The Top Boy Bakers

Top Boy Bakers with oven


Between June and September 2013, the drawing shed delivered a series of 10 OUTDOOR CLAYOVEN COOKING WORKSHOPS for up to 20 boys aged 9 – 13, a number of whom were originally involved with building the drawing shed’s mobile ClayOven in 2010, and many of whom have participated in the drawing shed’s festivals and cooking events on The Drive and Attlee Terrace.

Some of these boys asked us for cooking lessons with the ClayOven and named their project themselves: The Top Boy BakersAND SO THE PROJECT BEGAN.


  • worked together to develop a set of rules for the project and will learn to cook safely in the wood fired ClayOven
  • learnt to bake cross cultural breads and other foods in the ClayOven
  • developed research skills in locating family recipes from across the world and cook these to share as a group and with their families.
  • worked with, and exchange ideas with, the drawing shed team of artists, bread makers from the Hornbeam Bread Makers
    Collective / local cooks, and adult volunteers from within their own community.
  • developed higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and become competent bread-makers and cooks.


One central intention of the pilot project was that boys would learn how to make the #BasicLoaf (what does that look and taste like?!) and be able to make this loaf within the family home.

We gave each boy the basic essentials of a bowl, 2 Bread Tins and a weekly supply of flour so that they could potentially make one loaf and, for example, sell the other to their neighbours, building up a map of bread makers and an exchange of bread for pocket money from one resident to another and another! ….. from nan’s to hobz, from sourdough to arabian pita, from wholemeal roti to banana bread, to challah to mantou and cornbread!

Adult volunteers(men and women) from the local community were offered the opportunity to develop a higher skill level within their own community and work under a Volunteer Agreement; we expected as ever that these local people will bring their own passions and skills to the project.

the drawing shed worked with British/Nigerian filmmaker Karimah Ashadu who makes wonderful films, both using mobile structures and inviting strangers to tell their story; Karimah recorded the project, supported the boys and the drawing shed team in making short videos, and in film-editing – leading to A FILM to share with the wider community.

Following a series of weekly workshops, we held a three day block of 3 workshops in August 2013 which led to a small local community feast which other neighbours joined.