Masonry Heaters, Wood-Fired Ovens, Natural Building

Natural Building Extavaganza

Check out this sweet video of the Wood-Fired Barrel Oven!

Eva led the construction of a wood fired cook stove, a barrel oven, and a hot tub at the Natural Building Extravaganza in Asheville, NC!

There were many wonderful people who participated in the amazing 3 week program, organized by Kleiwerks International.  Additional projects included a Rumford fireplace, a slip strawdobe cottage, earthen and lime plasters, bas relief, bamboo arches and gates, timber framing and so much more.

Photos from the Natural Building Extravaganza!

Find out more…

Hawthorn Farm Adobe Barrel Oven

This barrel oven was built in a summer workshop series that Max and Eva led at Hawthorn Farm in Washington.  The adobe bricks were made by the oven’s owner and friends in the preceding months and the oven was built along with students during a weekend.

The owner, Alexia Allen, has called us to share the joy of having both preparing small meals in the oven, as well as easily hosting pizza parties for over 50 people.

Alexia makes a celebratory fire with a bow drill.

Barrel ovens are efficient and easy to use.  They are quick to heat up, within 15-20 minutes of lighting a fire they are ready to bake in.  Once hot, they are easily kept at baking temperature for as long as needed.

New Barrel Oven in Asheville!

Written by in: Wood-Fired Ovens |

Sacred Grove Retreat Center Oven

Sacred Grove owners Ellen Whiteside and Tim Beebe

Eva was invited to participate in a wonderful project in a beautiful place, The Sacred Grove Retreat Center in Gold Hill, NC.  Ellen and Tim wanted to create an outdoor kitchen and learn about natural building.  Eva led a four day workshop where we built the oven and learned about how to cook in it.  The oven clay is from the retreat center’s 11 acres of verdant forest and provides the oven with it’s gorgeous golden plaster.  Tim constructed the roof structure and used a recycled billboard for the roof.  The base, with it’s lovely place for wood storage, was constructed by Steven Pettingil all from stones found on-site.

The Sacred Grove outdoor kitchen will continue to develop with the additions of adjacent countertops, storage and a grill and will be used by  the retreat center for it’s guests and numerous gatherings.  Thank you to all the friends and neighbors that helped to make this possible and thanks to my mom for the photo documentation of this project!

Click on photos to enlarge them.

Written by in: Wood-Fired Ovens |

Five Oaks Farm Oven

Five Oaks Farm is a small family farm located on the Henry Wilhelm Estate that was built in 1865 and is a historic landmark. The farm is located just off the Oregon Trail and was originally 160 acres with a house, chicken coop, sheep barn, stable, and black smith. The original outhouse is still hidden in the blackberries. The apple orchard, walnut tree and grape vines continue to fruit like gifts from the pioneers who settled here over 150 years ago.

Carol and Barry knew at first sight that the wonderful and historic Victorian house with a homestead apple orchard, original barns and five towering oak trees was where they wanted to live, grow their pesto business and raise their four boys.

They hired Eva to design and build this wood fired earth oven to establish and outdoor kitchen/gathering place near the vegetable garden.  The oven was created almost completely from on-site materials and by family and neighbors during a workshop Eva led in June 2009.   In addition to general baking and pizza parties,  they wanted this oven to bake fresh bread that they could serve along with their delicious pesto at weekly farmer’s markets: Dante’s Pesto.

Future plans for this gathering place include benches and counter tops that attach to the oven.

Thanks so much to all of the neighbors and friends that helped!  The roof structure was built by Mark Lakeman.

For more photos of this project, check out Eva’s blog post….

Written by in: Portfolio,Wood-Fired Ovens |

River Front Farm Oven

Using local materials and our creativity, we made an earthen oven at Riverfront Farm in Spokane, Washington. Eva led a 4 day workshop with community garden members about the ins and outs of earthen ovens, including how to bake in them.  The project was a part of “Green Jobs Now: National Day of Action to Build the New Economy”, in which we joined with 700 communities and 50,000 people across the North America.  The oven will be part of a bigger outdoor kitchen and band shell and is used by the neighborhood and by “Project HOPE” toward the development of youth micro enterprise projects. See more photos on my blog

Written by in: Portfolio,Wood-Fired Ovens |

Earthen Oven in Oakland, CA

This earthen oven, located in Oakland, CA, was built together with collaborator’s in life: Eva Miller and Alex Edleson.  These photos were taken by Eva; the complete process and methods of construction are beautifully documented on her blog: Todo Masa.

Written by in: Wood-Fired Ovens |

The Barong Oven

This is the very first pizza oven we did, next to the entrance of a mountain cabin. The “Barong”, this dragon-like character, is a mythological guardian figure for the Balinese people… and so it stands guard and protects as well as entertaining…..


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Another oven is born….

Another oven is born…. clay, stone, salvaged metal and human love come together.

We built this oven for a 120 person gathering called “Manos en La Tierra” in the forest of Catamarca province, Argentina.  Eva and I were part of the preparation crew and had a week to build an oven that would bake bread and other goodies for the month-long gathering.  “Manos en La Tierra” occurred in October of 2007 and was a gathering that attempted to resemble a Rainbow Gathering but with a focus on down-to-earth solutions to making a better world.  We camped in this almost untouched forest and created a natural infrastructure to give workshops, share information about sustainability, healing, permaculture, etc., and provided each other with continuous artistic creation.
Written by in: Wood-Fired Ovens |

Our new oven!

During a weekend workshop we built this barrel oven and then filled in the walls and put in the window during the following days. It is part of a slow but exciting transformation of the “ranchito” into our community center.

We didn’t have any idea how much building this oven would change our life! There’s the obvious luxury of now being able to bake bread, pies, cookies, etc., – we’ve also discovered that by shortening the long fire box by placing bricks just inside, we can transform the oven into an open fire place. This oven is built around a modified metal oil drum (hinges, shelves inside) and combines both cooking from the direct heat of the flame into the barrel tempered by a layer of the sand and the slower cooking of the entire mass as the whole oven heats up (like the traditional hornos).

The process of building this wood-fired oven and recently another one at our neighbors´ reminds me of what a great addition to community living an oven offers. Both the process of building and the weekly or semi-weekly firings are events that bring us together and feed us in one way or another.

Written by in: Wood-Fired Ovens |

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