Our first work day in October started out pretty cold but we all thought to dress in layers and as the sun did its work we were able to shed a layer of 2 and enjoy the beautiful day. Today is the day that could be very exciting or very frustrating as we are making the arches for the top of the oven. We started the day with a brief meeting about what the plan for the day was. The bricks had to be soaked in water before they could be buttered with mortar and placed on the form to make the arch. Soaking the bricks makes sure that the bricks don’t draw the moisture from the mortar to quickly letting it dry to fast. When we placed the brick on the form the bottoms of the bricks had to be touching each other at just the right angle in order for the arch to stay in tack once the form was removed as the mortar wouldn’t be dry yet. We all held our breath as the form was removed the first time, hoping that the bricks didn’t fall in a heap on the hearth floor. The first arch held and we moved on to the next one. One person laid the bricks on the form while 2 others (one on each side of the oven) made sure that the mortar was securely in between each of the brick and holding them in place as the next brick was placed. The rest of the crew was busy handling the bricks and cutting the angle in the bricks that started the arch on each side. After the form was removed from each arch the underside was wiped with a wet sponge to make sure that no excess mortar had seeped through. The fronts of the bricks were also wiped before the next arch was built to make sure that the brick fit snuggly against each other. We were making good progress on the arches and decided to break for lunch as a group and then continue with the arches until they were all complete. Frozen pizzas, chips & salsa, veggies & dip, drinks, and some sweets were brought in and we enjoyed our first pizza party inspired by the oven. The pizzas tasted fine but we are all looking forward to making them in the wood fire oven. After lunch we finished the final arches. The very last arch was only half the width of the rest of the arches so each brick had to be cut in half before they could be laid. Seeing the oven with the arches complete makes it obvious to those passing by what we are building.
Our very own "Golden Arches"
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