Monday, July 8, 2013

Works in Progress

Rog and I have played with mud and clay all weekend. We made not one but two attempts at mudding the new bigger and better clay oven. The first attempt, using an innovative, experimental, time-saving construction strategy, failed structurally, so back to  the old tried and true method of using wet sand as the base. Rog found some wonderful clay at a house-construction site that the contractors were only too willing to let him haul away for our oven.
These are my farmer-hands, packing brick-shaped wads of mud to build the inside wall of the oven.

 Rog constructed the opposite side.

It was a sultry, hot weekend to be doing this project. Actually, sultry and hot to be doing anything at all.
Rog built the massive table that supports the oven from old barn beams he found on Craigslist (our go-to source for farm projects.) I hope we sited it in the best spot --this oven is not going anywhere now.
Nutmeg supervised from the shady spot  below the table.
The oven with its  inner coat of  mud complete. A thick insulating layer will be built over this.
Tonight Rog ascertained that the clay was dry and  hard enough to remove the sand from the inside.  Here it is emptied out, ready for the insulating layer. This oven is twice as big as our current wood-fired clay oven - we will be able to bake a dozen loaves of bread at a time.
When not up to my elbows in clay, I finally tackled a project I have been wanting to do ever since I was inspired by a mosaic idea I saw on Pinterest last winter/ This is the first one of a pair of  tall, narrow panels to flank the doors of the granary/farm store.   Old cups and mugs are cut in half and mortared in to become planter pockets.  I sawed large floor tiles and dishes into 1 1/2 inch square tiles.
The guard on the wet saw I was using did not allow enough space for me to cut the cups, so Rog cut them for me with his angle grinder. Happily, he did not  cut off any toes with this procedure.
Tonight we hung the panel along side the  door; tomorrow I will  plant the vessels (maybe with herbs? or succulents? or moss roses?)
Israel and Cadence are making major progress painting the house, even working on these hot, hot days, and doing a fantastic, meticulous job.  I am not sure how we are going to reach the peak, though.

Their band performed at a wedding Saturday, and after dropping off the equipment and the car, they walked home. They definitely add a dash of vibrancy and character to the village of Douglas! 


Marcia said...

Your panels with the mugs is a very neat idea. I assume you didn't poke holes in the bottom of the mugs so you'll need some plants that don't need much watering.memhorte282

Anonymous said...

In Lucas kansas they have a public restroom that is done entirely in mosaic. It is beautiful.