April 21, 2010

Cob Pizza Oven: Day Two

The Cob Oven Project continues! Day 2 happened this last Sunday.
It started out with mud, ended with mud and in between there was a little mud.

Bobby and Mike mix clay and sawdust in the barrow....

Then use their feet to finish the job.

The mixture was used to cement glass bottles in the center of the keystone base to provide heat insulation.

On top of the bottles, sand was spread.

And leveled.

And scored.

Then fire bricks were soaked in water before being laid out on the base.

A precise affair, as they were laid out several times to get it just right. Hard to tell if they were wrong to begin with, or if we were just working with two men who like to get everything just right.

The circular dimension of the oven was drawn out.

Then the mold was constructed out of sand. The mold represents the negative space of the oven and will later be removed. Imagine a pizza baking where that sand is... mmm, crunchy.

The next layer was damp newspaper over the sand. This will help facilitate the removal of the sand once all the outer layers are dry.

Time for more mud!

Constructing the next layer of clay and sand was the hardest layer to get right. We had to mix many, many batches, as it kept slumping. It was a long process of scraping, patting and hoping it would stay in one place. As you can see I jumped in to help on this layer, as the end of the day was quickly approaching and we were desperate to finish.

Covered, and waiting for another dry day. It'll have to wait for a month or so while Bobby is back east teaching a cob workshop on Martha's Vineyard. Til then!

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