Saturday, March 21, 2009

Voyage of the Great A'tuin... Cob Oven!

Teaching a cob oven workshop in Williams, Oregon.

Local clays and grasses to work with

Urbanite and strange concrete blocks to bury into the foundation.

Making adobe bricks to build up the foundation to a good baking height. I made a trapezoidal form so that we could easily create a 48" diameter circle.

Laying the adobes, with glass bottles inbetween

The insulation layer which will be underneath the baking surface. This layer of glass bottles and sawdust will help keep the heat in the oven from escaping through the mass of the base.

The baking surface made of kiln bricks and a wet sand dome which will serve as the mold for the oven.

After building up the first mass layer and arch for the doorway, we can remove the sand form.

Slip-Straw insulation layer next

about six inches thick

a small fire to speed up the drying from the inside out

Rough sculptural cob starts to form the turtle

Plaster samples to test the effects of our local soil

Plaster over the rough cob form

A test bake

Starting the mosaic

Eric and his oven!

A celestial mosaic on the front of the oven.
The Great A'tuin is holding up the world afterall.

Some more of the mosaic.
Jasmine, the owner's 10-year old daughter helped out a lot!


  1. That is some beautiful turtle! Our Turtle "Stretch" heartily approves.

  2. That is beautiful. Makes me want to look for a spot to put one.

  3. Erica!

    The oven is absolutely scrumptious. Great adobe bricks and wonderful mosaic work. I love all the updates to your blog since I checked last-- great photos and content as always. Can't wait to see you. :)

  4. That is so beautiful!
    I would love to build my own cob oven.
    Thanks for all the pictures!

  5. So beautiful and inspiring, too! I would love to make one.