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Rowland 05-17-2008 04:08 PM

New guy in Nashville

My name is Rowland and i am just getting started here on this forum. Looks great and i can't wait to learn more.

SO a little background info for you. I am a baker by trade, while i love my job its pretty mundane. I am also a member of a medieval education center in Columbia TN. One of our projects is a period bread oven.

None of us are masons and as this is a non-profit group, the money will come out of our pockets. So whatever i am going to come up with has to be fairly easy to build and fairly easy on the wallet.

I would want the oven to be big enough to bake a decent amount of bread (say 30 loaves a day). However my biggest concern is the oven would only be used every so often. At most the oven would only be fired 5-10 times a year (give or take).

I have not really decided on a style yet but doing a little research first.

nice meeting you guys and look forward to learning lots from you.

Dutchoven 05-17-2008 05:00 PM

Re: New guy in Nashville
I am not too far from you in North Mississippi...
Hope to be of assistance!

SpringJim 05-17-2008 06:46 PM

Re: New guy in Nashville
as ciberspace goes, I'm just next door too!

Welcome to the Forum!

gjbingham 05-17-2008 09:45 PM

Re: New guy in Nashville

That's a lot of work for only 5 -10 firings per year. You might consider a bit of reseach to see if there's another WFO close by that you could use as necessary for your own purposes. Bring your own firewood - I don't think the owner would have major issues with you pre-heating the oven for him/her while you did your own baking.

nissanneill 05-17-2008 10:35 PM

Re: New guy in Nashville
Hi Rowland,
welcome to the forum.
my 40" pompeii oven is always available for use. I am always keen to observe a trademan prtacticing his skills, especially ones that I need improvement in.
We have a few ovens and builders over here but a were a little out of your way. Down under in Australia. However, you are always welcome if ever visiting, to come in for a meal and share your baking skills.
I have a car which unlike many others that can't go past a hotel, mine can't past a bakery without stopping.


CajunKnight 05-17-2008 11:16 PM

Re: New guy in Nashville
Welcome aboard and pleased to meet you. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I have. Sounds like you may be more interested in a clay oven that a brick oven. Same general build technique but cheaper materials. I personally am leaning in that direction since I am heading for my first build. Since you are workig out of pocket with a group you will find clay a lot less expensive. You need a shovel and some strong backs lol. And of course a couple of 12 packs go a long way. Best of luck with this project.

Frances 05-18-2008 01:14 AM

Re: New guy in Nashville
Tell us some more about this medieval education center you're in...

Is it sort of like re-enactment at all? I'm just thinking that depending on what kind of group it is and how important it is to you, rebuilding an authentic (as much as possible) medievil oven would be a really interesting project in itself, irrespective of the numbers of firings. And you being a baker, you might find yourself using it al lot more often than that - if it is feasable.

Plenty of us here built an oven with no prior masonry experience, and firebricks seem to be fairly low cost in the US... in addition baking in a wood fired oven might just give your career an new spark of interest...

Check out this one:

Now personally I would be absolutely fascinated to perticipate in building one like this and would be prepared to put a lot into such a project just for the fun of it...

krosskraft 05-18-2008 08:35 AM

Re: New guy in Nashville
I agree that 5-10 firings a year is scant. Before you opt for the "cheaper route" look into co-oping with another group, perhaps caterers or other bakers, or folks who work at farmer's markets. What about the Fairgrounds, where people could schedule times to bake or something. Maybe make it a community project instead of just one group. Gee, I wish I had done that with my oven! Good luck thinking outside the box!

Rowland 05-18-2008 12:37 PM

Re: New guy in Nashville
The Cumberland Medieval Education center is a 50 acre plot in the Louisberg/Columbia TN area. We are a non profit center and used most often by the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). We also host various Boy Scout gatherings, and looking to expand to some of the Mountain man and Pow Wow groups.

Besides events, a lot of us just like to get together and hang out in camp. Now i say 5-10 firings a year, this is just a guess. I just count the events, no telling how often we may fire it up for a gathering of friends.

As a baker i can see me hanging out often just to bake bread for people :)

In most groups being a baker would seem a boring job. Among these people my job equates to being a rock star!

I know it might not be the most cost effective to build an oven for the few times we would use it. Still its a project that fits right in with who we are and what we do.

krosskraft 05-18-2008 05:36 PM

Re: New guy in Nashville
I see. It sounds like you could host events and cooking classes to coincide with some of your other events. I think an oven would really enhance your organization. I say go for it!

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