About Chapala Chimemea
Chapala Chimeneas are authentic ancient designs; which have been handed down through countless generations of Aztec, Chilean, Inca, Myan and Peruvian peoples dwelling in the South American Andes Mountains. Thoroughly researched from archaeological records dating back centuries; each design reflects the artistry, craftsmanship and the culture of its roots.
Originally installed indoors as charcoal fired ovens and heaters for family warmth, today’s Chimeneas are radiant heaters, extending your season of comfortable outdoor entertaining and family living. Exclusive use of only quality materials has been proven internationally as the most critical factor in achieving brilliant radiant heating performance and long-term durability.
Enjoy the warmth of Chapala Chimeneas with a magical and uniquely appealing open fire ambience!
Chapala Chimeneas are 100% handcrafted by experienced craftsman using 3 types of volcanic clay colloquially known as “El Barro” clay. These are mixed together in a specific combination that gives the finished chimenea the beneficial characteristics of each clay while minimizing the negative traits of each. “Blanco” makes up the bulk of the clay, “Rojo” is added for its elasticity and colour; and “Negro” to prevent cracking whilst drying and to make the clay more manageable to work with. The ratio is a time-honoured recipe perfected over centuries. The clays are combined in a dry format by hand, turning with shovels. A well is made in the centre of the mixture to which water is added. The dry clay is folded into the centre with shovels until all of the water has been incorporated. The clay is then kneaded for several hours by mashing it with the workers feet.
The process is carefully followed so the pieces are not compromised; avoiding cracking during the drying or firing process and producing a quality product. The clay is rolled out like dough to the desired thickness and the slab sections worked into the moulds. Each piece is left to dry in the mould for only a day before removing; then the surface is smoothed by hand, and left to dry for another 5 days, or more during the rainy season. The pottery goes into an ancient kiln that is wood fired for 6 hours and then cooled overnight. The paint is coloured from blends of chalk and applied using drenched cotton string. Several coats of different colour paint are applied, followed by a sandy mixture giving it an ancient appearance. The final step is to apply a high heat varnish to seal the finish and protect it from the elements. Built to exacting standards of manufacturing and best practise, Chapala Chimeneas have achieved a reputation for design, performance & durability. ENJOY!