Earlier this Summer the local Elfins and Pioneers group of the Woodcraft Folk visited us.
The fire group taught us how to build superb upside down fires, placing larger logs at the bottom, getting smaller and smaller with a tinder bundle of fine twigs and grass on the top. The fire was lit without matches using strike fires and cotton wool and was soon ready for toasting marsh mallows on sticks!
Meanwhile another group made charcoal by carefully stripping the bark from green twigs ready to bake them over a hot fire in a sealed biscuit tin. The twigs were laid in the tin on top of a layer of soil. Only two small holes were made in the lid to allow air in. By minimising the amount of oxygen in the tin the twigs only partially burn and the result is perfect drawing charcoal!
Here is some of the art work the Elfins created with their charcoal: