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Q: When you build a sauna on the ice don’t you worry about melting through the ice?

A: Yes, we do worry about that. Rest assured that we are building the tipi on a raised wooden deck on skids. This allows for an insulating air cushion between the structure and the ice. It also makes it possible for us to move the structure should the ice start to melt. In addition, there will be a thick layer of foam insulation between the tipi floor and the deck. The two wood stoves will be placed on brick to keep them from burning through the floor. Finally, we are all very grateful that warm air rises.

Q: Elaine, you were born in Burma. Aren’t you going to be cold?

A: Yes, I think I will be very cold. Brrrr. But I am looking forward to the glamorous woolen and down wardrobe I now have an excuse to acquire. I’m also confident that the sauna room will be consistently warm if not tropical if we have enough wood to burn. If you would like to make sure I stay warm and stylishly unfrostbitten, help us buy a wood stove and firewood by clicking the the “donate” button on the right.

Q: How far is Medicine Lake from Minneapolis?

A: You can find out on the Art Shanty Projects website, click here.

Q: If I want to build a tipi, what should I do first?

A: You should buy this book by Linda A. Holley: Tipis, Tepees, Teepees. It will tell you everything you need to know.

Q: Can you watch TV out there?

A: No, there will be no electricity in the Black Bania. I’ll have to snowshoe to a sports bar to watch the Olympics.

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