Today was a moment of truth when we scooped out the sand holding up the archway and it stayed solidly standing! It also revealed the flat front we had made for the door to sit flush against.
All looks awesome! We were also hoping to put another layer of clay/sand on the oven today but the insulation layer is still quite wet so we’re going to hold off for another week or so (we will be away for the next week).
During this week we have all noticed that the pizza oven has started to smell quite bad. We figured it was probably something to do with the rice straw – maybe it was fermenting a bit or maybe it just smelled bad cos it was wet. In any case, removing the sand revealed a rather stunning addition to the oven – the entire inside is covered in stalactite-type mould/fungus type things hanging down from the walls and ceiling! So now we know where the smell is coming from. We think it must be a combination of the wet clay/straw mixture, the rain over the past few days, the humidity and probably the fact that not all of the rice and roofing was completely dried out before we used it. Oh well.
So we’ve lit another candle to heat up the oven and dry it out again – we’re not too worried because once it fully dries and has fires in it every day it should be fine.