Firespeaking

Masonry Heaters, Wood-Fired Ovens, Natural Building

OAEC Medium-Sized Professional Wood-Fired Oven

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This oven was built in October 2014 at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center.  The OAEC has inspired many through its courses and example over the last three decades.  It was an honor to be invited to build this oven which is well situated next to their newly remodeled kitchen facility.

The deck of this oven is 36″ x 40 1/2″ deep.  It features a firebrick core with a vault and steel harness.  High-temp insulation surrounds the entire core, optimizing the oven’s efficiency.  The facing is classic looking recycled red brick with two wood storage arches facing the front and back and keystone for accent.

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(click images to enlarge)

A highlight of the build was getting to help the community to experience their new oven by throwing it’s inaugural pizza event.  We easily fed 75 people.  The oven’s mass-to-insulation ratio is designed to make it efficient but not overwhelming.  We made a fire for three hours before starting our pizza session at about 750 degrees.  We made roughly 60 pizzas over the following two hours with a live fire in the back.  One nice thing about breaking into these bigger oven sizes is the ease of management of the fire and pizzas.  There is not the risk of getting pizzas too close to the fire or mixed up with ash, and it is easy to have 2 to 4 good sized pizzas going simultaneously.

The next morning at 9 am, I opened the insulated oven door and read an average temperature of 425 degrees.  Without lighting another fire, we cooked 12 loaves of bread… and then followed that up with 2 hotel pans of beans…. and after that whole winter squash and many pounds of potatoes.  At the end of that following day, the oven was still at close to 300 degrees.

Thanks to Alex Chernov of Stovemaster and Marcus Flynn of Pyromasse for being continual sources of inspiration as well as lending design and technical advice on this build.  And thanks to the entire OAEC community for making this project a big life highlight!

“Hey Max! Just a quick note to tell you that we have been using the oven lots, and loving it so much! The oven works perfectly. It is all we dreamed of. We feel you in every brick, and every slice! Thank you Max!

We’ll send some party pictures too. If you need any promo photos or testimonials, let us know – we are your biggest fans! Please come visit when you can.”
-Dave Henson, OAEC Excecutive Director

 

Further Reading:

Photo Credits: Oven with Fire and Pizza Close-up in main spread and 5th, 7th and 8th images in mosaic by Tali Aiona.  2nd, 3rd and 4th images in mosaic by Jim Coleman.  6th and 9th images by Brock Dolman.  Thank you!

Barrel Oven Workshop at Sweet Briar Farm

Sebastian and Jeanna are getting married!
This oven will be a part of their wedding celebration and then will live on to cook meals for their family and friends.

COME LEARN HOW TO MAKE A BEAUTIFUL AND EFFICIENT WOOD-FIRED OVEN, AT THIS BEAUTIFUL HOMESTEAD, IN WHICH TO BAKE DELICIOUS BREAD AND SO MUCH MORE!

Join Us For This 2-day, Comprehensive, Hands-On
Workshop on How to Build A Wood-Fired Barrel Oven.

June 16-17, 2012 – Sebastopol, California

Registration/Info: Eva Edleson- eva@firespeaking.com

 

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Oven Building Workshop at Wise Acres Farm

Oven Building Workshop at Wise Acres Farm
Pleasant Hill, OR (August 25, 26 2012)

Learn how to build your own super-insulated, wood-fired, earthen oven!

Learn how to make an oven to cook bread, pizza, cookies, cakes, pies, casseroles, stews, and so much more!

Wise Acres Farm is a beautiful place and home to Dr. Sharol Tilgner, author of “Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth”!
Check out this from her website-

“Wise Acres Farm is an educational farm where the mind expands and the soul is nourished. Our mission is to connect people in the city with farm life.  The farms educational focus is on growing food and herbs. At Wise Acres you can meet and become familiar with over 200 herbs. We teach herb classes for the beginner as well as the advanced student. There is something for everyone at Wise Acres. To get more information on classes click here.”

