That’s right the next part involves doing the twist, in fact dusting off any of your 60s dance moves only makes the mix better, I promise! With your lovely sand dome nice and dry it’s time to build the first layer of your earth oven. But don’t use up all your energy at once there are two more after this!!
This layer forms the inside of your oven, it is the thermal mass layer, the opposite of the insulation layer underneath the tiles this layer absorbs as much heat from the fire as it can then slowly release it back into the space once the fire dies down to cook your pizza! The layer after this obviously is an insulation layer to stop the heat being released to the ether.
STEP 6: MAKE A MIX, DO THE TWIST
2 shovels brick sand : 1 shovel clay, we weren’t so scientific in our measurements, but it seems to have worked out fine. Then sift it through some mesh to get the lumps out, add some water and start mixing it with your feet, bare feet is better, but sometimes it is too cold or too suspect to go that far.
STEP 7: LAYER IT
Now Dylan was stressed about our technique, but it all turned out fine in the end despite our casual approach. The main thing is to try and keep it as uniformly thick as you can and compress the clay mixture down upon itself not against the sand mound because it might collapse. Build up the thermal mass over the sand mound about 4 inches thick starting at the bottom and slowly moving up the dome compressing each layer down as you go by tapping it with your fingers. If the mixture is quite wet it will try to bulge out, but just push it back into place and get to the top as soon as you can because once it meets it will hold together.
STEP 8: MAKE A MOUTH
Cut an opening into the still wet clay about 60% the height of the dome. We put some cardboard and some bricks in the hole just in case it collapsed before it dried properly. Then we went over the whole thing gently compressing and smoothing the dome. Now relax a few days in the sun is all it needs to dry! (If it looks like rain put a tarp over it, because it won’t like getting wet.)
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