Chelsea Green Publishing

Dig Your Hands in the Dirt

Pages:128 pages
Book Art:32-page of color illustrations, hundreds of photos and drawings
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 inch
Publisher:Hand Print Press
Paperback: 9780967984667
Pub. Date September 15, 2005

Dig Your Hands in the Dirt

A Manual for Making Art Out of Earth

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
September 15, 2005

$15.00

  • Turn the earth under your feet into natural, cheap, beautiful art: African-inspired murals, fanciful playground sculptures, labyrinths, sundials, sculpted benches, bird houses, & more
  • Complete illustrated how-to guide to mud, art, & community
  • Inspiring stories & color photos from earth-artists here & abroad

For teachers, parents, activists, builders, artists, & other kids. Here is inspiration and instruction for anyone interested in making beautiful art out of earth. The author of Build Your Own Earth Oven teaches you to find, mix, and sculpt the right mud; develop group goals and vision, and translate simple, natural (and easy to draw) patterns into sophisticated and complex designs. The resulting murals will transform anonymous "spaces" into real places. Or make "garden art" you can sit on (or in). Get inspirated by earth artists across the country and over the sea. Extensive resources for further study. Join them all in making art to help "join us, harmoniously, to a whole." Brief, elegant, wonderfully and generously illustrated with drawings and 32 pages of color photos.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

"This book teaches practical skills that empower children to create everything from playgrounds to school walls."--Joseph F. Kennedy, architect, teacher, editor, Building Without Borders & the Art of Natural Building

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kiko Denzer

Kiko Denzer is an artist, teacher, and author in the earthen building revival. He serves as artist-in-residence in schools in his home state of Oregon, and has muddied tens of thousands of hands with his popular oven and bread manual, Build Your Own Earth Oven (2007) as well as his guide to mud-based art forms, Dig Your Hands in the Dirt (2005).

ALSO BY THIS AUTHOR

Build Your Own Earth Oven

Build Your Own Earth Oven

By Kiko Denzer and Hannah Field

Earth ovens combine the utility of a wood-fired, retained-heat oven with the ease and timeless beauty of earthen construction. Building one will appeal to bakers, builders, and beginners of all kinds, from:

    •    the serious or aspiring baker who wants the best low-cost
bread oven, to
    •    gardeners who want a centerpiece for a beautiful
outdoor kitchen, to
    •    outdoor chefs, to
    •    creative people interested in low-cost materials and
simple technology, to
    •    teachers who want a multi-faceted, experiential project for students of all ages (the book has been successful  with
 everyone from third-graders to adults).

Build Your Own Earth Oven is fully illustrated with step-by-step directions, including how to tend the fire, and how to make perfect sourdough hearth loaves in the artisan tradition. The average do-it-yourselfer with a few tools and a scrap pile can build an oven for free, or close to it. Otherwise, $30 should cover all your materials--less than the price of a fancy "baking stone." Good building soil is often right in your back yard, under your feet. Build the simplest oven in a day! With a bit more time and imagination, you can make a permanent foundation and a fire-breathing dragon-oven or any other shape you can dream up.

Earth ovens are familiar to many that have seen a southwestern "horno" or a European "bee-hive" oven. The idea, pioneered by Egyptian bakers in the second millennium BCE, is simplicity itself: fill the oven with wood, light a fire, and let it burn down to ashes. The dense, 3- to 12-inch-thick earthen walls hold and store the heat of the fire, the baker sweeps the floor clean, and the hot oven walls radiate steady, intense heat for hours.

Home bakers who can't afford a fancy, steam-injected bread oven will be delighted to find that a simple earth oven can produce loaves to equal the fanciest "artisan" bakery. It also makes delicious roast meats, cakes, pies, pizzas, and other creations. Pizza cooks to perfection in three minutes or less. Vegetables, herbs, and potatoes drizzled with olive oil roast up in minutes for a simple, elegant, and delicious meal. Efficient cooks will find the residual heat useful for slow-baked dishes, and even for drying surplus produce, or incubating homemade yogurt.

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Alan Scott, Kiko Denzer, Hannah Field

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