Friday, November 11, 2011

earthen oven day 2 (and nomadic tent 2)

I'm still waiting for friends to send me photos from my baby shower (last weekend) and this past week's Monday Homeschool Classes, where we did Basket Weaving in Ancient Israeli Crafts and made Fraction Sundaes in the Fun With Fractions class, and I'm still waiting for the opportunity to take some photos of J's projects in his Pottery class that he started a couple weeks ago at the University. But I'm also in danger of falling horribly behind if I don't just keep plugging ahead with posts, so here, I'll just keep going and catch up with those other things when I can!

So we traveled to our project co-op on Wednesday, and the kids drop-tested the bricks they made the last time we got together (which seems oh so long ago). They figured out which brick recipes weren't strong enough (the ones that cracked or fell apart when dropped), and which recipes would make for good building materials (the ones that remained intact or chipped when dropped).

Then the kids dug up some more clay and dirt to mix up a new batch to construct our earthen oven with. (After discussing it, we decided to stop calling it an "adobe oven", since "adobe" is the term used for this kind of building in Mexico and the southwestern US -- it's just not an appropriate term when discussing the Ancient Israelis!)

They measured out the various ingredients (clay earth, sand, and clay) in the right proportions, and added water.

Then they turned the mixture out onto a tarp and used their feet to mix it all together.

When it was all mixed, they took handfuls of the clay mixture and threw it onto the top of the oven base (which T had prepared on a day we couldn't make it, from cinder blocks filled with earth).

Then they spread the clay mixture over the top of the base. This will need to dry well before we start building the dome of the oven over top of it.

In the meantime, we'll be spinning up the goat (mohair) fleece that we sheared a few weeks ago. We're flick-carding the fiber and spinning it in the grease (without washing it) on our drop spindles. More photos on that to follow, no doubt.

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