StoveLab is a collaborative experiment with foundation students
at the Massachusetts College of Art exploring the potentials
of high-efficiency stoves and the production of biomass fuels.
This two-week project provided a unique and often chaotic
approach to the concept of art and cultural production, our
potential response to extended emergency situations, and
the ecological use of sustainable fuels. The goal for StoveLab
was to collaboratively design, produce, and test a variety of
Using limited materials, resources, time, and tools; this group
of mainly freshmen students researched and produced a variety
of stoves, but mainly focused on the ‘rocket stove.’ Developed
by Dr. Larry Winiarski at the Aprovecho Research Center,
the ‘rocket stove’ is a high efficiency wood stove that uses a
minimum of fuel to produce high heat and resulting in little
production of smoke or particulate matter. This exhibition
highlights some of the many variations on this stove.
As a collaborative experiment, the entire group was responsible
for the entire production of this exhibition. An underlying concept
for this project was to take advantage of the wide variety of
Foundation Department disciplines. While some students took
on the role of stove producers, others took on the role of
documenting and editing the process. Other students created
videos, worked the menu for the food event, created the
didactics, arranged the exhibition, and designed posters
and logos for the project. Thanks to all who participated,
Foundation Professors Marc Holland and Taylor Davis,
and Jane Marsching. Special Thanks to Janna Longacre
and Tom Gothers of the Ceramics Department for their
generosity of knowledge and use of facilities.
GALLERY AS LABORATORY
MIXING PERLITE AND CEMENT
PAPER TUBES AND CANS AS FORMS
CASTING IN PERLITE AND CEMENT
TESTING THE STOVES
HOW TO BUILD A SIMPLE ROCKET STOVE
Variation on the 16 brick stove
Mixing terracotta and sawdust, 2:1 ratio
the mix to make lightweight refractory bricks
Consult with the ceramics tech and filling brick forms
Bricks and putting them into the kiln to fire at 1000 degrees. The sawdust burns out leaving bricks with many air pockets to insulate the combustion chamber of the stove.
THE EXHIBITION AND FOOD EVENT
Enjoying homemade potato soup cooked on the stoves.
Prep work and tending stoves
Thanks to everyone who spent time to participate in this unique project and make it a success.
Also thanks to the Aprovecho Research Center for inspiring and informing this project.
drill, drill bits, sharpie, tin snips, pliers
Take two different sized tin cans, with the sharpie, trace the size of the smaller can onto the larger one. Using the drill, make holes just inside the circumfrence of the circle.
Using tin snips, clip the remaining tin until the hole is opened. Use the pliers to bend back the sharp ends.
Remove both ends of the smaller can. With the tin snips, cut one end of the smaller can into flanges.
Push the flanges in to insert the smaller can into the larger one. Fold the flanges back to hold it in place. Cut a tongue from scrap metal to hold the fuel and allow air flow underneath.