After a lot of hard work we finally reached that milestone of lighting the first fire in our wood-fired oven last Saturday, July 24. Early May when we broke ground and were digging in very cold rain seems like such time ago now. I’ll be writing about more about what it took to get us this far in the project but now here are some more pictures.
The chimney enclosure built from the weathered bricks is about two-thirds finished. We’ll build it higher, cap it and put a spark arrestor and chimney cap on top. The bricks were salvaged from a neighbour on the island who was tearing their chimney down.
That’s what the dome looked liked before the first fire. Chances are that it will never look that clean again…
Because this is what it looks like during and after a fire though at top temperatures the fire will burn the soot from the dome (known in brick-oven slang as “clearing the dome”).
Obviously the oven is about food.
And more wine.
Right now we’re going through the curing process where we light an series of increasing large fires over several days. The idea here is to slowly drive all the moisture out of the masonry so that it can uniformly reach pizza-cooking temperatures.
We’ve installed the insulation and that means that other than finishing jobs like the chimney and finding or constructing tools our only major task is the stucco we’re going to put over the dome. We still have to settle on a final colour for the stucco so I’d appreciate any input–especially that references movies set in Italy or British sports cars from the sixties.
Speaking of tools I’d appreciate suggestions on where in Toronto I can find good, three to four foot long peels.