Once we cut the hole for the door, we finished the design by adding swirlies on the back and some accents to make the oven look turtle-esque. The accents were using a mixture of sand, clay and kenaf.
After waiting longer than I would have liked, Daniel finally gave me the OK to remove the sand from the inside of the oven, this was a source of intense pleasure for me.
You can see that the newspaper we used to line the sand mound, is still in place, fixed to the cob walls. This we meticulously pulled off in strips until most of it was removed. I’m not sure but probably this could have been burned out by the first fire.
We put a thin layer of earthen plaster over the whole thing so that the finish would be smooth and even. We also used a wet sponge to smooth it out.
We waited a few weeks before burning a fire in the oven mainly because we had no idea if building a fire too soon would destroy the oven. It probably would not have. In fact, chances are the fire would’ve made the cob stronger.
Below you can see what the oven looks like after the first fire. With the door that was sanded and waxed. The handle is a big fat root that got dug up while we were digging up the foundation for the fairy hole. You can also see how we use the space below the oven to store fire wood.
And…Chester, our resident pack rat approves of the whole project. It provides a new place for her to store her stolen dog and cat food so that she can feed her babies.
Chester returning home after a hard day of work.