Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why Build an Old-looking Brick Oven

ancient wall in Tuscany
For many people, having a brick oven offers them a passport into the past.  A wood-fired brick oven is a piece of ancient culinary history.  That is why, when designing the facades and exteriors of brick ovens I build, I  pay close attention to 'aging' the exterior.
Stone facades, by the very nature of stone, look traditional and old.  Further methods of external treatment can enhance the illusion. 
2010 TBO oven
In creating 'The Tuscan Room" we began with some clear memories of Tuscany: colors, space proportions, materials.  We then found old beams and re-worked them to reproduce the sense of place and time.
On an outdoor oven, the brick face was stuccoed over and then wiped to reveal only parts of the brick as if time and weathering had worn the stucco away.
Traveling to the 'old country' supplies me plenty of visual vocabulary for imbuing both the brick ovens I build and the landscape design surrounding them with a sense of time.
Regardless of the history of any given home, a building that has stood and sheltered families for hundreds of years develops a presence of its own.
Observing the physical details of time that these buildings take on gives us a clue to designing places of meaning for ourselves.  

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