Thursday, July 31, 2008

Luigi Saga

On Saturday we added another 3-inch layer of clay to our little test pizza oven. We added about 50% sawdust to act as insulation because the oven had cooled so quickly during our first test-firing. Rog dug this clay near Century High School and it was much easier to work with than the 65th Avenue North clay. We got creative and sculpted the oven into a Pizza-chef, whom we christened "Luigi."

Our dear friends the Morse-Nicholsons came on Sunday for our second pizza-firing foray. We used Rog's wild sourdough starter -- it's a 2-day process to make the dough. We had purchased a pizza peel from Total Restaurant Supply, which made it much easier to get the pizzas in and out of the oven. The pizzas were quite delicious! So was the beautiful soudough bread.

Sadly, Luigi did not survive the pizza firing intact. He gave his all and cracked up, irreparably. We have a few theories why:

a)The insulating layer of clay might have had a different coefficient of expansion than the layer beneath, causing stresses.
b)We should have had the clay dry much more slowly before firing(altho our book says this is not necessary, I know when you build ceramics it is important to dry the pieces slowly and evenly.)
c)Maybe we should have used straw instead of sawdust for more strength.

It is a learning process. I'm glad are starting with a small test oven first!

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