Last week I had the pleasure of exhibiting The Spring Oven with my old university. The final year University of Brighton product design students had arranged for six shipping containers to be placed in Jubilee Square to exhibit their work out of. I joined the exhibition as an alumni student 2 years on. Amongst the exhibitors were second year product design students who started a design consultancy called The Process and also another alumni student who also launched her product the Blaze bike light through a Kickstarter campaign. The variety of products exhibited showed the diversity of the course, one of my favourites was a product called baithive (no link found) to collect bee's from commercial properties to help conserve the bee population.
The exhibition generated a lot of interest from the public and it was a good opportunity for me to get a general perspective of how The Spring Oven is received. In true English fashion everybody I spoke to was very complimentary about The Spring Oven, because that is often how people are at these kind of exhibitions. So I was aware I may have to do some digging to discover peoples honest opinions, although much of the feedback was very supportive and generally interested in the product. Many of the visitors that had some experience of baking at home could really see the benefits of the products steaming function as they also expressed the same difficulty with steaming at home. Generally much of the public loved the look of the Spring Oven and expressed real interest in supporting the Kickstarter campaign.
From talking to others I started to generate a record of common questions that were asked of the Spring Oven and so I have decided to list them here and show the answers I gave...
Q: Does it work?
A: Yes, I have been testing the product at home and the steam generated within the product creates a good glaze over the dough. The finished loaves I have made were well risen and had a good crust. Don't take my word for it though, here is what a famous food blogger said about their sourdough tests in the Spring Oven.
Q: How much is it an when can I buy it?
A: The Spring Oven will currently retail at £80. The Spring Oven will be launching through a Kickstarter campaign on the 27th June, make sure you pledge toward the project because there will be Spring Oven's available to get on the campaign for much less than retail price.
Q: Could I use the Spring Oven on the barbecue?
A: The Spring Oven is designed for oven baking bread, as for using the product for another purpose like on a barbecue or a hob, honestly I don't know. I guess I will have to try it out. The best results for bread baking however will be in the oven.
Q: Is terracotta strong enough?
A: It's understandable to be a bit nervous about terracotta. Each Spring Oven is high fired in a Kiln to nearly 1100 degrees centigrade, this high temperature curing of the clay creates good strength in the product with regards to heat resistance, knocks and general handling. Also the kiln drying reveals any small cracks that would have the potential to grow, currently the Spring Oven is firing well and produces no visible cracks.
Q: Will there be any other shapes/sizes?
A: The Spring Oven is currently designed to bake a 500g loaf and should fit in any home oven. There may be opportunity in the future to create a 1kg sized Spring Oven and I am also looking to make a bloomer shaped version as well.
Thank you to everyone who came along to the exhibition and also those who signed up to my newsletter. If you haven't signed up already, you can do so here and be in with the chance to win a FREE Spring Oven. There will be more exciting information to come, make a note of my Kickstarter launch on June 27th.