Cob Ovens are a relatively inexpensive way to bake, with all the benefits of wood-fire such as a hot hearth. Materials are raw and often sourced locally from the land. This Cob Oven was built leading up to the 2008 Forest Festival held in Jackeys Marsh, Tasmania. The oven is a design from Build your own Earth Oven by Kuko Denzer. Many thanks to Jenny for the photos.
The base of the oven is a circular dry stone wall. As the wall is built, the cavity is filled with smaller stones and gravel. Rocks were sourced from gullies around the site.
Sand fills the final layer of the base. The surface is leveled out and fire bricks are placed to make the hearth.
A dome of wet sand is molded above the hearth. This dome will form the cavity of the oven.
Wet newspaper covers the dome to prevent the next layer, clay, from binding with the sand. Clay is now layered over the newspaper.
Progress! The clay dome is up. The clay dome is made up of 2 layers. The inner layer is pure clay while the outer layer is made up of clay and straw for added strength. Hatchings are made on the inner layer to help bind both layers together. When the clay is hard enough, the once supporting sand dome is then shoveled out:
The Finished Oven
The finished oven with clay mantel.
Please let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments.