Monday, June 25, 2018

Ciao Italia

Recent visits to my blog have included many from Italy.  Grazie!

My visits to Italy, where I saw brick ovens in almost every village, contributed to my enthusiasm and knowledge of the construction and design of brick ovens.

The foods I enjoyed in Italy, whether made in brick ovens or other ways, also inspired me to build my ovens so that cooks, bakers, and chefs got the most out of the ovens, both performance and longevity.

For a few days in late July, I will be at a premier brick oven baking event, The Kneading Conference, speaking and demonstrating with my portable brick oven (seen above being used by Kerry Altiero of Cafe Miranda).

I post this with the hope that some of the visitors to my blog might send photos of ovens they know, have seen, or are using.  The talk I'll give at the conference is: The Evolution Of Wood-Fired Ovens.
Your contributions would be appreciated and recognized.

True Brick Ovens

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Brick Oven Improvements

Improvements to the brick ovens I build often are the result of a new or different location challenge.

Wood set for the test firing
This most recent build required that I build the oven core outside before opening the wall between the  oven mouth and the room in which the bakers would work.

The result, which I may carry forward in future projects, was a three arch design.  It also resulted in a keystone design that is new to me (few masonry designs are new to history).

Inspecting the interior PRIOR to lighting

Perfect draft as evidenced by blackened area around flue

Oven dome at full temp.  Wood box stuccoed.  Double doors.
Note air channels at sides of mouth.
Carpenters will finish drywall around oven.

Exterior enclosure

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Art of Brick Ovens

There are plenty of technical aspects to building a brick oven.  I've covered many of them in the over three hundred posts prior to this.
Then there is the ART.

Because each oven I build is intended for a different and unique person or situation, it makes sense to finish the oven in a different and unique way.  Note: this doesn't require weird designs.  The variation on the traditional face arch and keystone as well as the exterior treatment is sufficient.  Sometimes, one element is sufficient to make it personal to the owner.

Thus follows some examples.