Originally, all ceramic open fire garden heaters imported to the US from Mexico were known as chimeneas. They originated hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago, by Mexican tribesmen who developed the chimeneas as a means of providing heat for their family as well as a vessel for cooking and baking.
Chimeneas made from cast iron or aluminium are also available. They can be of traditional shape or of many different designs. Most have a total height of about five feet and are about two feet across the firebox. Some metal chimeneas have a grated door to close off the fireplace opening and a spark arrestor atop the stack. Metal chimeneas are much more durable than the ceramic versions but are more expensive.
In Mexico, when the cooking pot or Chimenea cracked and fell apart, the people simply scooped some more mud or river clay together and made another.
A Chimenea can also be repaired by the use of automotive repair putty or high temperature epoxy to join major parts. Fresh clay can be used as a final binder after application of glue. After the Chimenea is left to cure for 24hrs a small fire should be set to cure the glue and clay.
Chimeneas are biodegradable. They can be disposed of by smashing to bits and using in gardening.