Calling All Superheroes! Support Roxanne’s Amazing Capes Kickstarter Campaign!

November 20, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s….Amazing Capes! Kickstarter campaigns support creativity in dance, technology, photography, theater, food, fashion, and the list goes on. My daughter Roxanne Turpen has worked endless hours over the last year or more, putting together a kickstarter project called Amazing Capeswhich supports her ambitious goal to  sell capes to the superheroes of the world!

Roxanne Turpen with her Amazing Cape

They are beautiful,  well made, and amazingly fun!  Her Amazing Capes kickstarter has been launched and the purpose is to raise money for the first production reversible satin collection of Amazing Capes to make them affordable for all. This is just the start to the goals she has set for her Amazing Capes. Kickstarter is an online “funding platform for creative projects” and she has just one month to meet her goal through pledges and with your help, sharing her campaign with friends or groups that might wish to support her.

Depending on when you are reading this the days are moving along quickly, but as of this writing she has reached 29% of her goal and has 18 days to go!

Roxanne graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in photojournalism  and studio art and as you look over her Amazingcapes.com  website and campaign you’ll  see her photography,  editing, writing, and artistic skills  applied to this innovative business idea.

Capes, Capes, and More Capes!

If you choose to make a pledge your choices range from 5.00 on up, each with different reward options.

Unlike my other blog posts, this one is an invitation and one of support for my daughter Roxanne.

I hope you will check out her adventure, consider a pledge, and share this campaign with others. As Roxanne would say  “Release your  inner superhero!

Saving The World Through the Power of Imagination!

Please take a few minutes to look over these Amazing Capes!

Click here to learn more about Amazing Capes!

A Smokin Idea for The Factory: Wood-Fired Oven Installation in a 97 Foot Chimney That Is!

97 Feet UP!

Interior 97′ Smokestack

This ought to be tall enough for a wood-fired oven chimney don’t you think? It’s not necessary of course, but….some ideas are BIG ideas and this one is BIG as well as TALL! Project Manager, Maxime Theberge of The Factory in High Point, NC  wanted a bold and innovative idea to come together for this restored old mill dating back to the early 20th century, formally the Adams-Millis Hosiery Mill.

The Factory

Now it is the home of a furniture showroom and is  soon to be a destination for the High Point Market. This oven installation will be part of an entertainment venue, that  not only has character but will be serving up some delicious fare to those attending  events.  Fire and wood-fired ovens are always a great draw and a crowd-pleaser and we’re thankful to have been a part of this project!  Jim Erskine with The ARCH, was contacted Spring of 2012 as he is known for his competent masonry skills and Forno Bravo oven installation work. Well, this isn’t a typical installation for wood-fired ovens, but Jim was definitely stoked, jazzed, excited, you name it!, and  between all the professionals looking at the engineering of this project it was given a green light!

Though I see a rather blue white moon light…oh wait, that’s not the moon at the top of that smoke stack, that’s daylight and that’s where climbers Michael Grosser and Leo Dupuis clipped their way up the interior rungs of the smoke stack  and then helped guide sections of the selected Forno Bravo Modena 120 commercial wood-fired oven down the stack! 

Four of the sections fit through the hole at the base, but the plan was to maintain a smaller opening and lower two of the six sections with the use of a crane,  guided by Michael Grosser at the TOP.  Several days prior  to “the drop”, Jim had to get through this massive wall. Not what you call a highlight but he made it through this thick wall and then built an oven floor after gravel was poured into the base, cement, re bar reinforcement, the works….

Building the floor

Jim accomplished the hole in the wall and oven floor days before the crane was scheduled to provide their expertise…. and expertise was the case. Hats off to crane operators!

Not a bump going down the stack, and with the assistance from Michael at the top (to start the guided lowering of the sections), they were received  by more brave souls at the base. (They waited until the piece was nearly at the bottom, stepped in and guided the final landing of the sections).

Going UP

With a lot of patience and teamwork the six section oven kit was in place. (There is also a side access hole about fifteen feet up the right side of the smoke stack.  Perhaps future climbing expeditions?)

Setting the Cap

Finally, a customized “smoke stack chimney cap” was lowered onto the top… another success!  This cap was beautifully constructed and a necessary component. This time Leo Dupuis braved the climb up the smoke stack  and guided the landing of the cap at the top.
The weather was drizzling most of the day but thankfully the wind wasn’t up. The next day more insulation and finish work was completed to the dome. Jim thanks all of those that helped with this project.

Jim Erskine and Tom Silver


Ready to start curing!

