It has been far too long since I last updated the blog. My only excuse is that the campsite has been really busy just lately, which is fantastic! We have just about had time to work on the pizza oven though so I thought I would share the latest developments with you.

Clay oven with sand former in place
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After four long weeks of waiting, and constant checking, we have finally found the courage to take the sand former out of the oven! The cob now makes a satisfying hollow sound when you knock on it so we figured it must be dry, surely? During the four weeks we have repaired a small collapse at the entrance to the oven and finished off the clay render around the base.

After a scary ten minutes of scooping sand, and much muttering about how much there was and surely we should be near the end now, we were left with a beautifully domed oven that looks like it will easily fit a very generous sized pizza or two loaves of bread. With the sand removed we were left with an interior wall of cob lined with damp newspaper. All we need to do now is let this inner surface dry out too.

Easier said than done  though as we have had some really dry weather here and drying too quickly can cause cracks in the cob. We have stuffed a wet blanket inside the oven, covered it over with a tarp and are hoping for the best. There have been a few cracks appearing on the inside of the oven but overall we have been really impressed with how well things have gone.

Scooping out the sand
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The next step is to try a small fire inside in a week’s time to help finish the drying process and then repair any remaining cracks. We have invited our team of clay oven builders from the course in May to come and join us for a pizza party in a few weeks time and I for one can’t wait. I will let you know how the pizzas turn out – or even better, why don’t you come and test it our for us!

Newspaper lining
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Empty oven
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I can almost smell the pizza!
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