We use the location and participants at the 2013 Design Inquiry as a means to create stations for cooking. The objects or tools made during the week subjected participant’s heirloom recipes to a set of constraints. Below are the tools we’ve made and the research gathered.

The Wonderbag is a thermal slow cooking device designed to reduce the amount of fuel required. Instead of being placed on a stove for the duration of the cooking period, food is instead heated to the correct temperature on a stove and then transferred to the Wonderbag, which uses the principle of thermal insulation to continue the cooking process without the application of additional heat.


During the week we tested and were repeatedly impressed by how hot food was kept in this device. Most of the participants were very unsure of how it worked, what to cook in it, or to trust it’s function. Left to it’s own devices the wonderbag probably would have sat on the shelf without the encouragement of it’s maker identifying and urging use from others. I had done a significant amount of research, however never tested it out. Never the less the first recipe tested was an heirloom spaghetti sauce cooked from memory by Garreth Blackwell. As the tool maker I guided the use of, answered a few questions yet gave full control of the process over to Garreth. He cooked the sauce till boiling point then transferred the pot into the bag, it then sat for 4 hours. At the time of serving, the sauce was piping hot. Sean Wilkinson then fully cooked a Pork Roast for six hours and the bag was used as a oatmeal warmer during morning breakfasts.


Sean Wilkinson then fully cooked a Pork Roast for six hours and the bag was used as a oatmeal warmer during morning breakfasts.

Often when discussing reducing one’s carbon footprint rarely does a discussion of daily actives such as cooking come up. Devices such as these are unknown to the general public and can’t be bought in the united states.



The Dutch Oven has been used as cooking vessels for hundreds of years. The cast-iron cookware was used by American colonists and settlers because of its versatility and durability. It could be used for boiling, baking, stews, frying, roasting, and just about any other use. The ovens were so valuable that wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently spelled out the desired inheritor of the cast iron cookware. For example, Mary Ball Washington (mother of President George Washington) specified in her will, dated 20 May 1788, that one-half of her “iron kitchen furniture” should go to her grandson, Fielding Lewis, and the other half to Betty Carter, a granddaughter. Several Dutch ovens were among Mary’s “iron kitchen furniture. Via Wikipedia



bean hole beans




The Geodesic Oven: In order to have access to a cob style earth oven in such a short time frame I have designed and am constructing a cob style oven. By using hand pressed hexagonal and pentagonal ceramic plates a geodesic dome can be assembled quickly to create an oven that is both portable and capable of with standing the temperatures necessary for baking.

The Cob Oven: The traditional direct-fired masonry design is often called a “Roman” or “black” oven and dates in Western culture to at least the Roman Republic. It is known as a black oven because the smoke from the wood used as fuel sometimes collects as soot on the roof of the oven. Such ovens were in wide use throughout medieval Europe and were often built to serve entire communities (cf the banal ovens of France, which were often owned by the local government and whose operators charged a fee to oven users). Such ovens became popular in the Americas during the colonial era and are still in wide use in artisanal bakeries and pizzerias, as well as some restaurants featuring pizzas and baked dishes. Descendants include the beehive ovens of the colonial United States and the Quebec ovens based on the designs of the banal ovens of France. In the precolumbian Americas, similar ovens were often made of clay or adobe and are sometimes referred to by the Spanish term horno (meaning “oven”).

Cob Oven

Geodesic Dome: A geodesic dome is a spherical or partial-spherical shell structure or lattice shell based on a network of great circles (geodesics) on the surface of a sphere. The geodesics intersect to form triangular elements that have local triangular rigidity and also distribute the stress across the structure. The first dome that could be called “geodesic” in every respect was designed after World War I by Walther Bauersfeld,[1] chief engineer of the Carl Zeiss optical company, for a planetarium to house his planetarium projector. Some 20 years later, R. Buckminster Fuller named the dome “geodesic” from field experiments with artist Kenneth Snelson at Black Mountain College in 1948 and 1949.








Moonshine Still: A still is an apparatus used to distill miscible or immiscible (e.g. steam distillation) liquid mixtures by heating to selectively boil and then cooling to condense the vapor. Stills have been used to produce perfume and medicine, Water for Injection (WFI) for pharmaceutical use, generally to separate and purify different chemicals, and most famously, to produce distilled beverages containing ethyl alcohol. Although evidence of intentionally fermented beverages goes back 9000 years, clear evidence of distillation begins during the first century AD. Because traditionally stills are made with copper and require metal-smithing skills I have opted for a more practical and easily manufactured still using plumbing parts and a stainless steal pot.



spruce infused moonshine

spruce infused moonshine


bacon and charcoal infused moonshine



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