Some years ago now, I got an unexpected email from Elke Cole, a German-born architect now living in Canada, whom I had originally met at the first Natural Building Colloquium in Oregon, in the mid 90s. Elke was traveling in Germany, where sheâ€™d come across a public art project in a park in Berlin. It was full of earthen sculptures made by a German artist named Rainer Warzecha. At the time, I was collecting stories and photos to expand a little pamphlet about earthen art projects (Dig Your Hands in the Dirt). But most of what I had were small scale projects: benches, ovens, and things . . .
purchase As you might suspect, a book with this title features many photos of barefoot kids happily stomping in the mud. Mud huts and mud pies conjure up pictures of primitive peoples and childish pleasures. But then you realize that the kids aren't in Africa, but in Washington DC, Chicago, Portland (Oregon), and Berlin. And they aren't all kids! Looking past the pictures of giddy, muddy fun, here is substantial and serious inspiration and practical lessons for artists, teachers, students, and designers, as well as builders interested in natural materials like adobe (and, more recently, . . .
More about Build Your Own Earth Oven: purchase This brand new, completely re-written edition features: revised text: updated, expanded, and completely re-organized so as to simplify the making of a super-insulated design that holds heat longer and burns less fuel; as well as a simplified, 4-step recipe for making really good (wholegrain) sourdough bread - written by Hannah Field, a former professional baker who has worked in wood fired and organic bakeries on both sides of the Atlantic (also the author's wife). Also: a foreword by Alan Scott, grandfather of wood-fired ovens . . .