For more information or to register for this workshop, contact
Sharol Tilgner- class@herbaltransitions.com

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Duckpond Pottery Oven

Oven Building Workshop at Duckpond Pottery
Brevard, NC (April 14-15, 2012)

Join us for this workshop and learn how to make a super insulated,
WOOD-FIRED OVEN oven to cook bread, pizza, cookies, cakes, pies,
casseroles, stews, and so much more!

Click on poster to view.
To register and for more info contact Nick Freidman- duckpondpotter@gmail.com

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Bali Wood-Fired Oven

We built this wood-fired oven in Bali for Max’s parents using local bricks, clays, sands and fibers. The oven joins the traditional paon (cookstove) that Max built a few years ago.

This oven features ample wood storage for both units, a metal firing door and a wooden door for baking. (Stay tuned for an article about firing doors and efficiency in wood-fired ovens.)

It is always a fun challenge to apply our knowledge of ovens and natural building to local materials. The clay for this oven comes from a village roof tile factory scrap pile and the sand and stone came from a nearby volcano. We found an incredibly porous lava stone to insulate underneath the hearth floor and surrounded the oven’s thermal layer with a mixture that included rice hulls and thatching grass.


Note the sand used to make the smooth inside shape and the sculpted “squirrel tail” to jog the chimney. Upon finishing the oven, we cooked for a three day “Live-Culture Cuisine” fermentation workshop led by Sandor Katz and Mary Jane Edleson.

Many delicious feasts ahead!

Learn to Build Your Own Earth Oven!

Ledge Stone Masonry Heater Near Eugene, Oregon

This heater was built for a family who live near Eugene, OR.  It features a see-through firebox, heated bench and a bake oven.  The outside skin is laid with Montana Bitterroot ledge stone with Three Rivers stone detailing the bake oven arch.  We cast, poured and and polished the bench which includes special embedded stones and fossils.

The heater has a compact, responsive design which serves as a partial wall between living and dining room spaces.  It could have many different facing looks, occupies an area of 48″ x 48″ and stands 6 1/2′ tall.

Read More….

Thanks to Greenleaf Design Build for their good organization and excellent
craftsmanship which allowed our work to flow together seamlessly with their’s.

Masonry Heater at the Allen’s (Portland, OR)

 

We built this masonry heater in the Portland area in autumn of 2011.  Our clients had collected many beautiful bricks dating back to 1883 (a long time from our West Coast perspective!), local basalt rock, and cobble stones that originally paved the streets of Portland.

This masonry heater (based on the Swedish 5-run design) has a see through firebox, a bake oven, a three-sided heated bench, and a place for wood storage.

This project brings together our understanding of the technical aspects of combustion and heating efficiency and our experience with design and use of recycled building materials.  The heater is currently curing and the exit flue will be installed shortly.  We plan to update this post once the heater is fired and make new posts about the process of this build and about the use of polished “concrete counter tops” for benches and other elements of mass heaters.  Check back on this site, join our mailing list, and see more about this project on Facebook.

Thank you to Norbert Senf and Doug Hargrave for their development of the Norccore and for generous technical assistance in preparation for this project.  Thank you also to Jerry Frisch for continual support and inspiration.

Read more….

Pizza Party in the Dabbeni Barrel Oven!

    

  

This Barrel Oven’s maiden voyage fed over 70 people with amazing pizzas!

The pizza above is one of Astrid’s special recipe- corn, mozzarella and gorgonzola.
Once out of the oven it is topped with arugula and white truffle oil.
Another pizza sauce was made with capers from Paolo’s mother’s garden in Italy.

 

 

I made chocolate truffle brownies and gingerbread cake for dessert!

 

During the party we cooked some pizzas directly on the
pizza stones and some on metal pans.
The pizzas cooked on the stones had a more crispy and delicious crust.
Above you can see the barrel oven with plaster still drying.

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