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Oven Building

80 bytes added, 11:59, 28 August 2018
Other techniques of oven building all use the same principle, although materials may vary. The oven may be constructed from turf, clay over a wicker frame or dug from a mound.
he [[File:Oven02.jpg|thumb|right|A clay covered wicker frame oven after firing.]]The oven in the image to the right is built in the more usual style of clay over a wicker frame. This was built in Denmark at the Lejre Folk Historic park near Roskilde in 1994. The structure is the same as the glass kiln built at the same site. All the clay was dug out of a bank by hand from nearby and rendered to rid the clay of any small stones. The frame of the structure was made on a thick clay 'stead', by marking out, and then pushing sharp hazel rods into the ground. Over these rods, a large sausage mix of clay and hay was bound together over the rods to create a thick base to the wall. The intention was to weave a basket like structure over which more clay and hay would be added. However, it soon became clear that as the wall rose, more hazel stakes could be rammed into the clay walls in between previous rods. This is how we continued to create the finished form you can see above. It was fired both inside and out (not the kind of thing you can do inside a building). The base walls were about 6 inches thick, thinning in the roof to about 3 inches. It's external plan was roughly 5 feet long and 4 feet across, rising to 3 feet in the roof. The final fired shape was strong enough for a man to stand on, and for a thin man to get his shoulders through the door and get most of his trunk inside the oven itself. Whilst there, we used it on three separate occasions to cook bread and some meat. Prior to each baking session, we threw some grains into the oven when the fire was raked out, to determine whether the oven was hot enough. If it is, the grain of wheat will burst open with the heat. The door was made from a thick off cut of timber, trimmed to fit the entrance. This was considered to be sacrificial, and not made very elaborately. During the cooking, the door was sometimes plugged with clay if there were too many gaps as it 'died'.
For the winter months, the oven was covered with a thick layer of turves to protect it from water penetration and subsequent frost that would have started its destruction. The oven was still intact in 1999.
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