Step 5: Insulation layer for the earth / cob oven.
The difference between this layer and the thermal layer is that the mixture here has more air, which is great for preventing heat loss of the thermal layer!
When coarse saw dust or wood shavings are mixed with just enough clay to hold the shape, and when they are exposed to the high temperature from the thermal layer, a new material- clay foam – is created. It’s sort of a light weight charcoal-clay which is airy, thus conducts heat slowly.
And of course, don’t forget to take a nice break and show off your muddy hands!
Finally step: the finish layer for your wood fired outdoor pizza oven!
An earthen plaster is applied to the final layer to give the cob oven a smooth finish and decorative sculptural details!
Here’s a beautiful book Using Natural Finishes: Lime and Earth Based Plasters, Renders & Paints with ideas and recipes from many cultures
Helpful resources on building a wood fired pizza oven !
- Here is one of the best books on oven building by our teacher Kiko Denzer, Building Your Own Earth Oven. It offers lots of valuable information from planning, site considerations, to foundations and roof options, as well as many variations on materials and designs. And Kiko’s website, where you can find great articles on building with earth, as well as his future workshops. You will not only appreciate his knowledge, but also his wisdom on how to live life more simply and more fully.
- another of my favorite books on earth building: The Hand-Sculpted House by the great pioneers Ianto Evans(Kiko’s teacher) and Michael Smith. I took a week long class from Michael and built a cob / straw bale room at a Waldorf School – one of the best weeks ever! Michael’s website, lots of great natural building methods, and workshops!
- if you love natural finishing, here’s a beautiful book Using Natural Finishes: Lime and Earth Based Plasters, Renders & Paints with ideas and recipes from many cultures
- The Bread Ovens of Quebec is an exquisite book. It’s out of print, but available as a free ebook via the Canadian Museum of History. It’s possible that it might be back in print soon.
First, you can download the free Ebook with lots more details here:
Once you get your hands DIRT-Y, you will fall in love with earth building. It’s a magical way of building that connects us with our essence, with the elements of earth, fire, water and air, with makers across centuries and continents, and, with one another.
Now you can bake this easy and AMAZING no knead bread recipe!