“We have heard that the insides of ovens built of this stone, when in use, never crumble or burn, but rather melt and solder together." Uusi Suometar, Friday 19th of September, 1873*
For more than a hundred years, it was known that fireplaces with a brown, hardened soapstone fire chamber release heat for a long period of time, offer great durability and also cook food better than any other kind of fireplace. In the now-distant past, experienced fireplace masters chose the type of soapstone for their fire chambers with great care to ensure that every fireplace that they built had all of the above qualities.
The guild of the master fireplace builders lived in Nunnanlahti, Finland, in the 1800s. Once a suitable stone deposit had been located and quarried, the stone was sawn – perpendicular to the foliation for the inner fireplace stones, and parallel to the foliation for the surface stones. Depending on their plane of cut, the stones were used to achieve different directions of heat transfer in the finished soapstone fireplace.
The fireplace masters always selected the very best fireproof type of soapstone for the fire chamber. Their reputation as a good fireplace master, both in their own village and in the neighbouring villages, depended on it. The characteristics of a proper fireplace, like the durable fire chamber to last for decades, good baking properties and consistent emission of heat, ensured the future well-being of the master and his family.
We at NunnaUuni continue to uphold this know-how. We harness the benefits of soapstone into fireplaces which bring comfortable warmth for the modern home. Read more about our unique soapstone type called Mammutti soapstone.
*) Source: Uusi Suometar, issue 110, 19/9/1873; National Library of Finland, digitised materials