Originating in Mexico, clay chimineas are a functional garden decoration. Shaped like a pot with a long neck, a chiminea's unique shape is perfect for making outdoor fires. Build a small fire in the base of the chiminea and let the smoke puff out the top. The long chimney-like neck helps to keep smoke out of your face. Perfect for springtime, clay chimineas radiate warmth safely without getting too hot to the touch.
As a decorative piece, clay chimineas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. While all chimineas will have a rounded base and top chimney, that is where the similarity ends. The shape of the bottom can be more circular or twist in unusual ways. There are even some versions that have a face around the fire or a design printed on a grate for the fire. The chimney part of the chimineas can also have different designs like a sun or an abstract pattern imprinted in the clay.
Although chimineas are also available in cast iron and aluminum, clay chimineas provide a unique charm and stay cool to the touch. Modern looking metal chimineas often get hot to the touch. The rust proofing paint can also flake off after multiple uses. Clay chimineas are cooler to the touch when there is a fire inside. With proper care and maintenance, they can last more than 15 years. The warm colors of the clay and flame are evocative of the desert in any location.
A clay chiminea can safely warm your outdoor patio for years. Although there were some safety concerns with clay chimineas cracking some years ago, these concerns have been addressed. As chimineas grew popular, some manufacturers were unable to keep up with the demand. Now, manufacturers, like Fired Up Designs, have developed processes to confirm their chimineas are safe and easy to use. To achieve a truly authentic feel, choose a terracotta clay chiminea that was made in Mexico. Used properly, this high quality chimineas from Mexico can last for years.
Owners can also extend the lifetime of clay chimineas by properly maintaining these functional pieces of art. Clay weakens in the cold, so storing a clay chiminea inside over the winter will help preserve its integrity. As a natural material, clay also takes time to warm up to consistent fires. Starting with small fires is a great way to "break in" your chiminea for the first time or after a long period of disuse. With proper care, a chiminea can safely maintain fires in your backyard for years to come.
It's easy and safe to warm your garden area with the desert tones and cracking flames of a clay chiminea.