Archive for August, 2010

LeFeber’s Wood-fired Forno Bravo Casa2G90 Oven Project Thrills Culinary Passion

Fire it Up!

Glenn LeFeber has been baking bread for over thirty years and now he and his wife Marilyn have the opportunity to bake bread and a never ending list of savory dishes in their own wood-fired oven.  What a delightful challenge to master a wood-fired oven crusty bread that tastes like no other. Before the bread and before the roast chicken and before the pizza, they experienced what seemed like a very long W A I T for the oven to be fired up and ready to go!  Glenn had researched their project for most of 2009 and they visited a lake home in Western Michigan with a Forno Bravo oven which really got them fired up! Planning is important! Last February they hired a landscape architect to work with them. They shared with us that this was money well spent. Building of the oven was the last phase of the project, coming after the regrading, laying pavers for a big patio area, building brick retaining walls, and the pergola.  No wonder they were getting excited to fire up the oven!

The ARCH does offer a variety of pre-assembled ovens that once in place requires simply curing the oven with a series of fires and heat levels, though many if not most of  the interests we receive include interests such as the LeFeber’s- to customize the cooking and entertainment area the way they want it, including the purchase of an oven kit and making it an integral part of the complete design.   Glenn and Marilyn have been wonderful to work with. Once the final landscaping and construction of additional outdoor cabinetry is completed perhaps they will share a few more photos. Here are some images throughout the construction stages and the very first meals that came out of the oven.

Start of the project

Adding brick over insulating blanket

Dome completed with brick

Brick construction over dome

Once the dome was completed a stucco coating was applied and personal touches completed the construction phase of the oven.

Personal touches

Glenn with first roasted chicken from the oven

YUM!First of many pizzas!

Roast chicken!

Fire it Up!

Many thanks to  Glenn and Marilyn for sharing your project with us! Happy cooking!

For more details please call The ARCH at 828 253 5455 or vist

The ARCH  offers installation consultation and servces. Talk with Jim Erskine, experienced mason of over 30 years. To see another example of a Casa2G oven installation by Jim visit this recent blog.

Please note: The ARCH does not invite adverisements that may appear on this blog.

S.E.E.EXPO The ARCH Exhibits Sustainable Products



The S.E.E. EXPO and Celebration is this weekend, August 20th -22nd, at the Agricultural Center in Asheville.   The ARCH is exhibiting for its sixth year and it is a good feeling to continue to support sustainability and be among advocates of environmental  issues and positive change.  The SEEEXPO has innovative exhibits and workshops for building, agriculture, and technology. Located in the new air-conditioned Exhibition Hall The ARCH has on display FSC-Certified EcoTimberflooring, Reclaimed Wood flooring, American Clay Earth plaster, Vida Cork, Merida Natural Fiber flooring, information on the new St Astier’s Natural Hydraulic Lime, Concrete Counter samples made locally, Forno |Bravo Wood-fired oven information, a sampling of art tile and more. Most of these products contribute to LEED points. Jim Erskine is available to discuss application and masonry interests. We also have a space to try your hand at troweling  American Clay Earth Plaster on sample board surfaces.  Below is a photo of an enthusiastic participant from our exhibit in 2009.

From our 2009 exhibit: Exploring American Clay fun for all ages

Behind the Scene- Forno Bravo Wood-fired Casa 2G Oven Installation

August 5, 2010 1 comment

Sweltering South Carolina summer heat and a fifteen foot rise  to the platform where a wood-fired oven would rest didn’t keep Jim Erskine and Tom Silver from working hard on  the  installation phase of this Forno Bravo oven project. This Casa 2G oven kit from Forno Bravo is a fabulous oven perfect for a custom surround within this  kitchen opening that will provide indoor cooking pleasure year round. Here is a one example of an installation with a number of structural considerations different from an outdoor on-grade installation. Discussed are  some of the steps of the process photographed  by Tom while on the job.

The foundation and floor for the oven was built first.  An opening for  select wood best for wood-fired cooking is on the  interior side. Placement of this oven allows for a metal stud wall that will frame and surround the oven built into the residence. The  siding and all the finishing design elements to come.

Building the foundation for the oven

Once the foundation was built and the floor surface, a 2 inch layer of high efficiency alumina silicate insulation board is placed on the foundation floor. This material, available through Forno Bravo, reduces the 800 degree cooking floor of a pizza oven to roughly 170 degrees at equilibrium making it twice as efficient as vermiculite board.   Jim and Tom then placed the oven floor pieces and began sealing with Forno Bravo refractory cement as shown.

Placement of the first Casa 2G oven dome sections

Oven floor over insulation board and foundation

Following completion of assembling the dome, the joints need to be sealed with more of the refractory cement.

Jim sealed the dome joints with refractory cement- sticky and perfect for the job.

Oven facing kitchen ready for next phase

He then added lathe for added stability with consideration to the construction that will take place around the oven.

Jim sealed the dome joints with refractory cement- sticky and perfect

We’ll provide some images of the completed oven once we receive them. These folks are soon to experience years of cooking enjoyment with their new oven.

Soon to come- we’ll be sharing another installation project designed by another couple about fifty miles south of Asheville. They created a fun outdoor cooking and entertaining area behind their home and are enjoying the mouth-watering results!

Anyone interested in learning more about this particular oven or any other Forno Bravo wood-fired oven including pre-assembled ovens  please call us at The ARCH 828 253 5455. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!