For my son’t birthday dinner (14!), we had lots of family over, and I decided to try doing a roast in our new pizza oven. I stopped in at Acme Meat Market, and received some great help in selecting a roast. Ended up coming home with a 5 bone Prime rib, weighing in at just over 11 lbs.
Applied the top coat over the straw insulation today.
Used a full bag of clay, a quarter package of iron oxide colouring, and a couple heaping spadefuls of sand to start – mixing that all with enough water to get the consistency of thick peanut butter. I then mixed in about 1/5 of a bale of straw, all cut up pretty fine. Talk about a workout!
After applying the finish coat, I applied a layer of red/black aquarium gravel that I had (and no longer needed) – kind of like a stucco. Worked pretty good I think – we’ll see how the colour is – right now there are a couple thin spots that have dried, and they look more pink! I might just mix up a thinner layer with more colouring to apply again 🙂
I’m also thinking that I might have more of the clay applied over the foundation down from the top – kind of like wax dripping down the side of a candle – still deciding though 🙂
I’m still working on a design for a steel roof structure to build over the oven – and protect all this hard work from rain and snow!
Well, after getting the main dome of the oven completed a few days ago, I let the oven sit for a couple days, then carved out the door, and pulled out the sand – and it didn’t collapse!
I let the oven sit for another day, and then couldn’t resist building a small fire, to move the process of drying out along.
And no cracks!
Today I started applying the insulation layer – a fairly wet mixture of clay, sand, and straw. I used fairly equal ratios of sand and clay, mixed with water until I got a consistency that was similar to a medium thick milkshake. Then I kneaded in handfuls of straw.
Once the straw was completely coated in the clay/sand mixture, I added more straw, and repeated. I wanted the straw clumps to hold together – so once I thought the clumps were just about not staying together, I quit adding straw, and kneaded a splash more water into the mix.
I then threw big clumps of the mixture around the base of the oven. I want to try and build up a 4 – 6″ layer of insulation. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough clay to make the insulation mixture cover the entire oven. So I’ll be off to Plainsman Pottery this week to get a couple more bags! I’ll buy extra so that I can put a final finishing layer over the insulation.