I speak from experience when I say that it's actually fun to go into the woods, saw up fallen trees, then bring the wood home to burn over the winter. What isn't so much fun is subsequently sawing the logs into stove-length pieces. With the Spruce Stove, however, you don't have to – you just continuously feed one long log in as it burns, sort of like feeding a pencil into a pencil sharpener.
The stove was created by Dutch designers Roel de Boer and Michiel Martens.
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Users start by placing a log (a section of tree trunk, really) on the adjustable-height support stand, then pushing it into the cylindrical stove – presumably a small fire has already been started in there, using kindling. Once the business end of the log is in, a steel diaphragm is closed around it. From there, users just periodically push the log in a little farther, as the end of it burns away.
The stove itself features fireproof concrete bricks on the inside, to absorb and radiate heat. It also has steel fins on the outside, to increase its heat-radiating surface area.
Looking at it, though, one does have to wonder how safe it is. If left unattended, wouldn't the burning section of the log extend out through the diaphragm? Not according to Martens. "What many people think is that the fire will pop out of the stove, but it doesn't," he says. "The draft of the fire sucks the flames inwards."
It also seems likely that, in many homes, bringing those long logs into the house could be rather difficult. That said, though, the stove wasn't designed purely for convenience. "I always look for boundaries of expectation, you think you see what it is but there is always a strange angle in material use, shaping, flexibility or just the whole concept," says Martens. "It is a stove for people who are not afraid of a little adventure, it is a playful stove and you need to play with it to get the touch."
If you're not afraid of a little adventure, you can buy a Spruce Stove of your own. Martens and de Boer are about to start a very limited-edition production run (just 10 units), with each stove priced at €4,500 (about US$6,050).
Source: Spruce StoveView gallery - 8 images