This last week or so I have been “cobbing” the stoves. This involves recycling the clay from demoed walls and roof, wetting it, and mixing it with sand and straw. All of the material was from the house or the area around the house.
I had the kids help me by treading the mud with their bare feet to mix in the sand and straw and get the whole mixture into a nice putty-like consistency. This was a job the thoroughly enjoyed. Then they helped me apply the mud to the stoves. If I had to do it again I probably would have used rope or chicken wire as a scaffold for the mud, because it tended to droop down the sides and I had to form the stoves in a sort of pear shape to get it to work. But in the end I am very satisfied with how it turned out.
The pictures show only the first stove being cobbed but we have since done the second sove as well in a similar fashion.