Tuesday, 7 January 2014


Hello my Blog followers, both of you ;-)  It’s been quite a while since I last posted, October 2012 in fact, for many reasons, work commitments, personal ups and downs, and just life in general.

My 14 year old twin boys came to live with Svenja and I in January  2013, so this was a major change to our lives. But it has all worked out well, with the boys more than fitting in; they love living with us, and we love having them here.  I did have reservations about the whole Stepmother thing, even though Svenja had always got on really well with them on their holidays with us, but a live in situation is something else. It gladdens my old heart to see them getting closer each day ;-) I also have a 16 Year old daughter who elected to stay in the country about 2.5 hour’s drive north west of us.

We also had a sad life lesson when a close friend betrayed both of us in different ways, but a huge betrayal none the less. We now realise that the person in question has mental issues, and is an expert manipulator. Both Svenja and I feel used and very foolish for being taken in, but it has made us stronger and realise we are each other’s anchor in the sea of life. We have removed this person from our lives, and will be now very wary about letting anyone else get so close to us – sad really, but once bitten twice shy.

So with the history lesson over, it’s on to what projects have been happening. I built a new studio for Svenja between December ’12 and April ’13, which she has already filled to the brim with her creations.

We sold our 1962 Studebaker Hawk, 1963 Studebaker Avanti, and one of our 1941 Buicks, just too many cars and not enough room or time. When you have to back three cars out of the shed to give you work space – you have too many ;-)

About five years ago, while visiting a restaurant with a wood fired pizza oven we said that we’d love to have one in the back yard, but never followed up the idea until the middle of last year. I said I’d finally build one in the a dead corner of our court yard, so the research and sourcing of materials began – thank God for the Internet !

I decided to take lots of photos so as to make it a sort of ‘instruction manual’ for anyone else who wanted to build one.  I consulted with Svenja as to what it would end up looking like we couldn’t have ‘just’ an ordinary pizza oven, not in our house! The dome construction was pretty traditional, which was where I was going to stop, but after Svenja saw an oven with a dragon form on the chimney with smoke coming out its nostrils well what can I say, a dragon it was to be. However, after more research, and with the architectural lines the smoke box had taken the dragon idea was canned, so I went for a ‘Steampunk, Art Deco’ look.  Now most of you are aware my wife Svenja, is a very creative Textile Artist, having won international awards in the ‘World of Wearable’ art show in Welling ton NZ. So, to demonstrate how creative I could be I set about making the oven look something like a cross between a boiler, atomic reactor and power station. ‘What did I get myself into’, I often asked, but the end result was worth all the work, and it cooks really great pizzas.

The dead corner of the court yard begging for a Pizza Oven
The frame in with the floor pavers layed.

The entry arch and first layer done.
The dome taking shape.

The finishing point in sight.

The smoke box started.

The insulation layed over the dome.

Completed with a coat of Iron Sulphate to give it a weathered look

These were the first pizzas cooked for my twin boys 15th birthday party.  This was before it was finished. Yum !

Click on this link to see the 'Official Opening Video". Oh, and turn up your speakers ;-)

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