I love making things. And in particular, I really love to finish projects. I like finishing a good workout too, but sometimes I just like to be able to look at and use the thing I finish. Workout are useful in their own way, but just not very tangible after the fact, except maybe in your sore muscles. Making food is nice–you look at it briefly, and taste it, and transform it into useful energy–but its not around very long. For this reason, I was real psyched to finish our bread oven today. Now that it’s done we can look at it, touch it, and most of all, bake delicious things in it for a long time to come!
We’ve been working on building the oven for the past few months. We started by trucking load after load of stone from the pile in our field over to the center. We made the base with field-stone, mortar, and cement. Our masonry started off a little shaky, but improved as we got higher up on the base. The structure of the oven arch was made of brick laid over a wooden form that we later burnt out. The final step was a 6-inch layer of cob-a mix of clay that we dug ourselves, sand, and straw. Putting the cob oven, I sort of felt like I was massaging an elephant or something. Today we put on the final layer of cob, and lit a fire to help speed it’s drying process. It felt awesome to be finishing something!!