This heater was built as part of the Sustainable Shelter Workshop Series at Aprovecho. It completely turned around the residents’ experience of their home in winter time. Their previous propane heater provided a “wet” heat that also didn’t reach the outlying bedrooms causing mold issues. The design is a Cabin Stove with heated bench. The design borrows from both the tradition of masonry cookstoves as well as the modern phenomenon of rocket mass heaters with heated cob benches.
The Harlan Cabin Stove was built during a two-day workshop in December 2015. While I am very happy with it architecturally, it is an iteration of the design that shows it still needs some fine tuning.
I suspect that we need to tighten the gap beneath the metal of the cooktop in order to get more heat to rub off on the cooktop and provide immediate heat. Also, it is likely that reducing the thickness of the cook plate from the current 3/8″ to 5/16″ or 1/4″ will provide more response.
This iteration demonstrates that the so-called “Sidewinder” combustion box still needs tweaking. There is a lot of mass around the fire before it hits the cooktop. Using insulative refractory materials out of the wear zone is one possible improvement. Burning wood in our current wood stove at home as well as a recent repair on a state of the art German kacheloven firebox is solidifying my understanding of the differences between an underfire “oxidizing” air source and side and over-fire air which is good once gasification has been reached. Our next iteration will be in our own shop and I will try to combine both elements. Stay tuned.
The complete masonry plans for this stove are currently offered for sale as The Cabin Stove Plan Set. As this is an open-source development project, the price of the plans actually serves as a pledge of support in helping us to continue to develop this “cookstove” / “masonry heater” hybrid. You can think of a purchase as helping to buy bricks, coffee and welding wire for the next iteration we will build and to have time to document step-by-step photos. Go for it!
A few friends and colleagues suggested we try a testimonial page! Here are a few responses we have received in regards to working and learning with Eva. Thanks everybody!
“Eva is fluent with her materials and in my experience her expertise is not just in craft but also in teaching. She is warm, patient, and always has an eye on the process. In the workshop I took I learned so much about the versatility, character, and beauty of natural finishes. Can’t wait to take another workshop soon!” -Eli Stein
“I have taken a few finishing classes and have worked with Eva. She has fantastic color intuition and is patient and helpful to clients. As an instructor, her explanations are clear and to the point–she had me making plaster and smoothing it on the wall within an hour. I have also helped her make natural paints and had the pleasure of painting with natural, clay based paint and it was such a nice experience! The paint spread smooth and thick without the smells of traditional, chemical paints. The best part about using and working with natural finishes is not being exposed to dangerous chemicals. With Eva’s expertise and clear explanations, you’ll learn how to do things yourself, so when you get tired of a color after several years, you can take on the project and make the magic happen!” -Alex Tomaselli
“Plastering with Eva is an amazing and mind-opening experience. She approaches the walls with such a creative mindset that makes you walk away feeling confident and ready to experiment.” -Emily Jantzen
“Learning from and working with Eva Edleson is simply a joy. Eva’s playful energy, creative artistry, inspiring leadership is supported by her rich depth of experience working with natural building materials and methods. As a student of Eva’s, you will learn about raw materials, recipes and applications. And as a fellow seeker of knowledge she will support your journey to build your own relationship with these materials that will allow you freedom to create your own unique beauty.” Sukita Reay Crimmel
Earthen Floors-A Modern Approach to an Ancient Practice
Creator of Claylin, a ready mix earthen floor product
“I studied natural finishes with Eva starting in 2011, and since then we’ve worked together on many wonderful projects from Portland to Eugene and in between. Not only is she equipped with exceptional skill and knowledge, Eva’s got a magnetic personality, a contagious passion for these materials and techniques, and an effortless way about teaching people to unlock their ability and create high-quality work. She’s a pioneer in this field and I am continually inspired by her dedication to refining her craft–and to having fun doing it.” -Emidio Cantalupo
LEARN HANDS-ON HOW TO FINISH WALLS
WITH NATURAL MATERIALS!
In this informative course you will learn how to source, prepare and apply natural ingredients to make many beautiful finishes. These techniques can be applied to a variety of surfaces including cob and straw-bale buildings, cement, brick, wood, even drywall and latex paint! Homeowners, interior decorators and artists enjoy being able to make and apply these healthy finishes successfully to both interior and exterior walls.
Canelo Project Karen Totino
You will make and go home with sample boards and a booklet with recipes of all the techniques. We will also be applying a durable clay paint onto a room of interior walls which are made of drywall and currently coated with conventional latex paint. Learn how to make and apply the following techniques in a myriad of colors:
Aliz (A clay paint.)
Lime Plaster and Lime Wash
Milk Paint and Glue Paint
Oil Paint & Oil Glaze
DATES & FEES: (Includes an organic lunch) February 20 — Cost $200 March 12 & 13 — Cost $300 (This two-day class will include learning a sculptural Bas Relief technique, and methods for renovating and insulating with natural materials.) May 7 — Cost $200 May 29 — Cost $200
In March and April of 2015, Eva led the finishing of a cob cottage at Deck Family Farm.
The clay, straw, wood, manure, and milk for these finishes all came from onsite at this beautiful 320-acre organic farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The main construction of this building was designed and led by Ali Maggio and Christine Deck.
I was hired as the lead and brought on some super talented colleagues Angela Francis, Erica Bush, Emily Jantzen, Alexandra & Nick Tomaselli and Max Edleson. As a team we completed the wall construction, did a fair amount of trimming of cob and bales, finished doors, handles, trim, installed windows, added shelves, sills and benches. There are always so many details to complete before plastering! The interior of the building was then finished with a clay based plaster and painted with an aliz. The exterior plaster was oiled with two coats of Claylin finishing oil.
What a joy it was to work on such a beautiful building at an amazing farm with my friends! And the fact that so many of the materials came from right onsite was very fulfilling.
In 2011, I taught a 3 week workshop and gave a presentation at the Natural Building Extravaganza in NC. A student in the course, Max Livingstone, was intrigued by the pallet building projects I had worked on and consulted with me on how to build his own.
In 2015, after Livingstone had completed the main construction, I was hired to plaster the building. The initial plaster coat on a pallet building is an important step, as you need to build out the wall surface. I always choose a straw clay plaster for this initial coat. I worked with the builder Max Livingstone and Bethanie Ruffo, along with Emily Jantzen to make clay slip, chop straw, put up trim, make niches and bringing this pallet building to the next level.
So often in my work, I get hired to teach workshops. Workshops are a time for me to share the techniques of what I love to do. I always meet a few people in each workshop who I continue to work with. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity Max Livingstone, and thanks to my friends and family who stopped by to help! Chad Gaetz, Sebastian Collet, Eli Edleson Stein, Kat Jank. The first photos show the base coat plaster and the latter show the interior finish and the earthen floor I completed with Maeve Riley.
Discarded pallets are a great source of free wood and they make for what I feel is an easy and low cost construction technique. Hopefully you will find inspiration in these photos to build your own!
The Fuddy – a passive solar studio I constructed using salvaged pallets