We teach RMH design and construction, fire science, and some materials science when we have a workshop.
so my question is what do you folks think you need to learn in a workshop? This sort of question helps us refine our approach to the subjects ad helps us know what is lacking.
please keep the answers brief if possible (folks tend to get to the core of it quick then add stuff so this is a handy thing for us to do)
thank you all in advance.
Need more info?
Ernie and Erica
Wood burning stoves, Rocket Mass Heaters, DIY,
Stove plans, Boat plans, General permiculture information, Arts and crafts, Fire science, Find it at www.ernieanderica.info
Hi Ernie, this is way outdated but it's a shame more replies haven't chimed in. I'm reading through the old posts and its clear plenty of people are in want of information, and perhaps many more are in need but unaware of it.
Firstly, while few people will show up to a pyro workshop to hear about safety, Gary's right that it's first and foremost, and I would add to that legalities, even if it's presented with the attitude that we should learn the rules before we break them.
Secondly - and brevity isn't my speciality (which is why I like whole-day workshops) - while there's heaps of information about what you teach, you guys have an opportunity to deal with those things websites can't offer, which may include:
Experience - no one has the experience you guys have in your field, and many people (myself included) would attend your workshops to learn from the best. I would want to hear stories and examples of experiments which worked and failed.
Hands-on - get us making cob, get us putting together something simple, and if possible, inject some creativity into it so it can be another experimental design to talk to the next group about, to showcase, or for them to dismantle and remake.
Q&A - You're already doing this really well, fielding questions as you go, and while you're probably sick of answering the same questions, there's no quicker way to learn - when a person is ready to ask a question they are ready to hear an answer.
Design mentoring - this is an idea shown to me during a PDCcourse, where students went away with their newfound knowledge and each had to come back with a design, which was then openly discussed by the group and critiqued by the teachers. I'm thinking this could lead into the group building a mock up of the best voted design.
Well prepared notes to take home - A one-time effort to condense your knowledge can be copied and copied (and revised) and copied, and kept by each person who comes through your course for times when their ready to revisit and remember what they learned. It's difficult to measure how valuable this can be.
Finally, inviting people into the localRMH community - hermits like me need a poke and a prod sometimes to get involved and connected with like-minded others. By the end of a course, if run with this communo-centric view, we can find ourselves volunteered already, and may stay in touch and build community together.
I'm sure much of that has already crossed your mind, and many may have been experimented with, but I hope there's some crumbs worth chewing on in there.
Ditto on this getting so few replies. Perhaps this round of remarks will renew the spark
The points you mentioned are all important. What I think is of great importance in a hands on work shop, is getting one's hands in the mix! It's one thing to watch videos and listen to descriptions of the cob and perlite/clay mixes. But quite another thing to FEEL it in your paws! That would be the big "extra" point I'd want to out of a live work shop. I want to develop a feel for the goop! And of each major type (insulating cob, base cob, finishing cob, and also the perlite clay mix for those who want to insulate their fire riser).
Designing all forms of vertical batch box heaters including heating water and an oven to bake in. How to properly lay-up large walls of both firebricks and red brick for bell construction. Also how to deal with building inspections and insurance.