked for our communities and for large gatherings with these ovens and are convinced of their great functionality.  We know of only two ovens of this style built in North America so far (they are very popular in South America) so we are very excited for more of these to be built!

Some links:

Oven in Comunidad Rio Azul, El Bolsón, Patagonia, Argentina…

Drawing for oven to be constructed in a weekend-workshop, August 2010, Duvall, WA…

Oven we built for gathering “Manos En La Tierra” in October 2008…
Eva and Max were part of the prep team who went into the sight, about an hour’s walk into the jungle of Catamarca, Argentina to build infrastructure for a collaborative gathering of 200 people to explore positive and creative solutions.  Within a couple of days and with only found objects and materials, we built this oven….

Our friend Al built the wonderful “train stove” you see pictured with the oven that easily cooked meals for very large numbers of people…

The Ortega family hired us to design an outdoor kitchen/gathering space that included a barrel oven at its heart.  Here are the preliminary drawings and how the oven and kitchen turned out…




Oven built by our friends- Damian and Sylvia, Tandil, Argentina

Metalwork for the Barrel Oven

Firespeaking can provide you with all the metal working for you to create a state of the art wood-fired oven of this kind.  We can ship you these parts anywhere in North America and will be happy to provide follow-up support and consultation for the construction process.

The Barrel Oven Kit!!

More specific information about the Barrel Oven Kit including current pricing and ordering information….


Note: the door is weighted to close without need of a latch and the whole front face is actually an insulated sandwich of metal and ceramic wool insulation.

As mentioned, we are currently in the process of writing a booklet on the construction of this kind of oven due out this winter.  Please let us know if you are interested in receiving an update when the book is ready.  Please contact us if you are interested in having one of the ovens built at your home, in your community, at your school, in a collective bakery, etc.

 

Order your Build Your Own Barrel Oven Book Today!

Written by in: Products |

Natural Building Video | Mud, Hands, A House

Initiate yourself in the craft of building with natural materials.
Learn to build your own home and other useful buildings!

In this DVD, master natural builder Jorge Belanko teaches how to make and build with:

  • Adobe Bricks
  • Straw-clay for Insulative Walls
  • Straw-clay “Blocks”
  • Clay-based Plasters and Paints
  • Wattle and Daub
  • Traditional Wall In-fill Systems
  • And More!

Learn to evaluate the soils in your area for their use as a building material.

Michael Smith, co-author of the Hand-Sculpted House, says:
“Mud, Hands, a House” is by far the finest documentary on natural building that I have seen. I intend to show it at workshops, as anyone from a new student to a master earthen builder will find it both entertaining and highly informative. I urge people to buy the DVD to support both its creators and the remarkable flourishing natural building movement…” (read his full review)

This 2-hour long video is an empowering and educational work of art.  It was originally made in the Spanish language and now comes with English subtitles.

$35 + $4 shipping and handling


Online credit card payment is handled securely by PayPal.

Please contact us if you prefer by check or postal money order.
Customers outside of USA, click here…

Why does Firespeaking promote and distribute this DVD?

  • It is the best DVD on natural building available. We show it in every course we teach to help us pre-empt many questions and cover almost-literally a lifetime of natural building experience in 2 short hours.  We often use it as a reference for people we are working with so that, for example, they can learn to make the adobe bricks necessary for a project we will collaborate on or learn to assess their local soil for a building project.
  • It is part of our story. This DVD was made in a small town in Argentina called El Bolsón where both of us have spent significant time.  We consider El Bolsón a place of great inspiration and home to many wonderful friendships.  We worked on several of the projects featured in the video and are close personal friends with almost everyone who appears in the video and the production team.

If you are interested in carrying this DVD in your library, bookstore, educational institution or interested in doing a public screening, please contact us for special arrangements.

Visit our Complete Book and DVD Store!

International Customers (New!)

For international customers, we have set up the following two options which include a little more to cover our shipping costs. Notice that the two options are for either NTSC or PAL versions of the video. Please do research to find out which video format is suitable for your part of the world and order accordingly:

International NTSC ($35 + $7)

International PAL ($35 + $7)

 

 

The best DVD on natural building available. Includes assessing and making mixes, many different wall systems, and all of the steps of building a building. Very hands-on and practical. View the trailer...

Currently unavailable

Initiate yourself in the craft of building with natural materials.
Learn to build your own home and other useful buildings!

In this DVD, master natural builder Jorge Belanko teaches how to make and build with:

  • Adobe Bricks
  • Straw-clay for Insulative Walls
  • Straw-clay “Blocks”
  • Clay-based Plasters and Paints
  • Wattle and Daub
  • Traditional Wall In-fill Systems
  • And More!

Learn to evaluate the soils in your area for their use as a building material.

Michael Smith, co-author of the Hand-Sculpted House, says:
“Mud, Hands, a House” is by far the finest documentary on natural building that I have seen. I intend to show it at workshops, as anyone from a new student to a master earthen builder will find it both entertaining and highly informative. I urge people to buy the DVD to support both its creators and the remarkable flourishing natural building movement…” (read his full review)

This 2-hour long video is an empowering and educational work of art. It was originally made in the Spanish language and now comes with English subtitles.

Why does Firespeaking promote and distribute this DVD?

  • It is the best DVD on natural building available. We show it in every course we teach to help us pre-empt many questions and cover almost-literally a lifetime of natural building experience in 2 short hours. We often use it as a reference for people we are working with so that, for example, they can learn to make the adobe bricks necessary for a project we will collaborate on or learn to assess their local soil for a building project.
  • It is part of our story. This DVD was made in a small town in Argentina called El Bolsón where both of us have spent significant time. We consider El Bolsón a place of great inspiration and home to many wonderful friendships. We worked on several of the projects featured in the video and are close personal friends with almost everyone who appears in the video and the production team.

If you are interested in carrying this DVD in your library, bookstore, educational institution or interested in doing a public screening, please contact us for special arrangements.

Visit our Complete Book and DVD Store!

Written by in: Products |

Firespeaking - 91040 Nelson Mountain Rd., Deadwood, OR 97430 - info (at) firespeaking.com - (541) 964-3536 - OR CCB# 200122