October 27–29, 2023

Horno Building Workshop

Earthen ovens are inexpensive to build, fun to use, and provide a baking environment impossible to recreate in the kitchen. Attendees will leave the class with the knowledge necessary to build an oven of their own, with materials that you may already have in your yard. The class is suitable for bakers, building professionals and DIYers, and is a great introduction to adobe construction and earthen plasters covered in more depth in adobeisnotsoftware’s other classes.

Who is it for?

The class is suitable for bakers, building professionals and do-it-your-selfers, and is a great introduction to adobe construction and earthen plasters covered in more depth in adobeisnotsoftware’s other classes.

Instruction Type:


Course Content:

  • Local considerations and the siting your earthen oven
  • Soil and material selection, sourcing and testing
  • Foundations and oven base design and materials
  • Sizing
  • Sand Form and Oven Domes
  • Natural oven plasters and finishes
  • Firing and baking in your oven

Course Objectives:

  • Discuss safety in earthen construction.
  • Gain an understanding of how earth has been used as a building material worldwide and in CA.
  • Gain an understanding of the life cycle and basic properties of earthen building materials.
  • Learn how to locate and identify suitable soil samples (clay and aggregates) for use in earthen construction.
  • Learn how California regulations apply to wood-fired earthen ovens.
  • Discuss horno sizing.
  • Gain an understanding of the necessity and types of foundations used for earthen ovens.
  • Learn the basics of adobe brick laying.
  • Understand the benefits and types of hearth insulation.
  • Understand the types of oven floors.
  • Learn how to install a brick oven floor.
  • Understand the different methods for forming a horno dome.
  • Learn to create a sand-form.
  • Gain an understanding of the different layers of the horno, including the thermal layer, insulation layer, and finish layers.
  • Learn to install and finish different plaster types.
  • Discuss cooking in earthen ovens. Learn to properly fire and maintain your oven for low temperature and high temperature baking.

Evaluation Methods:

20 Question Written Exam


Pioneertown, California


Please do not hesitate to reach out to us mud@adobeisnotsoftware.org


Ben Loescher

Ben Loescher is a licensed architect, founder of adobeisnotsoftware and principal of Loescher Meachem Architects.

Course Information:

Dates: Fri, Oct 27, 2023 – Mon, Oct 30, 2023
Workload: 12noon – 4pm each day
Fee: $350

Register Here


The class will be conducted in Pioneertown, California. Coffee will be provided at the beginning of the day; lunch is included.


There are lots of private vacation rentals available around Pioneertown, at various price points. Check out www.VRBO.com and airbnb.com for more information.


The cost for the 3-day workshop is $350/person.
Register Here

Fine Print

Construction is inherently dangerous, and participants are expected to be partners in ensuring their own safety. You may be asked to sign an acknowledgement of this in advance of class participation.

Classes may not be held in the event of sufficient registrations to cover operating costs – adobeisnotsoftware reserves the right to cancel undersubscribed classes and events with at least 7 days prior notice.

In the unlikely event of inclement weather, classes may be rescheduled or canceled.

For individuals who find they may not be able to participate in a class or event for which they are registered, adobeisnotsoftware will offer a full refund if notified at least one week in advance. Cancellations within 7 days of the event are non-refundable.


Pioneertown, CA


(760) 278-1134




Precise directions will be sent to participants prior to the class.