The Kyarazen “Subitism” burner/heater was conceptualized over a year ago, amidst the woes of having to procure and light high quality charcoal, preparing proper kodo-cups, enjoying a few short moments of fragrant wood slivers before the coal became less hot. Other frustrations came from commercial products, such as Chinese-style ceramic electric heaters that didn’t function well enough to replicate the performance of coal, with poor temperatures achieved resulting in many different aloeswood chips to smell the same, sweet, light, vanillic.
Without any commercial device that could satisfy my requirements, I had to design and make it myself. That was how the “Subitism” was born. Through many experiments ranging from varying heating element patterns and designs, heating wire types and modes, and burning all sorts of substrates from fragrant wood, granulated incenses, to neri-kohs or pressed incense, an optimum design and operating temperature for a heater was determined.
The current design that has been in use daily for the past few months has an over-spec-ed heating element that promises durability, coupled with pure metal and high quality mica-sheet structures for support and insulation that are jointed mechanically. A simple circuit design, and with an aim to be energetically efficient, the heater uses a very basic power supply of 12 volts at 24 watts max consumption.
The Subitism is not made of rocket science, it is made by pure passion. It operates on a unique heating concept, using infra-red. This is unlike other heaters that heats through direct contact, in the Subitism, there is a 2 millimetre gap between the heating element and the overlaid mica sheet onto which fragrant materials will be put. The burner has a decent infra-red penetration depth of about 1 centimetre, with the temperature dropping exponentially from 4mm above the element surface. A mica-sheet must always be used over the heating wires, at no time, should the heating wire touch any thing or incense/materials.
To vary temperatures for burning different materials (refer to the manual!), mica sheets of different thickness or overlapping several mica sheets can be used. Typical recommended wood chip size to be burnt on the burner should be under half a centimeter thick for best efficiency (2-3mm thick would be good).
The 1” by 1” heating element comes mounted onto a ceramic dish, held in place by magnets, and thus can be detached if one wishes to mount it into their own ceramic burners or crucibles. In the picture below, I modified a friend’s chinese ceramic heater by stripping out the original parts within, i.e. a high wattage resistor that is used as a source of heat. I then installed one unit of Subitism into it.
Having enjoyed the Subitism burner myself so much that I use it for a couple of hours daily, I’m extending the joy to everyone by offering a limited release of eight burner units, which a month was spent on the making and assembling of. Entirely hand made from scratch, every burner has its heating wires carefully and meticulously threaded through tiny holes precisely made in a mica sheet. If you wish to procure one, I have them listed on my Etsy shop.
As a device capable of generating high temperatures, please exercise caution in its use. Keep it away from children, and do not leave it unattended!
Burning of sandalwood
Burning of kynam
Burning of Agarwood
Burning of Granulated Incense (Shokoh)