Next step…… to enjoy some phenomenal food and watch the smoke rise from 97 feet up!

 
 
 
For  more information give us a call at The ARCH 171 Weaverville Hwy Suite 103 Asheville NC 28804  828 253 5455 www.thearchnc.com
For more images visit Jim’s Wood Fired Ovens Facebook page album
For Forno Bravo oven and outdoor fireplace sales and installation information call Jim Erskine 828 768 4438 or email jim@thearchnc.com

American Clay’s Humidity Buffering Qualities Contributes to Healthy Air Quality

The growing interest and importance of air quality continues to reinforce  our great feeling about American Clay Earth Plaster.   There are some interesting advantages that American Clay offers to those wanting  more consistent humidity levels and the reduction of potential mold and mildew, as well as a quieter space.

 

From personal experience we have lived with clay plaster in our own home and have experience with a broad variety of applications and placement of clay. 

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We have American Clay plaster in a kitchen/dining area, sun room, bedroom and in two bathrooms.  We’ve enjoyed the benefits clay provides in every space and have witnessed, felt, and breathed in it’s ability to absorb  and release water vapor when high levels of humidity are present without a spec of mildew appearing anywhere -EVER! What might seem to be a vulnerable location is where we applied clay along the top 18″ above the tiled walls in two shower areas but absolutely no problems have resulted- instead it benefits these areas.  In contrast,  if a  painted wall experiences high levels of humidity such as in a bathroom the surface will eventually develop condensation from water vapor creating an environment favorable for mold and mildew growth.  Another more extreme experience that we had was with several large 3′x6′ foot display panels we made and applied with clay plaster for an expo.  After a three day event we drove home and with the onset of a rain storm we rushed the panels into our (less than perfect) garage several years ago.  We had an unfortunate heavy rain that evening that ultimately flowed into the area where these panels were situated.The panels were trimmed  with wood for presentation purposes. After about a week we noticed a mold made its way up the wood strips  but did not touch the clay. The mildew completely avoided the clay.  If ever conditions were ripe for mildew this was it.    The following diagrams portray how American Clay provides humidity buffering in your home or business.

Powder Room at CIEL with American Clay, Porcelina, Chesapeake Bay, Designer Talli Roberts

As noted in this last image, the more clay there is in a given space the greater the humidity buffering. We called a few customers that have applied the clay in wine cellars  as this is an excellent application choice to assist in maintaining a consistent humidity so critical in a wine cellar.

In reading about climate control in wine cellars, efforts must be made to maintain a certain temperature as well as humidity level.

If the humidity rises above 70% in a wine cellar this is when the potential for mildew on the corks can develop which may create a problem for the wine.

 

There are several benefits when using the American Clay plaster- it assists in maintaining consistent humidity levels, assists in preventing mold and mildew, helps purify the air which is also important, and it is beautiful! 

One of our customers shared that he has had no problems and added that he also selected the clay for the old world look. Most of the wine cellars include applications on the ceiling contributing to humidity buffering benefits.

Lastly, this open-air lobby area at Mica Village is another great example that the humidity does not bother it. The benefits of American Clay go well beyond those mentioned here; in fact they are nothing short of amazing!

Article shared by Catherine Silver of The ARCH Architectural Finishes, Flooring and More

Interesting article: The 10 Most Common Wine Cellar Problems and How to Overcome Them

Click here for a  humidity demonstration done by American Clay.

Categories: Uncategorized

The ARCH Sells Forno Bravo Ovens Which Means You Can Bake Delicious Hearth Breads!

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Visit us at The ARCH in Asheville and you’ll find that we’re happy to talk ovens and hearth bread! We don’t claim to be baking professionals and yet we continue to surprise ourselves with delicious loaves of hearth bread. Often we add a little rosemary from the garden or bake Ciabatta with a little Asiago cheese. The recipes are endless.  Add a summer fresh tomato, avocado, and goat cheese,….what more do you need to enjoy a delicious combination with fine bread while sitting on your deck this summer? Artisan breads generally cost from $5.00-$6.00 in Asheville, so, let’s see…. $6.00 times how many loaves? Considering the cost of flour, this is a great savings but more importantly it could be your bread.  Shown here is just a small sample of delicious food that you can make in a hot wood-fired oven.

The ARCH offers competitive pricing on all Forno Bravo ovens and outdoor fireplace units, accessories, Caputo 00 flour, tomato sauces and more. We offer full service and installations as well. See Jim’s gallery of installations here. Give us a call at The ARCH today at 828 253 5455.  Showroom hours: T-F 9:30-5:30, Sat. 10-3.  Or email us at cmsilver@thearchnc.com.  Website: www.thearchnc.com

For more on Jim’s outdoor oven “conversations”- follow Jim’s Wood Fired Ovens on Facebook.

