Saturday, October 15, 2011

French Brick Oven Design

Audrix Oven on Market Day
Baran Oven
Prior to my visit to France, and especially the Dordogne region, I visited ovens that were based on one of a few designs: early Italian (Pompeii), southern Mediterranean (stuccoed domes), southwestern native
American cob ovens, or modern rectangular ovens.
The distinctive design I found in France incorporated a relatively ornate arch over the mouth of the oven, often reinforced with wrought iron, and a deep shelf in front with a chimney overhead supported by a wooden lintel.  This approach to mixing stone and timber was echoed in many of the old farm buildings.  It seems that idiosyncrasies from town to town made each oven distinctive.

Audrix Oven being fired
Audrix Oven
iron bands in arch, Urval
Though each of these designs functions on the same principle, that is building heat in the mass by forcing the fire to curl over the roof of the oven before exiting the mouth, the French design is well suited for an interior or semi-interior installation.
The next blog will demonstrate fuel choices for brick ovens.

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