(From the Yahoo Masonry Heater list ), August 4/09

RE: [MasonryHeaters] Re: training

My son, Gus, and I are planning a workshop at Wild Acres the week of Oct 5th.  It will focus on the Finnish Contraflow as taught to me by Heikki Hyytiainen in 1983  (again in 2007), and basic brick laying skills that I experienced in a six month community college construction course in 1974.  These two experiences are defining landmarks and primary in my career as a heater builder and contain information that I can easily and with confidence pass on. 

Other situations in my development and learning, however memorable and very significant, can be discussed, but in my thinking would be third hand information, hyperbolic, and myth.  I am grateful and heap credit on Albie Barden, with whom I worked with in 1979, as it was his situation and invite that got me started on this journey. 

Other experiences include a Tulikivi, Royal Crown (Swedish kachelugn), Tempcast and brief Biofire dealership and making molds and endless discussions with Norbert Senf.  Those were the late '80's to mid '90's when a dealership in masonry heaters was my going thing.  Making money and sitting on your marketing empire...

From the mid 90's to present I have been visiting Europe to see the culture of masonry heat. Firstly, visiting my grandfather's village in Eastern Slovakia, where being invited into my mother's cousin's home I saw a heater.  Since that experience I have established a relationship with Vladimir Institoris, one of Slovakia's foremost heater builder's and custom tile maker and executive in the Slovakia MHA.  We have built 10 heaters together both in SK and the US.  I have also assisted Heikki in workshops in Hungary and Czech Republic and soloed  workshops in Great Britian, Slovakia, Japan and here at home.  This summer I helped Lars Helbro teach heater building to seven students on his island, Drejo, Denmark. where his goal was to recreate the Wild Acres experience. It was a great success.

We think there is room for 10-12 participants for this workshop.  We will build a contraflow and teach and drill 'to the line' and 'lead building' bricklaying.  There will be a daily, morning round table discussion in the Wild Acres library (when everyone is clean) and a formal, end of the day conclusion before happy hour.  We will also include field trips to my jobs and discussions with my customer/neighbors and hopefully guest speakers from the building industry that have been my customers.  The program is evolving, like this posting, and can be discuss via email, phone and as alway on Yahoo with the world. 

Cost is $700.  It includes four nights with meals (depart Friday noon) and Gus as our laborer.  The unit could be purchased by a participant.  We will establish a break even attendance number, so don't buy your tickets until...and expect a full refund if we don't connect with that number. 

And, we don't believe in gurus.

Warm regards,

Tom Trout
Vesta Masonry Stove Inc
Burnsville, NC
828 675 5247