“A step backwards is progress” ~ Jules Dervaes ~
On Sunday, 15 people attended the cob oven workshop (not including us) – some coming as far as Tehachapi (100 miles) Unfortunately, due to the extensive hands-on nature of the workshop we had to limit the class size. It was a great day for a workshop – overcast and cool. Perfect conditions for cobbing.
What is Cob? It’s not the eating kind, cob is an old Devon word for mud wall. More about the cob revival
Having done some research on cob ovens, I can say this oven is not your typical cob oven – more of a “deluxe cob oven.” There’s no place in the world that you can find this type of oven (quoting Ray, the instructor).
Ray, who apprenticed under the “cob master” Ianto Evans, has pushed the envelope of cob oven design. The cob oven started on Sunday is a hybrid between a cob and rocket stove. Ray has tinkered and invented a way to eliminate the smoke and messy ash disposal while retaining and dispersing heat. The oven will have two cooking chambers: one for roasting foods such as corn, potatoes (or meat) and one for baking breads, pies and pizzas.
It was such fun to have everyone working together (Ray told everyone that we had to think of ourselves as 5 years old – everything should be fun). Everyone was chatting, telling stories as they worked. Reminded me of an Amish barn raising or quilting circle. While joking and laughing as we worked, I realized that the only thing missing was a song to go with cobbing.
Having many hands helped the work go faster and, by the end of the day, we 1/2 finished the top oven and 1/4 of the bottom. The lady bug oven is slowly taking shape! There’s still a bit of work to do on our part to finish “Ms. Lady Bug.” (We were certainly surprised at the scale of oven.)
Thanks to Ray and all those who participated (and for their hard work). We look forward to seeing you in about a month or so (after the oven is completed and completely cured) to christen the oven with a pizza party.
‘The new photo gallery will be up soon with more pictures from the workshop.