Tuesday, 30 August 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.