Thursday, 5 February 2009


Very Sad to have to report that Alan Scott, master oven crafter and man of bread passed away on January 28 in Tasmania. His funeral was today in Oatlands.

We would like to extend our deep sympathy to his family and friends.

When I light the oven for the weekend there will be a few gargles and many memories revived.
I last heard from Alan about a month ago, he rang out of the blue from hospital and we spoke for over an hour about his new plans for a mill at Oatlands and that he would drop in on his way to Warnambool where he had an oven building workshop planned in the near future.
Anyone who has an interest in artisan baking would acknowledge that Alan was one of the most influential people instrumental in the renaissance of the real bread movement worldwide.
His special and revolutionary expertise lay in masonry oven design. He was also an exceptional craftsman and motivator of so many bakers and oven builders.
Dozens of his ovens will be baking tonight and for a very long time to come, they are built to last. I don't think its an exaggeration to say that at any time there will be an Alan Scott oven fired up somewhere over the world. The fires will keep burning.

I first met Alan at an oven building workshop at Iain Banfield and Lyndall Francis’ Fruition Bakery in the Yarra Valley.
I had always had a great desire to cook and bake in a traditional masonry oven and when the opportunity to participate in one of his workshops was possible I jumped at the chance.
I had no idea what a warm and passionate community would open to me up during and after that first workshop. Fruition already had a small Alan Scott oven but Iain and Lyndall were upgrading to the largest of Alan designs to be built Australia. During that workshop many strong friendships were made and many great meals enjoyed in true fellowship.
As soon as I could, I organised a workshop here at Sunnybrae and now five years later, not only do we bake the bread but we cook as much as possible in the gentle but penetrating heat of our oven which is one of the smallest of Alan’s designs.
Alan had a pacemaker fitted about 3 days before our workshop was scheduled and instead of putting it off for a while he came with a renewed vigour, he loved technology. The thermodynamics of Alan’s ovens combined a respect for ancient proportions with a completely original way of keeping the heat inside.
Alan was the real deal, not just with bread or ovens but a whole philosophy of self sufficient baking that provided a full family and social lifestyle to bakers. Fruition Bakery in the Yarra Valley is a perfect expression of Alan’s ideals.
Farewell Alan we are reminded of you every time we stoke the fire.


stickyfingers said...

The oven at Sunnybrae is wonderful, as is the delectable food that emerges from it, thanks to you.

For anyone wanting further reading on Alan, The New York times have also published an obituary, entitled Alan Scott, 72, Artisan of the Brick Oven, Dies

Kansas City traveller said...

thanks for the info stickyfingers ,,