On the first day of the FIG Artist Retreat my friend and expert earth oven maker came up to lead us in the construction of the first layer of the oven. We started by creating the insulated base: bottles covered with a cob mixed with perlite. Then we laid on the fire bricks. Next we made more cob mixture (clay plus sand plus water), formed into balls that were pressed against the sand void form. Later I cut the opening for the mouth of the oven. So fun! Everyone loved it, and we avoided the rain, which began falling the next day (we covered the oven with a tarp). Now it will dry for a while until I can get more clay for the insulation layer. Turns out we have absolutely no clay on our land, although there is some in the Basin.
Anna does most of the writing. Ted does most of the photos. But sometimes we switch. We are repairing a distressed property in 29 Palms, California, and eventually hope to run an artist residency there.