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Erica Wisner
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Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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books cat dog food preservation hugelkultur
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Hello all,
This is something I've been wanting to do for ages - a paper / electronic version of our Fire Science Theater presentations.
It's like the prequel to rocket mass heater design, but it can take you in so many other directions too.

I just committed to actually doing it as a booklet, to support our friend Calen putting his rocket mass heater instructional DVD on the front burner. (Yay!)
So I'm putting the first draft of this book out by January 22, as a little something for the Kickstarter fundraiser for that DVD.

It's The Art of Fire, or more specifically, the art of Clean Fire.


Here's the table of contents as it stands:

I) Preparations:
Stone: the hearth
Water: the antidote
Iron: the tools

II) Makings:
Wood: the fuel
Heat: the spark
Air: the flow
...The Fire Triangle

III) Forms:
Grid, V, tipi, lights, smokers,
cookstoves, fireplaces, heaters

IV) Spirit and Practice:
Fire in the soul

I promised 20 pages, but it's looking like twice that. Already 36. I could use some help winnowing out what's essential, especially from those who've attended workshops with us.

What's critical for a book about clean fire? (Dry wood, and a non-combustible hearth... Analysis of combustion? Or just simple how-to?)
What's not? (Should I omit the primitive stove design and Rumford fireplace? How much detail is appropriate about spiritual/religious fires?)
Should I include references, or make it simple and self-contained?

What are your pet insights and pet peeves about fire making? Why does clean fire matter?
Ever try to teach someone about this stuff?

What have been your most powerful insights or memories around fire?
Any especially rewarding personal practices or habits you've developed?

If you're willing to be quoted in the book, please make that clear - or I'll contact you to make sure. Mostly I'm just hoping for a good discussion, to serve as a kind of straw poll and inform my editing choices.

If you have a photo or piece of art that you'd like to contribute, feel free to post it here, or ideally a web-sized version or a link.
Especially if you've got good photos from our Fire Science Theater lectures, I would appreciate access and permission. I could use an image of the Combustible Chimney demo, for example, and the Swedish Candle. And if you don't mind sharing the most vivid memories from that experience, that would be very useful feedback for us as presenters and for me writing this book.

I will cite all contributors whose work I use - photographer credits, your website or professional credentials, or an anonymous thanks in the preface, your choice.
I am not offering compensation at this time, although I can send a courtesy copy of the finished work to contributors whose work is used.

Calen Kennet's offered me some snapshots of bow-drill and primitive fire, woo-hoo! (He's the videographer on the DVD, and the photographer for one of our most popular rocket mass heater designs: the Bonny 8 Convection Bench.)
And Kiko Denzer (author of the Earth Oven book) has lent me some of his fire-related earthen plaster art. Thanks to both.

If you want a copy of this Art of Fire booklet, you can
- pre-order a PDF with a $10 contribution,
- or a paper copy (plus the DVD) for a larger contribution,
in the next few weeks through the Kickstarter fundraiser for the DVD. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/673303251/rocket-stove-instructional-dvd

Once the pre-sales are over, we'll post the booklet for sale online, and I may do a give-away through Paul's daily-ish email.
And of course, this thread could blossom into a rich resource in itself.

thanks for any thoughts on this, sooner the better!

- Erica W
(Here's a few more of the photos we have in hand, in our website's clunky attempt to get at these ideas: http://www.ErnieandErica.info/firescience)
 
Jamie Corne
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Erica Wisner wrote:Hello all,
This is something I've been wanting to do for ages - a paper / electronic version of our Fire Science Theater presentations.
It's like the prequel to Rocket Mass Heater design, but it can take you in so many other directions too.

I just committed to actually doing it as a booklet, to support our friend Calen putting his rocket mass heater instructional DVD on the front burner. (Yay!)
So I'm putting the first draft of this book out by January 22, as a little something for the Kickstarter fundraiser for that DVD.

It's The Art of Fire, or more specifically, the art of Clean Fire.




The best birthday present anyone could ever give me! yay Even if it's one day early!

Thanks, Erica!
 
Michael Newby
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
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For me, I remember one of the simple concepts that really had an "aha!" effect on me was understanding that it's really about keeping the fire triangle in the right proportion. To help visualize this I think of perfect burn as being a perfect equilateral triangle, where as a smokey burn can be thought of as a triangle with different length sides: Fuel leg too long because of too much fuel being exposed to heat at one time, air leg too short because of too small of a draft, etc.

With the examples, it might help to point out which leg of the fire triangle different features are aimed at: A properly installed chimney helps draft -> bigger air leg of the triangle, small fire area exposes less fuel to the heat -> smaller fuel and heat legs, intense well-managed burn -> bigger heat leg, etc.

Just my 2 cents as a visual learner, use as you like.

As a side note since you're likely to read this, just wanted to say thank you for all that you and Ernie have done to foster the growth of knowledge regarding RSMHs, your dedication and work has been literally inspiring!
 
Erica Wisner
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Posts: 1183
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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books cat dog food preservation hugelkultur
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Shoulda mentioned IT'S REAL!
It's up on our online store, and I have about half a case of lovely printed copies in case you want to wrap one up for a ski-cabin Christmas present.

The Art of Fire (digital version, with sample pages to peek through)

I don't currently have an online store set up for the physical books and DVDs, but I am happy to handle mail-orders by email.
PM or pull my email from the profile for details.

Yours,
Erica W
 
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