Mud, earth, clay, soil – an awesome and versatile building material which can act as a thermal battery, holding heat. People have used this technology for thousands of years to bake bread and other staples. Today wood-fired earthen ovens are seen as an appropriate technology in an increasingly over-complicated world. They restore simplicity to the connection between toil and nourishment, hand and mouth. Come learn how an oven works, how to build it, and modify it for your needs. Building with mud is fun for everyone from young to old; from experienced builders to someone who has never built by hand before. So join us and get ready to get your hands dirty!

Course start time: Saturday, 9am
Course end time: Sunday, 5pm


"I had no idea when I finished a 2-day class that I would learn so much and feel so prepared to do my own project. It was amazing that we succeeded in finishing an oven. This class was so good, that if all the other classes at this school are at this caliber, I will be back! I will recommend this class to all the bread bakers I know. So worth it. Thank you."

"I had Kikos book for 2 years but was a bit timid about starting. this interaction (cobbed) cemented it all in place in my head. Thanks."


  • Competency Level: All Levels
  • Sterling College credits: 1 Continuing Education Unit ($130 additional)

Course Objectives

Students develop a working knowledge of the design, materials, siting and construction of an earthen oven and actively learn by doing. They learn to identify quality materials for construction and work with those materials they can source locally to suit their needs.

Materials to Bring

• Warm clothes to get dirty in, including work shoes

• Rubber lined work gloves (if you like to work with gloves)

• Camera

• Notebook - (optional - flash drive, external hard drive - the course instructor will share some useful digital files and photos)

• Good jokes


Course Outline

Saturday Morning

• Welcome and orientation to Yestermorrow

• Introduction to the course and context

• Oven design/components Overview

• Siting/Foundations/The Hearth

• Lunch

Saturday Afternoon

• Building with Earth

• Identifying building materials and developing a mix

• Building the form and Mass layer

Saturday Evening

• Slideshow of various oven projects

Sunday Morning

• Mixing and building the insulation layer

• Finishing your oven- materials and methods

• Lunch

Sunday Afternoon

• Building the final layer

- Applying a lime finish plaster on an already completed oven

• Roof design discussion

• Firing and baking in your oven


Suggested Reading

Kiko Denzer. Build Your Own Earth Oven






Start Date: June 4, 2016
Duration: 2 Days
Tuition: $350