Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Xmas, happy pizza oven

Last week I helped my sister build a pizza oven in her back yard. It is quite a complex structure consisting of a dome and two arches covered in refractory concrete. Here are some pictures of the process that I'll try to explain as I go...

The smaller arch is half bricks, the bigger arch is full brick except the two at the top are three quarter to leave a space for the chimney. Using all straight bricks to save cutting or shaping any I also used plenty of a home-made castable in the gaps,the same mix I use for my kilns.

Tina built the stone walls where she wanted the oven situated and had everything measured up and ready to go, arches cut, etc. The design is one from 'The Shed' a NZ handyman magazine. After she'd done the wall, my Dad laid the concrete slab.  All I had to do was come along and place out and lay the bricks.

First layer of bricks placed out to fit the two arches so we could slide them out easily. To the left of the arch you can see the gaps filled by the castable mix.

With the two arches in place, we then started laying the dome. It was quite hard to figure out how to tie it into the arches but again, this is where the refractory stuff comes in handy. My sister Mandy arrived and split some red bricks.

On Christmas morning, we went round to Tina's to remove the templates for the arches. A photo of Mt Cargill we took on the way.

Checking out the castable mix, which consists of local terracotta clay, beach sand, straw and cement.

Me and Tina removing the outer arch template by taking out two screws and dropping the template down. It came out no problems at all.

The inside of the oven. We used fire brick for the first three levels, or basically until we ran out, then we used house bricks for the rest.

A little fire of newspaper just to try things out, and dry everything slowly.  Works sweet, would make a great raku kiln. Can't wait to try out a pizza!

View from the car on the way home down Old Brighton Road.

Rainbow above the kiln on a dark and brooding day.

Recent work awaiting firing.

This oven would be a great design for a raku kiln. It was good to see my pottery and kiln building skills used outside of ceramics.

Happy New Year! All the best for 2012.