Sunday Volunteers 25 Nov – Cob Oven stage 3

A very warm sunny day at the gardens and perfect for completing our Clay oven. After a little weed cleanup we got to work on cleaning up the edges and front surfaces and  mixing the batches for our outer insulation layer of the clay oven.

First we mixed two wheel barrows worth of the standard mortar with 2 sand to 1 clay. When they reached the right consistency we added a good sized handful of dry lucerne to give it a bit of structure and texture. Everybody involved has now got quite good at mixing this up and applying it to the oven structure.

Then we took a break for some tea and cake. And to admire the work so far… 🙂

Then we got back to layering the oven.

The very last external layer was made up with a mix of 1 clay to .5 of sand and .5 hydrated lime to add a bit of strength and fast drying. When you add this lime to the mix it really stiffens the mixture up quickly. We then applied this as a thin render to the outer surface.

We took another break and Jason talked about and demonstrated fungi spore inoculation into wood.

Then we got to sticking decorative things to it and decorating the surface with flowers and  inscribed drawings. Beetroot juice and tumeric was applied to the surface along with many different flowers such as calendulas and rose petals – all very festive looking. There were a few tributes to  loved people and pets inscribed on there as well 🙂

A fantastic result and ready to empty and fire up for final drying next week.

Thanks to all who came to participate and help out!

We also had a visit from two journalists from G : Green Lifetsyle magazine who came for the session to see what was happening at the gardens and chat to us –

note – The large water tanks have now been moved about and installed into their more permanent and useful positions leaving us with a great new open area between the mudhut and open air covered shed to work in and on for the summer.


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