with the holidays over and Winter descending ( 50 degrees here this week in N.H. - go figure ) we have decided to close the studio and not spend the money on propane to heat it. we are in rental space now, but when we build our future studio, i plan on having a Kachelofen, a type of wood burning tiled stove providing radiant heat. the Dec. '07 issue of Ceramics Monthly ran an article about them and a ceramic artist in Canada who learned how to build them in Europe. see http://www.stonehousepottery.com/ they are quite beautiful structures in themselves and one in a living situation would also be ideal.
here is what Mark Twain said of them in 1891
" the German stove - Kachelofen - is by long odds the best stove and the most convenient and economical that has yet been invented. one firing is enough for the day; the cost is next to nothing; the heat produced is the same all day, instead of too hot and too cold by turns; one may absorb himself in his business in peace; he does not need to feel any anxieties of solicitudes about the fire; his whole day is a realized dream of bodily comfort.
the American wood stove, of whatsoever breed, it is a terror. there can be no tranquility of mind where it is. it requires more attention than a baby. it has to be fed every little while, it has to be watched all the time; and for all reward you are roasted half your time and frozen the other half. it warms no part of the room but it's own part; it breeds headaches and suffocation, and makes one's skin feel dry and feverish; and, when your wood bill comes in, you think you have been supporting a volcano. "
from " Some National Stupidities, " from
Europe and Elsewhere, Harper & Brothers, 1923
because of the complex flue structure lined with a lot of thermal mass, Kachelofens are able to radiate constant, even heat for 12 - 24 hours. the small, high temperature fire of a Kachelofen burns at 99% efficiency, which surpasses modern gas or oil heating systems in emission tests. Kachelofens can be created to heat one or more rooms, installed with an oven and/or stove for cooking, designed to heat some of the home's/studio water, or used in conjunction with solar panels.
a big investment, but one worth the efficiency and aesthetics.
have a good Winter. i will post as i find things that pique my interest. i've begun thinking about what work i will do when i get back in the studio in the Spring, sketching and buying tools ( a weakness ).
adios amoebas ~