Sunday, August 5, 2012

making an oven again

 More extensive photos of this are on Facebook, but here's a summary of what I helped make last weekend. You may recall that our last year's Living History week's oven fell apart over the winter (sounds of weeping offstage). So we are learning from that experience and doing it better, with the help of Build Your Own Earth Oven, 3d edition. Reportedly in the 4th edition he says that making a portable oven is a bad idea, but that's what we need to make.

So! In a wooden frame that allows the oven to be moved (since we can't have a permanent oven at Fort Rodd Hill) on a layer of insulating fill, a firebrick and cob base is laid.

A sand form patted into place to be the core. This will be removed after the oven is built around it.

A layer of newspaper to make it easy to tell which is the sand form and which is the cob wall.

A layer of cob is the innermost wall of the oven. 

And here's the crew watching the door being opened up at the end of the first day.
 The second day. The cob layer has dried somewhat. Cracks have been covered with more cob.

Adding a doorway that the wooden door (leaning against the platform) can rest against. The doorway is built of straw ropes rolled in slip. 

An insulating layer of slip and wood shavings is patted on.  The sand core was pulled out at this point to allow the interior to dry more easily.

An outer layer of cob mixed with chopped straw comes next. This is where any modelling and decoration is applied. We limited ourselves to two 'ropes', similar to the decoration of last year's oven.

And here it is, smoking away with the first drying fire. Quite expressive, don't you think?


Terri-Lynne said...

That is way too cool. I want one in my yard!!!

batgirl said...

You can build one in a weekend. And bigger, because yours wouldn't need to be moved each year. Would Frank like wood-fired pizza?