Mosaic Artistic Tile Adds Art to Forno Bravo Wood-Fired Oven Arch

Tiled arch of Forno Bravo wood-fired oven utilizing local art tile and simple stones

The flame is being fanned all across the country for Wood-Fired Ovens and the delicious food and entertainment they provide. We’re fanning the fire for exciting tile installations! We recently installed the tiles shown here on the arch of our own oven at our home.  There are so many ways to use tiles on an oven installation but I suggest including something creative into your oven design whatever you do. Break the boredom and drop the minimalist look from time to time!

You can choose tiles that are colorful, whimsical, classic, craftsman,  Latin, glass, stone; the possibilities are endless. Mosaics flow nicely and so believing I could work with the pieces we decided to combine these classic handmade decorative  art tiles with a simple grey stone, both of which are available through our showroom The ARCH. Just give us a call and we can discuss creative ideas with you. I selected a grey grout which still allows for the various stone colors to pop out. Over the years the dark grout color won’t get dirty in appearance and it tones down the brighter tiles to blend with the earthy primitive nature of wood-fire cooking.

Sketch, plan, let it evolve.

Move the pieces around until they work. It changed from this initial plan but was part of the process.

I started with a cardboard template of the arch and some paper cut outs of the tile pieces and stone shapes to see how it would flow.

After sketching and playing with some layouts, I attached the template to an arch on one of our showroom Forno Bravo models. (The oven shown below is the Casa2G80 32″ interior diameter which happens to have the same arch size as our Casa2G90 36″ interior diameter oven).

Once all the selections were made I special ordered the metallic glaze beauties from a local artist whose work we display at The ARCH, and the stone tiles that come on a mesh material.

Continue to experiment with the arch

I hand picked the most workable stones, placed them on the template and played and played with them until they were working with the tiles.

I had to keep in mind that I would apply extra adhesive to the backs of some pieces.

Working with the pieces

Pressing tiles and stones into tile adhesive.

A few modifications from the original layout so I recommend careful measuring of the template.  The process installing the mosaic was more enjoyable than I predicted as I had not completed a mosaic before.

Applying tile adhesive with a putty knife

It was a very sculptural feeling when it came to moving the grout throughout the mosaic.  I used a grout bag to squirt the grout around all the pieces given there was so much variation in sizes and heights.  The highs and lows of tiles and stones all connected as I smoothed the grout between the pieces.

Sponging off excess grout and cleaning.

Finally, the arch was complete!

The counter surface will meet up with the oven floor entry for easy use when cooking.

It was a pleasure to finally relax and see the fire nestled in the oven with the tiled arch surrounding it.

Caputo 00 Flour + Forno Bravo Wood-Fired Ovens = Exceptional Pizza!

Exceptional Flour for exceptional pizza!

Caputo 00 flour is now available at The ARCH in Asheville!   If you haven’t tried the “00” Pizzeria Caputo flour you’ll be surprised by it’s soft light crust with, and as the description reads here “extraordinary taste”! We will have the smaller 2.2lb bags of Caputo 00 Farina Flour – also excellent for pizzas  (and great for testing a small batch) as well.  Newer to us, but highly recommended by our friends with Crust Bakehouse in Columbia, SC is a flour they work with and enjoy (and we too enjoy) and that is Spadoni Pizzeria Flour also in a 55lb bag.  Our selection will be growing based on interest and this is for PICK UP ONLY, though we may start shipping out the smaller 2.2LB bags.
Delicious Ciabatta
We’re easing into building up our supply  so it’s best to call ahead at 828 253 5455  to find out what we might have in stock and to pre-order as necessary. We will be ordering twice a month and we require a 25.00 minimum on each order.  Our “kick off special pricing  is good through May of 2012 and is  noted in our recent Spring newsletter.   A good discussion about why all  flours are not equal for pizza, gluten levels in flour, the 00 rating for the grind of the wheat can be found in this blog entry by Saveur magazine.
From the finest wheat grains
They use only the “heart” of the wheat in the Caputo flours which is a family owned and operated mill dating back to 1924.
 Combine this superb flour with a Forno Bravo wood-fired oven and you have a pizza that can’t be duplicated in other ovens. It combines reflected heat, convection and conductive heat to bake the perfect pizza in just 90 seconds!  All three- the crust, cheese and the sauce is cooking at the same time. The live fire arcing over the interior dome browns the top of the pizza with a rich brown color and imparts a deep flavor. The Convection heat combined with the moisture in the oven helps steam and puff up the cornicione (the other rim or crust) of the pizza, and with the intense floor heat direct heat extracts moisture from the dough of the pizza resulting in a unique crisp crust. This is not something you can obtain with a pizza stone alone.  On the other hand,  these flour choices will improve your pizza crust in any oven!
Wood-fired ovens combine all the best conditions!For a more detailed explanation of Forno Bravo’s oven operation and cooking benefits click here.
Yum Yum and Yum
We also will have what I have found to be a simple a delicious tomato sauce for pizza and that is the Pomodorino Italian cherry tomatoes in 14oz cans which we will stock.These are whole unpeeled cherry tomatoes that are sweet and can be slightly squished for your pizza sauce.   We will also have a growing supply of pizza related toppings including more plum and crushed tomatoes, Pesto sauce Ligurian in jars,  dried wild mushrooms, and very soon we’ll have fresh mozzarella 6lb ave loafs and goat cheese crumbles.

