Is it made of earth or brick? This is a common distinction in the world of wood-fired ovens and comes with a whole slew of assumptions. “Earth ovens are cheaper, easier to build but less durable.” “Brick ovens are expensive, harder to build but more professional and will last longer.” The oven build documented below is an exploration of the combination of these techniques to leverage the advantages of each. We use earth where its sculptural quality allows us to perfectly mold it to the shape that we desire. We use brick where it will give a good durable surface for cooking and in the entrance way to withstand the abuse of heated and passionate cooking. The book Build Your Own Earth Oven provides further reference for these techniques.
Using rope to define the shape of the catenary vault. The plywood is cut and the negative shape is used as a screed.
Eventually, a whole outdoor kitchen and service bar was built around the oven!….
Useful Links for Further Reading:
- The book Build Your Own Earth Oven!
- Arcticle – Improving Earth Ovens: Experiments in DIY Earthen Castable Refractory