When I first came across Rita’s precious chiminea’s I was in awe. I had never seen a little object like it, so divine and so uniquely rare. A few years ago, I bought a few and gifted them to my loved ones during the holidays. One of which was my boyfriend Carter, so now it is in our home. Everyone that comes over is so intrigued by the little object. After using it daily, I knew I imagined how beautiful it would be in an earthy terracotta color. This is when the conversation of collaboration began with Rita. Her work is out of this world, and I hold our creation together near and dear to my heart.
From here, our Red Clay Chiminea was born. Our Chiminea hut is made from our very own Mother Nature’s red clay, designed to bring warmth into your home. Each Chiminea is hand thrown in Los Angeles by the most brilliant ceramic artist, Rita Valencia. I worked with Rita to create a design that set my heart on fire. It came down to a mix of mid-century modern meets earthy. Each chiminea is made with 100% true terra-cotta red clay, fired in Terra-Cotta traditions, and well-formed by hand.
The original small chiminea came from Rita’s own desire of her own personal chiminea for her meditation practice. As she said, “At the center where I go for retreat and practice in the mountains of Tehachapi, there is a daily “smoke offering on the mountain” where a large “Sang Khang” – Tibetan for chiminea – is loaded with dried branches that have fallen from the tall pines. The fire is set, and then once these have burned down, green sprigs of fir and incense gathered from the local trees and shrubs is added to create an aromatic smoke. This smoke is blessed and becomes an expression of gratitude and compassion. Naturally I wanted a Sang Khang for my home practice but most that were commercially available were much too big and would not be appropriate for the already polluted city. I searched in vain for one that would be small enough, so I decided I would make one.” ~ Rita Valencia
I love to burn many different therapeutic scents in my chiminea. From Palo Santo to Sage to Earthy incenses to Dried Herbs, the chiminea is the perfect home for all of the above. I light my chiminea every morning during my meditation practice – it is always burning throughout my home.
The history of incense burning dates to 6000 years ago. Burning incenses are proven to ground the mind, body & spirit. They also stimulate creativity and open the mind.
I sat down with Rita and chatted with her about her journey, her meditation practice and what these precious chiminea’s mean to her. Please enjoy our conversation.