Our New Earthen Oven – Part 1

3 December
I can almost taste the pizza from our new earth oven. I installed some round poles for support so I can have some storage area underneath for wood. Then I covered it all with medium size wood and twigs to keep the mud from falling through. I then built up the final layer of adobes around the edge which will house the insulation for underneath the hearth. I am using a natural insulant which is a mixture of clay slip (liquid clay) and sawdust. When the sawdust burns out it creates air pockets which provides the insulation. I am also packing this material around recycled glass bottles. Finally the top has been flattened off and we are ready to lay the hearth and start the oven. More updates real soon!

6 December
I am finally raising the dome! Things are going very smoothly. We first placed all of the hearth bricks where I wanted them, starting from the front so there is a slight lip where the ashes can be scooped out into a bucket. Then we drew out the interior of the oven on the bricks with a diameter of 2.5 feet. We cut off the excess with a grinder and then removed the hearth bricks to lay down a thin layer of sand and leveled it off. We set the hearth back into place, tapping them down to get the surface as smooth as possible. Now, it’s time for the initial door arch. All is looking good! I pre-dried 3×3 inch adobes to make the construction process easier. I was originally going to use a sand form for the interior but at the last minute decided to try my hand at just using a simple arch made out of corrugated cardboard, the same as i did with the door arch. It was very easy and quick but will get more difficult near the apex of the dome. This is where a good and sticky mortar comes in handy! I am shooting for next Saturday’s pizza night. Wish me luck!

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