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Sundial Wood Burning Swish Oven

Family holidays over many years in Mediterranean climes determined I build a wood burning oven for good outdoor food rather than using unsatisfactory and unsatisfying barbecues. Then one day, probably 5 or 6 years ago now, I stumbled across Rado via the Internet and was immediately impressed with his designs, his methods and perhaps most importantly his attitude to quality of lifestyle.

I ordered his plans for a swish oven and studied them and studied them, putting off the day to begin work, as I knew there would be no going back and there was quite a task ahead! Perhaps a year later, foundations were dug and the slab was laid. Then hiatus for another 3 years. Finally in June 2009, I ordered materials for the build and laid the first courses of blocks.

Pizza cooking in cottage brick oven

Making roof on cottage pizza oven

By the end of July, youngest son William was home from University and together we laboured most days, bit by bit, planning and designing. We (William) created also a 3D modeling as we went along. Keeping broadly to Rado’s plans, the oven was constructed and insulated and the roof built in keeping with the house roof using original tiles. As a further nod to our house, Sundial Cottage, an iron sundial was attached to the rear of the oven together with a bottle of Sundial wine (filled with sand), set into a recess constructed from shaped bricks. Finally around the beginning of November 2009, paint was applied to the exposed wooden areas, and a test burn completed to ensure we’d get the heat required for cooking. The oven was properly christened on Bonfire Night for a party of friends who enjoyed goulash and chicken casserole as well as creating and cooking their own pizzas.

Inside cooking part in cottage oven

Slab for cottage oven Hearth for cottage oven cottage oven heat bricks cottage oven insulation cottage oven kindling Snow on cottage oven
Our dog loves snow

If you look carefully you’ll see the bell pull at the oven entrance, the chimney doubling up as a bell tower – cool huh?

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