Clay, Cob and Stomping

A 1/2 ton of sand and find some wine bottles?  Indeed that was the list of things to get when Maya Avina (art instructor for CSU-Pueblo) called the night before to say, “Let’s build a cob/clay oven.”   She promptly showed up at 10 am to start hauling clay from her truck and we started breaking up the old sidewalk to use as urbanite for the base of the oven we’re building at Pueblo Music House. Soon we’ll be able to enjoy some great outdoor cooking in the community during our events. Can’t wait for pitas, pizza’s, baked bread and more.

We sorted and hauled sorted rock, brick + shale.. placed rock, stomped and mixed clay pretty much all day. Thankfully Tim Roush showed up to help, as I believe he was the only one with a strong back to lift the clay when Maya’s back was reminding her she had already hoisted plenty.  Catherine Calderon, Tim Roush and Maya Avina dug an 18 inch hole to start. Then we tore up and used the old sidewalk for the base of the oven. Thanks to Stan, who was working on the kitchen and who just happened to have a pointed crowbar, the job was made much easier. Noemi came to pitch in and helped gather stones, shale and rock too.  We stomped the clay & sand mixture to make a mortar which went between the pieces of rock, marble and slate. Patrick came by later and made the oven door and frame out of wood. Other than a short break, to enjoy some pizza, we worked right up until 4:30 when we cleaned up and decided to finish up today.

On Mar 18, with the help Patrick, Betsy, Nita and of course Maya and myself we were outside getting the oven high enough to put the baking floor down.  While we were  outside Stan got the kitchen ceiling strapping up, so its ready for the tongue and grove boards and  Catherine Calderon was adding some flair to a painted wall upstairs.  We’re glad to be outdoors getting this done during this fantastic weather we’re having.  

Thank you to everyone who came to learn and help on Saturday.  Some musicians played  music afterward when we hosted a jam and had a little time to relax.  On Sunday we continued the process of cob and clay until finally the dome was built.  Tim came to our rescue when we girls could not lift any longer.  But then since we were on our own in the afternoon we went at a turtle’s pace trying to lift a little at a time.   On Tuesday we’ll be doing the final touches and this might just possibly turn out to be a turtle instead of ladybug.   We need clay/cob stompers.

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About Janet

Janet has a finance background and works as a bookkeeper part-time for BNL Clean Energy Inc. Janet is a strong advocate for social and economic justice, and wants the voice of the people (all people) to be heard. She believes in strong Communities to promote a better future. Her vision is to bring art, music and education to the East Side neighborhood of Pueblo. Janet is on a mission to make 5th St. unique, vibrant and sustainable... through food growth, community programs and a better education for children. She wants everyone "to find their passion" in life.