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For the past few years at the annual meetings of the Masonry Heater Association of North America which takes place at the Wild Acres Retreat Center in Little Switzerland, a design contest has been held for the best masonry heater, the best masonry bake oven and this year for the best masonry project.

Entries are submitted with descriptions but no names of the builders. Last year, Maine Wood Heat entered a photo of a large split face soapstone heater with a heated bench and split faced soapstone veneered chimney into the competition. The heater featured a beautiful new door that we have begun to offer from our partners in Finland and the heater won first place in the competition.

This year, having won in the heater category last year, we could only enter the bake oven category and to this category we submitted three entries. Two of them were copper ovens. One was on a dry stacked rock base with a curved polished concrete top and the second was on a pre-fabricated metal stand that Scott Barden had designed. The third unit was an antique brick and antique granite oven that Albie had designed and built for Michael Scholz and his wife, Julie, in Albion, Maine a few years ago. Over one hundred masons and interested persons and do it yourselfers attended this year’s conference and as a group with secret ballots, the group voted the antique brick and granite oven the best bake oven in the competition.

We are very pleased with this honor and will do all we can in the future to produce masonry heaters and bake ovens of great beauty as well as great function. We are very grateful to the attendees at Wild Acres for their praise for our work.

Many thanks,

Albie Barden
Maine Wood Heat