A Tabun is Born – Continued

Posted on April 17, 2011


Building our tabun was an elaborate process which involved the contributions of a number of people.  And it’s in this kind of project where you discover the blessing of having good friends.  Ron’s friend and work colleague Mahmoud Nassar oversaw the project.  He guided Ron and our friend Tzvika in how to shape and weld an iron frame for the tabun, with a metal door. 





Rami and Suleiman from Daliyat el Carmel built the base on which the tabun was set, and Elissa and I decorated the workspace with a mosaic.   




After numerous attempts to get the clay we needed from the best source in Nazareth, Balkees’ husband Muhammad finally got the owners of the ceramics factory to agree. Their eldest son Jouad dug out 10 sacks of clay from the earth by the factory and Muhammad brought them to our home.  


And then, this Friday morning, Mahmoud brought Abu-J. and Abu-S., two brothers from Nazareth – and his teen-age son Kareem, to come and finish the work.  The two brothers are both retired, and they know about building with clay from their childhood, when they saw their parents building ovens for their own use.  They only build these ovens for friends, which makes us even more grateful that they have agreed to come and build one for us.  I wonder how many local people still practice this type of traditional oven building…

They checked the bags of clay and agreed that it was excellent material.  We had already put 8 of the 10 bags of clay into a large tub of water to soak.  It has a deep yellow color and after the soaking is silky smooth.   They took the wet clay and mixed it with straw that Ron had brought.  At first, they covered the metal frame with chicken wire, and over that, they applied layer upon layer of the clay. 




After about 3 hours of work, it was finished – as beautiful a creation as you can imagine. 

We need to let it dry for several days, then we will light a fire inside over a few consecutive days to bake the clay.  And once it is working properly, we’ll have a “hafla” and invite everyone who had a part in making this tabun in our back yard.  At this point, what we’ll prepare in the tabun is a subject of great speculation….