Terry and I decided a year ago to build a pizza oven outside (who knew such things were possible?) He bought a book called “Build Your Own Earth Oven” and we dreamed over the winter. Today he and the kids made it possible (I was the official photographer and got to remain mud-free while I sewed… more on those projects later).
It was very messy, but that is the part the kids loved. We used found cinderblocks from one neighbor and old bricks from another. The clay came from our property. We had discovered pockets of wonderful clay years ago and Terry and the boys dug some up this afternoon. Terry got the marble base from a kitchen countertop place up the road. So, all we were out were 8 bags of sand. Not a bad investment for a little outdoor oven!
First you sculpt the desired dome shape out of sand on top of your marble base. Line the front with bricks (this will be your door). Next mix together your clay and sand (our clay is pretty dense, so this took a 3part sand/1part clay ratio) with a little water. Slowly add the water, as you can always put in more, but can’t take it out!
Next cover the sand-dome newspaper, then add a layer of the clay mixture. Be sure to press the clay not into the dome, but into the base. This will keep the shape of the dome and make the structure sturdier. Your final clay thickness should be about 3-4 inches.
Now we wait to see if the oven dries… this should take a few days. When it is dry, we’ll remove the sand, see if it stands, then move onto the insulation. Will post about that later, or about the utter failure of our project! Stay tuned!