In the spring, our group member Alfred had an opportunity to meet artist Meghan Harder. With our shared interest in sustainability, she invited us to join her in developing an exhibit for CAFKA – Contemporary Art Forum, Kitchener + Area. We were inspired to build a cob oven during the event after seeing this video:
Although the project was smaller than what we had pursued in the past, we met as a group to form a plan. We considered the materials we needed, the location of the build, and the amount of time involved. In the end, we decided to build the wooden frame for the oven before the event. Here are pictures of the meeting that followed.
Alfred thoughtfully built a frame for us to display the oven.
He also built a seesaw to allow us to work above ground level.
Ana and Angel lay down fire bricks to form the base of the oven. This was difficult to do in a circular frame, but they arranged them well!
Lynn made a beautiful wreath from grape vines in the diameter of the base.
We measured sticks that we had collected to the height of the oven, and we cut them to size.
Then we started to form a dome with thicker sticks. We secured them into the wreath, and we tied them together with thread.
Once this part was complete, we weaved thinner sticks around the thicker sticks.
We ended up turning it upside down!
We enjoyed a potluck afterwards. Alfred’s wife Meaghan had baked three rhubarb and cherry custard pies – they were as delicious as they sound!
This was our structure at the end of our meeting.
We met again in the evening for a different project. The Cherry Park Neighbourhood Association asked for our guidance with adding a lime coating to their cob oven. This was for added protection from water exposure. With the support of skilled community members, we were finished in an hour! Here are pictures of our time there.
We mixed lime with sand and water to create plaster.
We wet the cob oven as we covered it with the plaster.
We continued to work through the sunset.
It was exciting to see it near completion.
The inside of the door was covered as well.
The team was strong!
We invite you to join us for the CAFKA exhibit. We’ll be in Victoria Park on June 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. You can learn more about the festival here: http://www.cafka.org/events