15. Clay oven

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June 8, 2016 by missionazul

This project started in the soils class.  Hey, what better way to understand cation exchange capacity, the feel and texture of sand versus clay, thermal mass, insulation, and the varying property of conglomerates than to get your hands sticky and muddy?!  Plus throw in there recycling of urban waste, self reliance, and the use of local materials.

The base is old bits and slabs of concrete and gravel.  Around here the big chunks are called ‘urbanite’.  The oven floor is fire brick from Broadmoor Landscaping in South San Francisco.


Then we built a sand form.  Sand from a Sunset neighborhood yard.  All sand it is out on the west end!


Covered with a mixture of clay thanks to the art department.  Old used perlite from the nursery.  Local soil that was sitting around.  Add just enough water.  Then well mixed by students with their hands and feet.  Yes that was a really fun day!


Add some dead rosemary trunks and there you go!


Our first trial by fire.


Last day of class.  Everybody helps, everybody pitches in.  Fresh basil grown by students in the greenhouse.  Artichokes and ricotta peppers from the vegetable garden.  Black raspberries for desert.  Dough is handmade from store bought ingredients – a blend of powdered seeds and single celled fungi.


Thank you to Ashly for modeling our first pizza and bringing special brewed lavender ice tea.


Yup, right by the bed of roses.  Soil soil soil.  That is what it is all about.


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