Sunseed News

thermal mass stove course 11-17 May

by kirsty, project coordinator

As we roll into summer it is hard to imagine needing heat here but those people who have visited in the winter months will know how important the stove in the main house is. Jef ran a course in Kachelofen building, a thermal mass stove with the potential to heat many rooms in a house. Along with the 6 people who came on the course he started reconstruction on our existing Kachelofen. The new design will incorporate an oven for bread. The stove just has more and more functions: room heating, water heating (for showers), and now cooking; all of this using a fraction of the wood in a normal stove, thermal mass stoves use 70% less wood. The group who came on the course had a brilliant and intensive time working hard and learning lots each day. They learned about bricklaying, clay mortar mixing, chimney building and how to calculate the dimensions for different spaces and stoves. They all want to build their own in their own homes as they understand the importance of small-scale and local energy sufficiency. Asking lots of questions and taking notes and photos, the participants now have some of the skills to do it themselves.

Natural Clay Plaster Course 19-20 May

This was followed by a weekend course in Natural Clay Plasters where people learned how to build a bench with cob, plaster walls with sand and clay mixes and make up paints with natural dyes such as paprika and turmeric spices.