The ARCH can now sustain your pantry as well as provide sustainable finishes,

The ARCH is your full service Wood-fired oven location in Asheville!  We offer: OVEN SALES, INSTALLATIONS, AND NOW A GROWING LIST OF FOOD ITEMS FOR YOUR OVEN! Call us for an estimate today!

The ARCH can now sustain your pantry as well as provide sustainable finishes, flooring and more!

Wood-Fired Oven Holiday Cooking With The Cool Night Air-Listen To The Asparagus!

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Crisp green roasted wood-fired asparagus

Christmas day had been a very full day. I wasn’t sure I wanted to cook an evening meal in the wood-fired oven or just hit the sofa.  After a large breakfast, lunch with extended family, the occasional bites of date bars and chocolate throughout the day, did any of us need dinner at all?

As it turned out cooking outside in the cool air was an invigorating and satisfying way to enjoy the evening and, as it turned out, for everyone at the table. It was actually an ideal time to get away from the “lazy warm inside air”.  I had picked up a number of fresh vegetables the day before which included carrots, asparagus, portobellos, red, yellow and orange peppers. I had planned for a lighter evening fare after heavier meals throughout the day. I didn’t get back to the crowded holiday lines to pick up the fish I considered, (and I love fish), but our house includes vegetarians and vegans as well as meat eaters,  so knowing how incredibly delicious wood-fired vegetables  are  I knew we’d be just fine especially if we included some Kalamata olive wood-fired hearth bread from the day before, some fine wine or other drink of choice. It all made for a great finish for the day.

Kalamata Olive hearth bread

We fired up the oven, tending it off and on for a little more than forty-five minutes which is typical for our Forno Bravo Casa2G90. The temperature outside was in the 30’s, the oven coals somewhere over 1000 degrees, the dome creating the perfect convection experience – all ready to sear in the flavors like no other cooking method.  I prepared a couple of platters of vegetables (which took all of ten minutes- rinse vegetables, drizzle with oils, herbs, etc…, arranging and considering the grilling order and placement  in the oven). Grilled carrots carmalizing on left. Asparagus taking the place of the peppers and portobellosThe carrots were set to one side of the oven ahead of the rest of the vegetables allowing for the most generous amount of grilling time. I have read that cast iron may cook too hot in a wood-fired oven- but I believe it is more a case of knowing your oven and what you are cooking.Setting the heavy pan to the side of the fire works great for carrots. Want more heat? Move the pan closer to the fire. Want less? just pull it away, stirring on occasion, but not too often as its the caramelized skins that are delicious. Next, the portobellos were placed on the grill and then the peppers, checking up on them from time to time, giving the  peppers a turn,  evening out the coals beneath until all were roasted and just beginning to ooze their delicious juices.

Wood-fired vegetables ready for serving.

Vegetables don’t take that long,so they want your undivided attention at this point. No problem. I was glad to be outside tending the beautiful red coals and watching the fire. The last vegetable  I placed in the oven was the asparagus which had been placed on a foil covered roasting tray and placed on the Toscana grill. Drizzled with olive oil, herbs, garlic, fresh lime juice,  combined with the perfect heat of the dome and coals beneath they provided the ultimate chorus and just listening to them sizzle was, well here…listen for yourself.

And they were absolutely delicious!  They were so good that I grilled a second batch after dinner to eat the next day.

For more information on grilling in your wood-fired ovens, give us a call at The ARCH at 828 253 5455