Ovencrafters began as a request, from Laurel Robertson who is a friend and also the author of the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book. She asked me to build a brick oven for her kitchen. When her first loaves emerged from that oven I knew that something lost was miraculously being rebirthed. Since this beginning in 1982 many other long lost aspects of bread baking, milling and growing grains have been rediscovered; even wood heat has revealed itself to be the only ecologically sound, sustainable and non polluting source of energy for small scale bakeries. However it is largely the inimitable deep penetrating heat of this new generation of masonry ovens that has triggered much of this work. Ovencrafters oven designs have been developed in the field over the last 25 years culminating in a type of oven that never existed before this. These oven constitute a radical departure in building technique and use that has made it possible for the first time for small rural based home and village bakeries to be viable and compeditive with the industry at any level. With the ongoing loss of middle class occupations throughout western societies, many with even moderate skills and capital can create an invaluable small business in their communities that will find ready support from them in return. Many are finding for the first time the joy of meanigful work in the bosum of their communities and free from the distant hidden grip of the corporate world at last.
Ovencrafters’ purpose is to earn a right livelihood for its staff guided by Gandhian principles, particularly; “Policy with princples, commerce with morality, wealth through work, and science with humanity”. Ovencrafters’ truly revolutionary oven designs and self building processes are inspiring a return to nourishing, handmade bread in the family home, and at a local level.