Aug 20, 2010

Bethania 9

“the bake oven”
7 x 9.5" watercolor

As you can see from its title, what you’re looking at in the painting is not some kind of colonial doghouse. When I painted it, I was told it was an authentically reconstructed outdoor oven. But, truthfully, to find the true name of this type of oven, I relied on the wonderful book I recently purchased, Bethania, The Village by the Black Walnut Bottom. The book is well written and researched and gives me reason to introduce you to its author Beverly Hamel. Although, not a native of Bethania, she comes from a long line of Moravians in Pennsylvania and most definitely knows her history. Her book, available through all the known sources for books, can readily be found by clicking Bethania Writers Studio.

Not as historical as Ms. Hamel might write, but interesting, the bake oven is, amongst other things, used for baking rolls for Lovefeasts* at Bethania Moravian Church (visible in the background of the painting). Like its hot doughnut [Krispy Kreme] descendant, warm freshly baked bread has irresistible appeal. And imagine the energy saved doing all this baking outside and in a brick oven? Those Moravian colonists were way ahead of their time. I’m in the market for an invitation to their next Lovefeast. :-)

* click for Wikipedia definition of Lovefeast

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