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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Clay Oven Community

by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin & Little Green Cheese

Who would have thought that when I began to make my Clay Cob oven that I would create such a sense of community?  Well I certainly didn't realise the "power of the cob", but now I do!

From making the sand dome,

To stomping in the the clay, 

To adding on the first layer of cob, it was all really good fun!

Over the last 4 weekends, I have been entirely focusing on building this alternative type of oven in which we will bake pizza, bread, roast meat and just about anything else you can cook in an indoor oven.  Yet I failed to realise at the time, that the building process has brought many people together, and has made them talk, joke and laugh.  This is all before we have even cooked the first meal in it.  It has built a stronger sense of community!

So far, over 14 people other than myself have worked on the oven, learning how to build a clay cob oven, and just enjoying getting their hands dirty with a bit of sand and clay.  I kept telling them that it was great at exfoliating as a joke, but so many people mentioned that their hands felt so much softer after a few hours lugging, moulding, and smoothing the cob.  I smile inside when I reflect back on the joy on the helpers faces and the conversations we had during each subsequent layer.  It just goes to show that if you make work fun, then not only does it progress quickly, but lasting, happy memories are built as well.

Have you ever had a project that friends and family have been involved with, that have become more than the project itself or helped to build a sense of community?  I would love to hear about them if you have experience the same effect.


Robert said...

I remember excavating a Roman period pottery kiln which was nothing more than a bigger and better version of that.

Back in the 199o's - I forget the exact date - we had a big service at my church. The Methodist Church had been given the use of the International Convention Centre down the road free, as a way of testing the system before it opened. So they had a big jamboree there, which was chaos, with people unable to find their way round. On the Sunday, since we're the nearest church, the President of Conference came to preach, and of course the place was packed.

We'd never had such a big service, the leadership, such as it was, couldn't cope, and everyone had to muck in. I'd been trying to get them to do that for years, and we've never stopped. We had a barbeque on Sunday, and we didn't have to do anything; we just pointed people at it, and they all got on and did a bit. That's how it ought to be, but not many churches seem to get there for some reason.

Treasures Evermore said...

Wow, what a great cob oven. I have always wanted to have one and mentioned it a "number" of times to my dh LOL...but so many other things have taken precedence...oh well, maybe some day.

Great post.

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

we have one too- I just popped over from Megans blog and saw this! here is a picture:

My husband made it with some mates but he plans to make a larger one next.

Megan.K. said...

This is such a beautiful oven, well done. I would love one in our yard, but I think it may be too tight a space for this. I'm so glad my mate Cath @ ChunkyChooky saw this post too, I remember reading her post on her hubbie's oven and being inspired then too.
The community projects I've enjoyed most have been with my kids' school. Building sheds, cleaning gardens, painting. craft etc. There is nothing better than working together on joint projects.