We started off today by piling up sand to form an opening for the door.  So as you know we’d already cut the door out, but there were 2 small bits in the top of the arch that fell out after the first fire so we thought that we’d build up sand to act as a support and then let it set properly before testing this time.

Archway ready, insulation time.

We also wanted to form a fairly uniformly flat surface on the door opening so that when we make the door it will fit snuggly against the opening.  Also we will need to put more sand in the front when the door opening dries more, and build the extended archway for the entrance and the chimney.

Luang Namtha Food

So after we’d done the door opening, we set about doing the insulation layer.  We quickly realised that making the clay and straw mixture was the hardest part as it required lots of muscle power.

Insulation rice straw and clay

Squeezing the mix together to form ‘bricks’ was also pretty hard – in itself an easy task but 6-7 hours doing the same thing meant that by the end of it we were pretty keen to be finished!

Karen and oven

Putting the mix onto the oven walls was the easiest part, and shaping the mud and straw onto the oven was really fun.  By the end of the day we had only managed to do a bit more than half of the oven, but it’s starting to look pretty good.

Pizza Luang Namtha

Today’s finished product is here:

Pizza Luang Namtha