Well, yesterday I started and (largely) finished the bake ovens in the kitchen :) (The design is based almost entirely on Brian Long's excellent instructions in his Tudor dolls' house book, by the way. )
Here's what I learned while researching Tudor baking. A bake oven of this period has two levels. The baker lights a fire in the upper level and when the masonry is hot, he uses first a rake to pull out the ash and coals (which drop through a gap into the lower ash pit), then cleans the oven with a mop and puts the bread or pie in the now empty and clean but still-hot oven. A wooden oven door seals everything up until it's baked.
Here's the basic construction of the interior, showing the three spaces for the ovens and the single ash pit, beneath. You can see the cut outs for the gaps through which the ashes would drop, although I don't suppose anyone else will ever notice them :)
I covered the facings with Poly Filla and let them dry (well, more or less). Then I glued them in place with my current favourite glue, Quick Grip. (Do you think they'll sponsor me?)
Then I aged the plaster and tried to blend it in with the rest of the kitchen.
I want to have a fire going in the middle oven, the left hand oven will just have been swabbed out with the mop and the right hand oven will be sealed with its wooden door. So, I have to make the three wooden doors (two of which will not be in place), I have to make the bundle of faggots and the fire for the middle oven and I have to make the bread peel, mop and rake. Oh, and a bucket of dirty water!
And I also have to edge both the main fireplace and the bake ovens in egg carton stones :) But I feel a huge sense of relief, knowing that the ovens are actually built.
If I can get Tiddles to build the spiral staircase on Thursday, then I can start planning the upper level.
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