Pizza oven chimneySo it turns out that getting the chimney, and having a chimney that we can use, are two quite different things.

On the morning we got the chimney, which arrived with a skirt on the bottom and a mystery bend in the top, our frustration, with waiting more than 6 weeks for it to arrive and then it arriving so different to the specifications we gave, was high.

We moved the chimney across the street to Thong’s house so that we didn’t have to look at it for the day, and then once we’d returned to feeling positive and resourceful, we formulated a plan for how to modify it so that we could use it.

Thong cutting the chimneyThong’s facials while cutting the skirt off where pretty funny!

We decided to use the skirt higher up in the chimney for a rain cover for the hole in the roof that the chimney would go through.  After deliberation about whether or not to cut off the bend, we decided to just roll with it, and leave it there, because that was the easiest option.

Thong cut a hole in the roof and then Dre had the task of lifting the chimney through the hole and putting it in place.

Preparing to put the chimney on


Luang Namtha Pizza

After Dre and Thong had positioned it in place, we went to get some more clay to make more clay/sand mix to hold the chimney in place in the oven.

Clay packed around the chimney

We also used the clay/sand to patch up the side that got heavily rained on, and while the mix was still wet set about doing our mosaic.

Preparing for mosaic

We’ve had several different thoughts about whether to mosaic the whole oven, mosaic our name/logo into the oven, mosaic just the word ‘pizza’, or paint the oven.  We started by making the word pizza and have to say that after Karen having cut every single finger putting the sharp tiles into the clay, we think that just the word pizza will be quite enough mosaic-ing for this project.  Maybe we will paint the rest of the oven or maybe we’ll leave it as is – we’ll see!Mosaic on our oven

The bench is also proving to be a bit of an ongoing project.  It has rained in the past couple of days so now the wood in the bench (which didn’t even get rained on, it’s just the humidity in the air) has expanded and so the bench once again doesn’t fit in the gap.  Oh dear.  So we might have to cut the bench down a bit more.

One final challenge before we can make pizza is this:  the chimney goes through highly flammable grass roofing… so we have to figure out how to insulate the chimney on the outside in between the metal and the grass roof so that we don’t set our entire roof on fire.  Our Lao staff have suggested putting a wet towel around the chimney every time we use it, we think though we might try putting more clay/sand and hopefully Karen’s dad can bring or suggest something else we can use for extra fire proofing.


Seems quite fitting and very Lao of us that the final obstacle to overcome before we can make pizza is figuring out how to not burn down our roof by making pizza. 🙂

Pizza mosaic