Alan Scott (blacksmith)

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Alan Scott
Born(1936-03-02)2 March 1936
Died26 January 2009(2009-01-26) (aged 72)
Tasmania, Australia
Known forDesigning and building brick ovens and writing on the subject
SpouseLaura Scott

Alan Scott (2 March 1936 – 26 January 2009) was a blacksmith and baking traditionalist who designed and built brick ovens and coauthored a book promoting their use for cooking breads and pizza.[1] He built ovens in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and started the Ovencrafters company.[2]


Scott was born in Toorak in Victoria, Australia on 2 March 1936. He graduated from Dookie Agricultural College,[3] and afterwards went to work for a fertilizer company.[1] Leaving his job at 25,[3] Scott traveled throughout Australia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Denmark—all hitchhiking. Eventually, he settled in Denmark and opened a jewelry store.[1]

Scott emigrated to the United States from Australia in the mid-1960s, where he opened a smithy in Northern California. When a friend, Laurel Robertson, commissioned him to forge handles for a brick oven she intended to build, Scott became interested in the oven itself. He redesigned the oven to better retain heat.[1] Scott soon became an expert in the construction and use of brick ovens. In 1999, he published The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens with his apprentice Daniel Wing.[1][4] The Bread Builders contained a treatise on the history and science of bread making, and gave detailed specifications for how to build a brick oven.[1] The book eventually sold over 25,000 copies.[5]

Returning to Australia in 2004, Scott opened a practice in Oatlands.[3] He also became involved in the effort to recommence operations at the Callington Mill.[3] Scott's interest in the project stemmed in part from the desirable properties of slowly stone-ground flour, which include the wheat's germ oil being ground into the flour and the retention of nutrients due to low milling temperatures.[3]

Scott died on 26 January 2009 in Tasmania of congestive heart failure. His company, Ovencrafters, is now run by his children. The company designs and builds custom brick ovens,[1] and has designed and created numerous ovens for clients throughout the United States, as well as in other countries, including Canada and Australia.[6]


Scott spent much of his time conducting workshops and overseeing the building of community ovens, which he believed brought communities together.[2][5] He further lectured on and encouraged small-scale industry, environmental stewardship, community connectivity and spiritual consideration.[2] His business, Ovencrafters, pushed for "policy with principles, commerce with morality, wealth with work, and science with humanity".[2]


  • Scott, Alan; Daniel Wing (1999). The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens. Chelsea Green Publishing. ISBN 978-1-890132-05-7.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hevesi, Dennis (5 February 2009). "Alan Scott, 72, Artisan of the Brick Oven, Dies". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Betty, Carpick (27 July 2006). "600 degrees on a Wednesday night". Thunder Bay's Source. Retrieved 10 February 2009.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e Reeves, Elaine (7 February 2009). "The fires keep burning". The Mercury. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  4. ^ Scott, Alan; Daniel Wing (1999). The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens. Chelsea Green Publishing. p. ix. ISBN 978-1-890132-05-7. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  5. ^ a b Baldwin, Deborah (23 December 2004). "Patio Trophy: Stoke That Backyard Bakery". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
  6. ^ "Ovencrafters Oven List". Archived from the original on 15 June 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2009.

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