Friday, June 8, 2012

Dream of an Earth Oven

Back in April I got an email from a friend touting this Earth Oven workshop up in Freeport at "Studio on the Hill".  It is what I have been looking for!  I quickly signed Art & I up and the rest as they say is currently making history.  I noticed in the flyer that Jesse Stevens was teaching the workshop. I met Jesse years ago through a mutual friend since he is a wood fired potter and had talked to him about his own earth oven back then.  Ain't life great! Because we knew Jesse, Cat Schwenk, hostess of the workshop along with her husband Jim invited us to participate in the "making the base" part that was not part of the workshop.  We got to go on a Saturday in early May staying for most of the day.  The rest of the gang: Cat, Jim, Jesse & Sebastian continued on and finished late Sunday. The photos tell the story better than I could.  The workshop starts tomorrow and I will share the fun with photos. As with any story: first the place...

Studio on the Hill and home of Cat, Jim & Hannah

This photo gives you an idea of the feel of the place...magic

Jesse and a big mess of rocks!

The amount of rock was mind boggling.  Truly!

The process began with a big hole. Then we started filling it up to make a great footing for the base.

We got to dance around to compact the sand and rocks and ultimately some cement.

Shards were a part of what filled the hole and tamping (serious kind) was the activity of the day.

Wetting to compact and putting in more shards in the middle.

Once it got above the ground, the mortar came into play and the rocks started to take the shape of the base.  More filling of the middle and more.

It is very hard work and many hands make a huge difference. Jesse taking a moment with tamper in hand.

Up the side comes, building slowly but surely. It is a lovely thing to see it all take shape. This is about the time we had to leave on that Saturday afternoon, tired but very happy.

We got this picture from Cat after they finished on Sunday.

Cat sent us this to show us Jim's magic working to build protection for the oven.  Nice job Jim!

Tomorrow begins the next step in our dream of an earth oven.  Will keep you posted.  Remember, dream big and never give up on them.  Sooner or later they come along as if all you had to do was ask. 

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