Firewood is loaded and ready to burn in this 6 KW Soapstone/Sandstone masonry heater.  Curved benches and a wide mantle grace this asymmetrical masterpiece.  Though not obvious here, this is a two-story heater culminating in a soapstone bench upstairs.  The original exterior design of this masonry heater is by architect Martin Johannessen at Harmoni Designs. The oven in this masonry heater is a white oven that never sees any smoke or fire.  The oven walls are surrounded by the flues of the heater (you can see a cleanout access door into one of the flues in the back wall) while the oven floor rests on top of the combustion chamber ceiling.  Prepare to bake! This photo highlights the patchwork quilt nature of the exterior stones.  The red sandstone has hues going from a light orange to a deep red in color.  The soapstone is either characteristically gray or a deep blue.  Orange iron veins run in much of the soapstone, complementing the neighboring sandstone. Soapstone mantles with a full 8' reveal wrap two sides of the heater.  Virtually every surface of this heater, like these mantles, are a radiating surface adding to the comfort within the home. The ability to store wood is a great feature when built into the heater.  This storage area is framed by meticulously cut sandstone slabs. The natural edge of the sandstone on a bench corner is juxtaposed with the precisely sawn corner of the soapstone. Unpretentious exquisite details are common aspects of a craftsman's work. Dominating this side of the masonry heater is a dramatic curve where soapstone and sandstone vie for attention.  The very thin joint between soapstone and sandstone reveal the care and precision in fabrication. The soapstone for this project is laden with fantastic coloration and veining.  The iron content of the soapstone lends a rusty color that is a perfect companion to the various red tones of the sandstone. Viewed from the right front, one can see the deep, curved benches flanking both front and side.  The circular black iron grate in the lower right of the picture is the combustion air intake which is controlled by the red knob also seen in the lower part of the photo. The front bench of the heater is created by one huge slab of soapstone more than four feet wide and twenty inches deep at its largest end.  More wood storage means dry fuel is readily available for the next firing. Curved benches, as on this heater, can help preserve walkway space around the heater.  Absent this curve, the bench here would interfere with a much-used pathway into the kitchen.  Curves on the heater were cut with a diamond-edged bandsaw. The dry wood in the optimally calculated firebox burns very hot with a bright – almost white – flame.  The key to clean combustion in a masonry heater is a well-designed, properly sized firebox along with good, dry fuel.