Saturday, 9 April 2011

Friction Fire

I spent some time today instructing on the art of Friction Fire, we tried the hand drill and the bow drill, unfortunately i was the only one to actually get an ember  and was being called all the names under the sun as apparently i made it look too easy, but everyone who was being taught got smoke from Sycamore on Sycamore sets and at least one pupil was incredibly near getting their first ember on the bow drill, one of those times when you stop drilling, and smoke rises from the dust pile and then - nothing, we've all been there and done that, but the skill is there, you can see it in the determination of the pupil, pictured left is some of the carnage from the session, the white bag at top left has all my hand drill equipment in it, mostly Elder drills and Willow or Sycamore hearths, although i do have some Clematis boards and a couple of sets of Yucca in there as well.


  1. I suspect that making fire is like my trapping venture many years ago. Success seemed forever elusive until, one day, something just "clicked" and suddenly a fox was waiting for me on my trapline nearly each morning.

  2. Exactly that basically, when i was learning the skill it seem to be so elusive, then one day, i tried, looked down and there it was, a nice big glowing ember, i can still see it and the surroundings i was in, in minds eye to this day.

    The same will happen with those being taught yesterday, all of sudden, everything will just go right and they will be able to produce ember after ember without really having to think about it, all it takes is practice